Friday, 30 September 2016


A few more pictures from the incident a few weekends ago.

The Coastguard vehicle with rotors !

Rescue 106 on the ground

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Kit Night and Musical Chairs

Tonight was kit night - our monthly thorough check and clean of all of our kit, but we went a bit further tonight will a full clean of the station and a sort out of our personal kit too.

All the hanging space and racking was re-arranged on a numerical basis according to our individual call signs and new labelling was installed. It now makes it easy to see at a glance whose kit is missing or untidy, and quicker when we are packing up after a call out as all the personal stations are instantly recognisable.

Our own version of Coastguard Musical Chairs!

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Out on the Water? Be Prepared

These two kayaks were recovered by Swanage's inshore lifeboat (ILB) yesterday and towed back to Swanage after their owners got into difficulty in choppy seas off Studland. 

What had seemed calm waters in the confines of the bay were suddenly very different in the shallower waters close to Old Harry and before long the kayakers were struggling in the conditions.  They had no VHF radio and no mobile phone (phones aren't ideal at sea because of limited reception, but one in a sealed bag is better than nothing) and they were fortunate that someone on the cliff had seen their calls for help.  The pair were dressed in inadequate clothing and once wet, soon got cold with the keen wind.  Finally, they wore no lifejackets or buoyancy aids.

On arrival at Swanage, the couple were taken into the care of the Coastguard team where they were warmed up and offered some safety advice, before being returned to their vehicle to dry off and reflect how differently their afternoon could have ended up.

The RNLI has produced a handy safety guide for kayakers - we suggest you download and read it if you own a kayak or have the use of one. Get your copy here: RNLI Kayak Safety Guide.

And always consider the following
  •             CARRY a communication device in an easily accessible waterproof pocket/pouch
  •             WEAR proper kit to keep you warm and afloat in the water
  •             CARRY spare clothing, food and drink in a dry bag
  •             CHECK the weather and water conditions before heading out
  •             WEAR a buoyancy aid or lifejacket
  •             CARRY on your person distress flares
  •             TELL a responsible shore contact where you are going and when you will return.
Enjoy the water and keep safe!

Monday, 26 September 2016

Access All Areas

This weekend the patrols have been out checking the access tracks to some of our remote locations.

Over time, we can find ourselves less familiar with rarely used routes, tracks can become overgrown and gates and padlocks can become rusty and hard to open.  When we are on a call out, we need to know the best routes straight away and we don't have time to mess with sticking locks. Every second counts, which is why we want to recheck every route and every gate and to oil every lock before the onset of winter.

On Saturday the access routes onto Ballard Down were covered, whilst Sunday's team concentrated on the Poole Harbour shoreline through Rempstone Forest.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Cliff Edges

If you are out for a walk today and enjoying our lovely coastline.

Take care near cliff edges

Never sit under a cliff.

In a coastal emergency - 999 Coastguard

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Coastguard assist Ambulance

The team were paged on Friday evening to assist South Western Ambulance with a seriously injured male.

The Wiltshire air ambulance attended King George's playing field assisted by the Coastguard and Police.

The Coastguard team were then requested to assist at the scene of the incident before assisting the ambulance back to the landing site.

Only last week the team practised setting up a night landing site as part of a large exercise.

The value of regularly training for the volunteer team shows its value working with our partner agencies.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Farewell Waverley, Call the Coastguard!

The paddle steamer 'Waverley' ended it's annual 3-week season of trips from Swanage this week, and once again it has been tremendous to see this piece of history making its way across the bay. Roll on next year and it's return!

Sadly, all didn't quite go to plan on Wednesday evening when the world's last remaining sea-going paddle steamer was unable to return passengers from Yarmouth, Isle of Wight to their destination in Swanage.

By the time the replacement coach arrived back at the pier,  the gates had been locked leaving some passengers unable to get to their car.    A call to the police led to a call to the Coastguard, and after a short while two of the Swanage volunteers attended, armed with a set of keys to let the weary travellers in.

As category 1 responders, we never know where we might need access to in an emergency, so we have a large bunch of master keys to cover many of the tracks, gates, car parks and barriers in the area. 

Letting passengers into a locked pier car park isn't a normal call out for us, but typical example of how we support the local community.

Monday, 19 September 2016

The railway connection

Behind the scenes , a lot of work is done by the volunteers to know our area and work with our partners for the safety of others.

This morning the Station Officer and Deputy headed off to Norden railway station to meet a representative of the railway to build on our local knowledge

There was also a connection with our days jobs so it was beneficial for lots of reasons.

