Friday, 20 April 2018

Behind the scenes

Our busy spell over Easter seems to have quietened down this week, but that doesn't mean the team hasn't been busy behind the scenes:

MONDAY:  Tidy up of kit and station after Sunday's incident.  Casualty came back to see us and to collect personal belongings.

TUESDAY: SO and DSO on station; tasked to investigate something in the bay.

WEDNESDAY: Visit from 20 members of Swanage NCI and a talk about our roles and joint working.

THURSDAY: Training night including some first aid work. New PPE had been delivered so this was unpacked and labelled.

FRIDAY: Our 4x4 off to the garage for maintenance.

So, as you'll see, it's not all blue lights and rescues - there's quite a lot goes on behind the scenes to keep the station ticking over.

Monday, 16 April 2018

The Good Samaritan ???

We blogged yesterday about a lone male who slipped on the Coast Path and broke his ankle.

Although he tried to phone for help, the casualty soon found out that there's no phone signal in the area, certainly not low down on the path itself.

With no phone signal and unable to walk, the casualty attracted the attention of another walker on the Coast Path and asked him to make a 999 call when he reached an area with reception.  The individual said he had no phone and so he took the casualty's own phone and set off to find some signal. 

Over 24 hours later, and neither the individual nor the phone have been seen since.  The phone rings out when dialled, but isn't being answered.  We'd hate to think that this was a malicious act, but sad to say that at the moment it is being treated as theft and the Police are making enquiries.  We are not even sure the 999 call was ever made.

The Casualty slipped at this location where there is no mobile signal

Fortunately, a second walker named John soon came by and also assisted.  He moved the casualty into a sheltered area and lent him his own coat before heading up the hill to call the emergency services himself.   He gave perfect directions and was waiting for us to show us the correct location once we RV'd at Verney Farm.  Our thanks go out to John who couldn't have been more helpful.

Do you know anything or have you heard of anyone who may have that phone?  Did anyone walking on the coast path near the Western Mile Markers see a discarded phone?  Please let us or Dorset Police know - we'd love to hear from you.

Broken Ankle on the Coast Path

The busy spell continues for the team who were tasked again on Sunday to attend to a walker who'd slipped and broken an ankle on the SW Coast Path directly south of Verney Farm.

Although initially tasked to assist the ambulance service, the team arrived well before the paramedics (the benefit of local knowledge and a 4x4 response vehicle) and so set about making the 60 year old male comfortable, monitoring his condition and administering first aid.

The incident occurred south of Verney Farm to the west of the Western Mile Marker
Waterlogged, muddy and slippy ground conditions coupled with the steepness of the cliffside at that location meant that extraction on foot was never a possibility and so Rescue Helicopter 175 was dispatched from Lee on Solent.  One option was to convey the casualty to hospital, but it was decided to fly him to the ambulance (which was parked on hard ground a mile or so away) where he could be attended to by the paramedics.

R175 waits until the casualty is ready to be winched into the aircraft.  It wasn't possible to land owing to the terrain

The team returned to the station to clean up some very muddy kit and to try to find temporary accommodation for Rummage, the man's dog who had been walking with him.  Sadly, there was no room for Rummage in the helicopter and so the team looked after her until a kind hearted member of the local community came forward and offered to take her in for the night.

Terry looks pleased to get the dog walking duties!

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Call to the beach

The team were tasked yesterday just after midday to a report of a person fallen off one of the wooden Groynes near to the former Ocean Bay.

On arrival a 12 year female was being treated by a paramedic but safely out of the water.

Whilst out dog walking with her family the young lady had slipped and cut her leg badly on the edge of the groyne.

The team supported South Western Ambulance and returned to the station just over an hour later.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Sunday Evening

The patrol was out tonight assisting Dorset Police in the Country Park area following a 'report of suspicious circumstances'.  The team undertook a brief search and assisted the police with location positioning and finally assisting the officers back to their vehicle at the end of the search.

Warning to Peveril Point walkers

During yesterdays incident in Durlston Bay the team came across this very recent fall at Peveril Point.

