Wednesday, 19 July 2017


Whilst we may all be volunteers there is an awful lot of work that goes on behind the scenes.

We spend time meeting partner agencies and colleagues to ensure when it matters our training and processes work.

Events in the town like carnival require careful planning and whilst it's down to the organisers we are quietly in the background to support or step in during an emergency.

It not just responding to the pager.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Five means Five

Saturday's patrol was tasked to speak to swimmer and jet ski rider after a heated discussion had taken place between the two of them.

We have five knot bouys in the bay every Summer, and the rules are simple.....any craft inside (ie the beach side) of that line of bouys is limited to 5 knots.
That's not to say that speedboats and jet skis cannot come inside the line - they can, but at 5 knots maximum.

On Saturday the swimmer was quite shaken when he realised just how close a speeding jet ski had been.  The jet skier was spoken to by the team and details passed to the MCA.

There is also a buoyed off swimming area on the main beach from which all motorised craft are prohibited

If you are boating into Swanage,don't forget to Arrive at Five Knots - no more !

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Take Care with Inflatables

Blow up boats and toys are great fun in the swimming pool, but we do not recommend their use at the seaside. This is because they can easily be blown out to sea.

Liz Hanson, Senior Maritime Operations Officer for UK Coastguard says,
“We’ve recently tasked numerous assets to investigate several reports of persons in distress on inflatables - of particular interest - a large inflatable Swan off Bembridge and a large inflatable Unicorn off Swanage. Thankfully both were recovered with no persons in distress. If your inflatable does blow out to sea, please let us know by calling 02392 552100.”

The Coastguard would like to encourage everyone to enjoy our British coastline safely. Go to a lifeguarded beach if possible, stay within the flagged area and listen to the lifeguards’ advice. If people do find themselves being swept out to sea, our advice is to stay with the boat or toy and shout for help, waving arms if possible. Do not attempt to swim for shore if out of depth. Ideally make sure that someone ashore is keeping an eye on you and ideally keep the inflatable on a length of line.  If you see anyone in trouble, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
Rainbow the Unicorn was heading due East past the Pier on Thursday night when she was recaptured.

The family whose unicorn blew out at Swanage commented how calm the evening was with no trace of wind and no noticeable tide, but the incident happened so quickly that although they tried to swim after it, it was very soon out of range.

Fortunately for them, the unicorn's escape bid was watched by the Coastguard Team who were training at Peveril Point and by the volunteers at the Swanage NCI.  Local fisherman Doug from Swanage Sea Fishing kindly put to sea and rescued the mythical creature before further alarm calls were raised.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Unicorn rescued in Swanage Bay

The team were on exercise at Peveril Point tonight when something caught their attention.

The watch keepers at NCI also confirmed the sighting of yes - a unicorn !

Solent Coastguard were informed as it was seen heading out to sea and may have caused further emergency calls

So well done Doug from San Gina who set off in hot pursuit.

The unicorn was soon caught and brought ashore.

Enquiries are on going to how it was let loose.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Coffee and Cake

The team was tasked to two more incidents at Durslton yesterday, bringing the incident count to 5 in 4 days in what's turning out to be a busy spell for the volunteers.

We're a fairly straightforward bunch who do not ask for much, but when the owner of the Seventhwave Restaurant at Durslton Castle brought us out cakes and a tray of coffee, who were we to refuse?
Service with a smile!

Its support like this that keeps us going through tougher times and is very much appreciated.  Thankyou!

The new trailer proves its worth!

Monday, 3 July 2017

Sunday's Incident

A few more phones from yesterday's incident at the Western Mile Marker.

These two photos of Rescue 175 were kindly sent by Eddy Young of Young's Adventure Solutions who has kindly given permission for us to put on the blog.

The Swanage and St Albans Coastguard teams working together on scene.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Fallen Climber at the Western Mile Marker

The team have been out this afternoon attending to a climber near the Western Mile Marker who had fallen and landed awkwardly on rocks 4 metres below.