High tide ? No - using the 4x4 vehicle each access point along the line was checked to see accessibility in an emergency to the track.

Railways are dangerous places , we were escorted by a rail incident officer - but also both of us hold Personal Track Safety Certificates to allow us " track side"

Gates and access were checked so if there was a multi agency incident we can support our partners.

Thank you to Swanage Railway for today's visit.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Purbeck Marathon

The Swanage and St. Albans Coastguard teams headed out on patrol today to monitor the runners along the coastal path.

Several hundred runners took part in both a full marathon or a sixteen mile run.

Congratulations to all those who took part today.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Casualty airlifted from coastal path

The team were called this afternoon to a report of a walker with a broken ankle on the coastal path.

South Western Ambulance had received a call from the walkers partner stating they were South of Verney Farm, and asked for Coastguard assistance.

The team arrived and started to treat the female before Rescue 106 from Portland arrived.

Both walkers were well prepared but as they had climbed over a stone style , the lady slipped and turned her ankle.

The Coastguard team assisted the winch-man before transferring the lady via a stretcher to the aircraft , for the short flight to the Poole HLS.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Making it Real

Dorset police requested CG support on Wednesday night in searching for an elderly dementia patient, missing from a local nursing home.
Using line abreast search techniques, the team combed the search area, not only looking for the the lady but also for any evidence that might point to her location.
The lady was finally located collapsed in a hedge at the edge of Days Park, unconscious and with a broken leg.  The Officer in Charge (OIC ) called for a rescue helicopter to take the lady to hospital, so whilst one half of the team provided first aid to the casualty,   the others went off to prepare a helicopter landing site using an accepted and agreed protocol with flashing red/white lights and orange beacons. By now, it had become dark.
Once the OIC had confirmed to the flight crew that the landing site was in place, the helicopter landed, the casualty, by now on a stretcher was brought up to it and......the exercise ended.
But it pays to make it as real as possible and in a couple of hours we had trained in:
- Search planning
- Search techniques
- Radio comms with the team and helicopter
- First Aid & stretcher
- Establishing a landing site after dark
- Finding and communicating grid references
- OIC capability
Apologies to anyone in Days Park who was alarmed by seeing the Station Officer 'hiding' the casualty dummy in the hedge earlier in the evening!

Thursday, 15 September 2016

A sailors story

The following was received by the team this week from someone they were recently called too.
They asked us to publicise the incident as their situation could have turned out very differently.

The Team were tasked to Studland. My husband was one of the dinghy sailors involved.

He has been sailing for 47 years and holds a yacht master/coastal sailing qualification.
However, one can never be fully experienced and he realises that he could have become a statistic.
Sailing in an area that he didn't know well he came into difficulties.

He failed to realise how an off-shore wind could affect his sailing abilities.

He feels he should have spoken to local dinghy sailors on the beach.

Also he should have worn appropriate clothing and not his sailing shorts, sailing top and life jacket.

And also double checked that his life jacket was fully zipped up and replaced his knife in his jacket after using it during our bbq on the beach the previous evening.

And, attached his whistle to his life jacket. He realised that at 61 he is not a fit dinghy sailor who can right his boat with ease.

In this event after the third capsize he was too exhausted to get back on board. If it had not been for other sailors on the water I dread to think of the consequences.

He had drifted away from the boat by this stage and I could only watch through binoculars from the beach, at one time seeing just his head and his arm waving to get attention.

He intends to use this horrible experience to alert others at his local dinghy sailing club "to prepare and beware" as things can so easily go wrong.

Both of us wish to thank you for helping on the day. THANK YOU.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Coastguard Exercise in Days Park

There will be a Coastguard Search Exercise tonight in Days Park should people be concerned what the activity is.

The team will be using lighting to assist in the search which will be concluded by 8.45pm

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Going out ? Check the weather

Whilst some places had sunshine others had thunderstorms.

If you are going to the coast make sure you check the weather and keep an eye on the sky.

Monday, 12 September 2016

Patrol have a tidy

On Saturday, the patrol found a trail of bottles on Studland beach.

Following the line of bottles it was clear a party was had , sadly the drinkers didn't clear up.

The result of clear up before they went in the recycling bin.

Glass isn't good on a beach for safety.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Community Coastguard

Another busy day yesterday for the volunteer Coastguard Rescue Officers.

The full team were paged just after 7am to the sad report of a body washed up on Studland Beach. The team were joined near to the training bank with colleagues from Poole RNLI , Dorset Police and South Western Ambulance.