Normally this would be the natural process all along the cliff line except this was one of the paths down on to the point.

Please do not use this route as the fall is still active and moving.

In a Coastal emergency 999 Coastguard

Friday, 6 April 2018

The Power of Social Media

The team was called out on Friday night following reports of a dog over the cliff at the Downs and of two people who it was thought may have been missing after going to look for it. 

Whislt the team searched the base of the cliffs from Zig Zag back towards Peveril Point, the SO suggested putting a post on our Facebook page to see if anyone knew the persons over the cliff and whether they'd made it home safe and sound.

We issued a post from the scene and in a short space of time it had been shared 34 times and had reached over 3000 people. In approximately 10 minutes, the dog owner called the Ops Room having seen the post and confirmed that all was well and everyone accounted for, and the team duly stood down and returned to base.

The power of Social Media!

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Dorset Jurassic Coast Slip

Not in Swanage, but a little further to the west earlier this week.  As our own post at the weekend showed, the cliffs have soaked up a lot of rain water recently and are becoming increasingly unstable.

Click HERE to play video

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Further Incidents

The team have had a busy 24 hours .

Late yesterday afternoon the team were tasked along with the St Albans Team to support the Police on the Downs with a concern for a male.

The Male was quickly located safely by the Police as the team arrived.

This afternoon the team were tasked to support some off duty lifeboat crew and a Coastguard who had stopped to help a collapsed male.

The incident by the Mowlem saw volunteers from both organisations work together and provide vital first aid until ambulance crews arrived.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Swanage Sea Front Incident

The team were tasked this morning just before 9am to a report of a car in the water near to the Mowlem.

Working with emergency services colleagues from South Western Ambulance , Dorset Police , Dorset and Wilts Fire and Rescue , Air Ambulance and RNLI, a car was located in the sea and a pedestrian was found to be seriously injured.

There was initial concern that further persons were missing or trapped so the team set up for a water rescue. It was quickly established no other persons were missing so the team provided a cordon and safety cover for the other services.

The team remained on scene for six hours to further support Dorset Police whilst they carried out a detailed search and removal of the car.

Dorset Police have since announced the male pedestrian sadly passed away; our thoughts are with the family.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Easter Slip Watch and dog rescue

Today’s patrol headed out this afternoon to check some important areas.

First was Sheps Hollow and after some heavy rain there was fresh movement creating some small mud slips.

Our advice is to keep clear of the base of the cliffs at the moment.

Never walk up a cliff face , keep dogs on leads as they love running up the slopes - just one problem it’s very soft mud.

One small cave not to explore.

Having checked the cliff it was off to Studland where the patrol were flagged down by a dog walker.

The dog appeared to have broken its leg and the owner asked for assistance to get the dog back to the owners car and an urgent visit to the vets.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Slip , trip and a break

Today’s patrol were tasked to the foot path under Durlston Castle just after 1pm.

A walker had slipped walking their dog and broke their leg. South Western Ambulance has requested Coastguard assistance to get the female to the ambulance.

With the lady transferred to the ambulance , the team stood down to continue their patrol.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Cliff Training with a Difference

The big difference with Thursday's cliff training (or rope rescue training, to give it its proper name) is that there were no cliffs!

Instead, we used out first 'rope' session for a few weeks to run through some of the basics in a sterile environment on the grassy area next to the station - at least, it was sterile after we'd taken the precautionary inspection with a torch, shovel and doggy bag. Grrr!!!

Headquarters have provided us with some new kit recently, and so we used the opportunity to do a full cliff set up on a flat piece of land and try out the new items for the first time before we take them to the cliff top.

Main line and Safety Line Operators in position.  

It also gave us the opportunity to try different people in different roles and for us to introduce our newest team member to rope 'awareness' for the first time. (Rope Awareness is actually one of the achievement levels that someone needs to have reached before being part of a rope operation.  After that comes Rope Rescue Operator and Rope Rescue Technician. There's also a requirement for an Officer In Charge as part of the rope team, but I digress, and maybe more of that another time).

