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.