It was then out for a patrol around the folk festival in the town and despite the weather everyone was enjoying themselves.

Just as the patrol were packing away, the Deputy Station Officer was flagged down in the town after a car had knocked over a pedestrian over. With an ambulance called the DSO needed some help and knew the patrol were about so asked for some help. On arrival the injuries male had managed to get up and a decision was made to take him to the local minor injuries unit allowing the ambulance to be cancelled.

Heading back to the station a local resident flagged the Coastguard truck down, concerned for a male collapsed in the grounds of the old Grammar School. Sure enough in the old play ground lay a male who appeared unconscious, having found a way in , a rather drunk male confirmed he was having a sleep. Having been joined by the local PSCO the male was escorted out the site and given some words of advice.

Finally at 8pm the team were paged to support colleagues from Dorset and Wilts Fire in the area of the Zig Zag. A fire had been seen in Durlston Bay and there was concern someone was injured in the area. Fire Officers along with Coastguards checked the area and a small fire was found and put out in what appeared to have been a party.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Incident at Studland Beach

This morning just after 7am , Dorset Police received a call reporting a body in the water North of Knoll Beach.

The Swanage Team were paged along with Poole RNLI inshore lifeboat.

On arrival a body of a male was located in the surf line close to the Training Bank and brought ashore. Dorset Police and South Western Ambulance staff attended to assist.

Enquires are on going with Dorset Police on behalf of HM Coroner with the next of kin advised.

Our thoughts are with the family.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Late Night Flight

The team were called to assist some of the off duty lifeboat crew last night after they had stopped to help an elderly man whose mobility scooter had toppled over on the Downs.

The gent was in good spirits but also in considerable pain, and so whilst the NMOC operations centre made arrangements for an ambulance, the volunteers checked the man over, monitored his condition, made him comfortable and stretchered him into the nearby lifeboat training room where he could be warmed up and where it was easier for the arriving paramedics to deal with him.

Owing to the man's condition and the proximity of ambulance units, the decision was taken to fly him to Southampton hospital using the CG helicopter from Lee on Solent, and so the team duly set up the landing site at Peveril and assisted with the stretcher transfer for the late night flight.

Once the helo had departed, and the paramedics had left, the CG and lifeboat teams tidied up and re stowed their equipment and stood down around 11.00pm.  A fine example of the two teams working together and liaising amongst themselves to get help to the individual where and when it was needed in a timely and efficient manner.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Team tasked to Studland

The team were paged just before 3pm today to a report of two sailing dinghies in difficulties at Studland.

A member of the public walking on the beach had spotted the boats and called 999 - Coastguard.

The Swanage RNLI inshore lifeboat was also tasked to assist.

On arrival at Studland, the team discovered that the local Watersports RIB had gone to assist the dinghies with one of them suffering from a broken tiller.

All persons were accounted for , both dinghies were brought ashore and the inshore lifeboat released back to the station.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Can you help locate stolen Defibrillator?

Borrowed report from our Police Collegues....... As it says , how bad is someone's behaviour to steal a piece of Lifesaving equipment.

Monday, 5 September 2016

Evenings drawing in

A noticeable difference at training tonight with the lighting equipment being used.

Equipment being set up for tonight's training which saw two of the team revalidate their operators qualification.

Durlston Bay

The view looking up from to the cliff edge safety officers

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Reflection on the summer

As we enter September , the volunteer team have taken a step back to look at what was achieved during July and August.

At the end of June the incidents the team had dealt with was 27

In July the team dealt with 27 incidents in the month, followed in August with 33 incident.

60 incidents in two months , from minor first aid , cliff rescues, serious medical support to South Western Ambulance and searches to name a few.

A busy time for the team and a thank you to the families of the team as often the incidents disrupted planned family events

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Crumbling Cliffs

This example of cliffs in Durlston Bay reminds us all that the cliffs should be respected when out walking.

Stay away from the edge and the base of the cliff

If your out walking , tell someone where you are going and what time you are expected back.

If you change your plan remember to try and tell that person. Have a mobile phone but remember they don't always work along the coast.

If you see someone in trouble

999 Coastguard

Friday, 2 September 2016

Visiting the partner agencies

With a slight change in the weather , there wasn't many visitors about so it was time to catch up with our partners.

The view from the NCI lookout looking towards Ballard.

The new RNLI Shannon lifeboat on its mooring.

There was a few craft about , if you are going to take part in an activity on the beach or water ensure you have the right safety equipment.