Along with our colleagues from St Albans, the team were just beginning to set up the rope rescue equipment when CG Helicopter 175 arrived and lowered its paramedic winchman to the casualty who had sustained an injury to his ankle.

The Wiltshire  Air Ambulance also attended along with a local ambulance crew but both were stood down when Rescue 175 winched up the injured man and flew him directly to Poole.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Team assist ambulance

The team were called to assist South Western Ambulance at the stone quay yesterday.

The ambulance crew requested assistance will a male who had fallen on a local boat.
The team assisted with lifting the casualty off the boat and with providing safety cover to the ambulance crew.

Friday, 30 June 2017

The Show Must Go On

At 9.00pm this evening, Portland SAR Helicopter base will close its doors one final time and decades of SAR operations from Portland will come to an end.

You will read in the local press all about the rescues that the flight has performed in its time, you will read about the professionalism of the crews and you will read that SAR operations will be hampered by this move.

Rescue 106 from Portland lowers its paramedic winchman near Anvil Point, Oct 2016
We would echo the praise that has been heaped on the crews over the years, and it has been a pleasure to work with them all. However, its worth setting the record straight how incidents will be managed in Swanage from now on.

Firstly, we will still have helicopter cover.  The nearest helicopter will come from Lee on Solent where there has been a base for many years and with whom we have worked many times. In fact, Lee on Solent has recently upgraded from an AW139 which it has used for around 10 years to a larger, faster AW189 which is on call 24/7.  Portland only ever operated during the day, and not at night. At busy times back up will be provided by HM Coastguard helicopters from Cardiff or Newquay.

Rescue 104 from Lee on Solent working with the team near Langton Matravers, Sep 2016

Secondly, as a Coastguard Rescue Team we are aware that we may be called to carry out more cliff rescues than before - that's fine - that's what we train for!  In the last 6 months alone we have rescued 5 people and a dog from over cliffs, so we know the ropes if you'll excuse the pun.  Earlier this month, four of our cliff technicians spent a day training on more tricky scenarios than we'd usually train for, just to push our skill levels that bit higher.  We're a volunteer team, but we are on call 24/7.

 Coastguard recovery of an unconscious climber hanging in his harness - training exercise, June 2016

Finally, Swanage RNLI took delivery of  brand new boat last year - a Shannon class which can operate at twice the speed and over twice the range of the Mersey class it replaced, giving an excellent on the water rescue capability. There's also an inshore 'D-class' boat at Swanage so we are well catered for there.

Shannon Class 13-13 'George Thomas Lacy' arrived in Swanage in April 2016

All of this is backed up by the watchful eyes of the National Coastwatch Institute volunteers who monitor the bay and passing vessels from dawn to dusk.
Members of our Coastguard Team at the NCI's Coastwatch Lookout getting 'eyes on'.

Working together - CG Helicopter, Coastguard Rescue Service, RNLI and Police at Studland, August 2016

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

We salute you

At 21.00 on Friday the search and rescue flight at Portland closes after many years service, saving many lives.

We would like to say a massive thank you to the crews of the various helicopters that have served us so well at Portland.

We salute you.

Coastguard/ Rescue 106

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Why why why?

We had a late night, multi agency search on Thursday night for a local man who'd gone missing.

One of our SCOOs attended to oversee the operation, and at its conclusion, returned to Dorchester at 2.00am.

Shortly afterwards, someone did this and stole some equipment from inside.

Why,  why, why?

Emergency services save lives!

Friday, 23 June 2017

Missing Male located safe and well

Dorset Police have just confirmed that Barry Cullimore has been located safe and well tonight in Cumbria.

The Police would like to thank everyone for their assistance in the search.

Two major searches in 48 hours

The volunteer coastguard team have had two very long nights in the last 48 hours.

On Wednesday evening the team backed up by the St Albans Coastguard team were tasked to assist Dorset Police in searching for a person in the dunes at Studland.

Sadly during the search a body was located in the dune area North of Knoll Beach.

On Thursday night both teams were tasked again to assist Dorset Police in the Dancing Ledge area to search for a local missing man.

The Coastguard teams searched the cliff tops whilst both Swanage Lifeboats carried out a sea search.
DORSAR members carried out inland search.

At 1am, teams were stood down having searched the area but not locating the missing male.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Team called to over loaded speedboat

The team were out driver training last night when they were tasked to meet both Swanage RNLI Lifeboats.

Both lifeboats were tasked to assist 14 people in a speed boat off Ballard.

None were wearing lifejackets in an overcrowded speedboat trying to get back to Poole.

The lifeboat brought the 14 back to Swanage to the waiting Coastguard team , but despite efforts none of the 14 wanted to engage in any conversation or listen to any safety advice.

In this hot weather our advice is

Don't put yourself or others at risk - wear lifejackets

Know how to contact the Coastguard in an emergency - 999 or via VHF Ch 16.

Don't mix boating and alcohol.

Never overload your boat.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Bella takes a tumble

The Swanage team were tasked to the Downs in Swanage for ''Bella' who had gone down the cliff about 60 feet yesterday afternoon.

The team carried out an immediate rescue deploying a rope technician to secure the dog from falling any further. There was concerned the owner was with the dog and that's the reason for the rapid deployment of the team.  Thankfully the dogs owner had gone to the NCI lookout to report the dog and walked along the beach to find where it was.

The St Albans Coastguard team were called to support the Swanage team and assisted in recovering the technician and the dog to the top of the cliff.

All were reunited at the top of the cliff and Bella received no injuries


Thursday, 15 June 2017

Continued Development

The rope technicians headed off to Burnbake last week to carry out some rope training.
Thanks to Steve and Emma of Vertex, the team were allowed to use their ropes course which allowed us to practise in a nice safe Environment.

Practising recovering a casualty.

Allan popped along to join in the training

We were able to practise many of our techniques in a safe and quiet location.


Sunday, 11 June 2017

Awesome weekend in Swanage

What a weekend in Swanage ,

Not only the fish festival but also paddle boarding.

Really great weekend for many and we were there too !

This was the national championship - conditions were a challenge.

Off they headed towards Ballard

The team on PR

Out little display

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Fish Festival and a couple of incidents

So the team headed off to Prince Albert Gardens today for the Fish Festival and meet the public.

Meanwhile in the bay the National Paddleboarding Championships were taking place.

Just before 5pm the team were made aware of a possible safety issue at the boat park concerning a 25ft motor boat. On arrival a boat was found to be going round in circles but managed to get along the slipway.

One of the Coastguard functions is to offer advice and in this case some strong word of advice about the craft and more importantly safety equipment were given.

Returning to PAG, the team were made aware of two over due walkers and were tasked to meet Police for further details. Having establish the two set off from Lulworth this morning at 8.45, they hoped to have arrived in Swanage by 16.00. With two hours gone past and many attempts to call on a mobile the emergency services were contacted.

The full team were tasked along with Lulworth Coastguard to start searching. Five minutes into the search a Coastguard search team located the pair near to the Castle. Both were fine and had taken a different route than planned which took longer than expected.

This incident was very close to the training exercise carried out by the team this week!!

Swanage Fish Festival

Today sees the start of the Swanage Fish Festival at Prince Albert Gardens.

Come down and see us ( subject to commitments) along with many other stalls and displays including cookery demostrations.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Team carry out search exercise

The team headed out to Durlston last night to carry out a search exercise.

Weather conditions made conditions a little more realistic for the team as they searched for " Heather Gorse" a walker who had got lost with her walking party.

Briefing and search plan being given

A difficult search checking the undergrowth.

Keeping a line is difficult when there are obstructions in the way

"Heather Gorse " located with a broken leg taking shelter in a hedge.

First aid given and a short carry out.


Thursday, 1 June 2017

Training at PAG (Prince Albert Gardens)

The team headed to a slightly different location last night for training.

Prince Albert Gardens ( PAG) is just above the pier and will be the site for the Fish Festival in just over a week were the team will be carrying out a small demonstration on the Sunday.

Slightly different location for training which kept those enjoying the evening sunshine entertained.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Team alerted to missing children

The team were just being tasked to 4 missing children in Rempstone Forest when they were located safe and well.

The request for a search team came from Dorset Police as the children had been missing for over an hour.

Friday, 26 May 2017

Coastguard team locate missing lady

The volunteer Coastguard Officers were again requested to assist Dorset Police with a search just before midnight.

The National Maritime Operations Centre ( NMOC) were contacted by Dorset Police asking for assistance in searching for a missing female in the Old Harry area.

The NMOC tasked the Coastguard team along with both Swanage RNLI Lifeboats.

On arrival in the Old Harry area the Coastguard team deployed a 'hasty' search of the cliff top and located the female in a secluded part of the headland. The lady was transported safely back to Studland and on to hospital.

All units were back on station just after 2am

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Team assist Police

The team were tasked at 01.45 this morning to assist Dorset Police with a search for a missing female.

As the team were being briefed by the Police, a Police Officer called to say the female had entered the water near to the stone quay.

The Coastguard team immediately deployed their water rescue equipment and requested the Swanage RNLI ILB.

The helicopter from NPAS attended and illuminated the scene to assist the rescuers.

The Lifeboat arrived and got the the female into the ILB some distance from the shore returning to treat the lady in the boathouse along with colleagues from the Ambulance.

The Coastguard team recovered their water technician and returned to station to wash down the equipment.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Mind the edge

If your taking a trip to the coast today remember to look from a distance.

Don't stand right on the edge of a cliff top as you don't what may be below you.


Tuesday, 16 May 2017

An evenings training

A spot of voluntary training for the team.

Keeping the team rope competencies up to date is vital and a key target for the rescue officers.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Friday, 12 May 2017

Shieldhall causes a stir

Members of the Coastguard team have been asked a few times today if the vessel in Swanage bay was ok.

We can confirm that the UK Coastguard received calls that the vessel "Shieldhall" was on fire and aground under Ballard.

The vessel was actually ok testing its boilers and undertaking some maintenance in the sheltered waters of the bay.


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Team assist Police

The team were tasked to assist Dorset Police this afternoon.

A male had been reported missing in the North Swanage area and the Police requested the team to carry out a search close to the cliffs and Ballard Down.

As the team arrived on scene and were drawing up search plans the male turned up back at home safe and well.

All units were stood down.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Team tasked to Durlston

The team were tasked late on Tuesday night to support Dorset Police.

The Police had requested Coastguard assistance in searching for a male in Durlston Country Park.

Just as the team arrived the Police located the male so the team stood down.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Thank you Brian

The team said goodbye to Brian last week after he served with the team for 11 years.

Brian attended many incidents over the year and represented the team at events like the remembrance parade.

So a new dawn for Brian and we take this opportunity to thank him for his support, humour and commitment along with his family.

Good luck for the future.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Swamped boat and washed up canoe

On Wednesday the crew of the Swanage RNLI Lifeboat were called to a 14ft speed boat off Old Harry.

The boat which had come from Mudeford had been hit by a wave which had swamped the small boat.

The team met the lifeboat on its return to discuss the safety issues with the owners.

We urge all small boat owners to ensure they wear lifejackets.

On Thursday an email arrived about a yellow canoe washed up by the old stone quay.

On investigation it appeared to have been in the water for some time and was filled with a lot of sand.

The canoe was removed from the water and the team returned to station.

If you want to report an incident , in an Emergency call 999.
The non emergency number is 01305 760439

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Patrol tasked to Shell Bay

Saturday's patrol were diverted to Shell Bay to assist South Western Ambulance.

A male had dislocated his ankle on the beach and required assistance to get to the ambulance.

The full team were tasked to Studland to assist with the incident.