Rope Technician and two Edge Safety Officers

The whole operation was performed under floodlights, which adds another dimension, and we practised two methods of recovery - the petrol winch and the Z-Drag, a basic 2:1 gearing system for hand hauling. Again, more about our different recovery options in another blog!

The orange 'stake linking straps' in the foreground have replaced the previous system of using rope lashings. The Z-Drag recovery system is in use on the far side.

After a quick cup of tea (it was a chilly night!) all the kit was checked, repacked and stowed in the vehicle ready for service.

The Technician's view - normally the view is of a pair of ropes going vertically up the cliff to the quadpod, rather than along the flat

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Team provide further safety cover

The flood barrier was monitored last night during the high tide at the request of the Envirnoment Agency , Purbeck District Council and Swanage Town Council.

At high tide today some minor changes were required so a request was made to have Coastguard safety cover whilst the Town Council workers carried out the repairs.

This afternoon the Flood Warning was reduced to a flood alert.

The barrier will remain in place for another 24 hours.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Flood barrier deployed

This afternoon a request was made to the Coastguard to provide safety cover to the Town Council and Environment Agency workers whilst they build a barrier to prevent flooding in the Lower High Street.

A flood warning was issued earlier in the day and a decision was made to use a sandbag barrier rather than the metal barriers used in the last storm.
The reason for the change is due to safety concerns around the anchoring of the barrier and it moving.

Assisted by Police , Coastguard , Swanage Town Council and Envirnoment Agency - a temporary road closure was put in place to allow the barrier to be installed.

Some 30 personal were involved in filling and moving over 700 sandbags into place.

The barrier should stop any over topping and water running down to the Lower High Street.

The team redeployed this evening to check the barrier and waves against it.

Flood warning for Swanage Bay

The following Flood Warning will remain in force for two hours following the time of high tide. The time and date of the forecast high water for which this Flood Warning is in force is: 09:15 am on Sunday 18/03/2018.
The forecast wind direction is East North East The forecast wind strength is Force 7

Friday, 16 March 2018

Team called to washed up flares

Maritime distress flares are an important piece of safety equipment on board boats in case of emergencies.

They should always be used carefully and that comes to their disposal as well.

Several calls to the Coastguard yesterday (Thursday) saw the team being paged to report of flares being washed up on the beach. In total 3 rocket flares were recovered and had to be taken to the specialist collection point in Poole.

There are special locations for time expired flares, please don't throw them into the sea.

If located on the beach - leave them and dial 999 Coastguard

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Mortar Find

During the search last week , searchers located a mortar in a field at Durlston Country Park.

An army bomb disposal team attended and confirmed the item was live and carried out a controlled explosion.

It’s history and how it managed to end up at this location remains a mystery.

Should you discover something you think could be ordnance, do not touch - call 999 - Police or on the beach 999 - Coastguard

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Appeal for Missing Swanage Man

Dorset Police have continued to search for missing Swanage man Gerald Turner.

The 67 year old was reported missing at 11.30 on Sunday 4th March 2018.

Should you have any information as to where Gerald could be contact the Police immediately.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Search continues for Gerald Turner

28 Coastguards from across Dorset assisted in the search for the missing Swanage resident Gerald Turner.

HM Coastguard continued to support Dorset Police in searching the Townsend Nature Reserve, various old quarry workings in Holborn Park and then a large search from Anvil Point to Dancing Ledge.

The Swanage team would like to thank our colleagues from teams from West Bay to Poole in providing support to us.

A special thanks also goes to the community in supporting us especially Jewsons Swanage and the staff of Wide Horizons Townsend Road who not only allowed parking but then provided the searchers with food.

The Coastguard have now carried out searches from Ballard to Seacombe and will continue to support Dorset Police as requested.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Search for missing Swanage Resident

Coastguard teams from Swanage , St Albans and Kimmeridge has again proved assistance to Dorset Police in the search for Gerald Turner.

The 67 year old has been missing from his home in Church Hill since yesterday.

Coastguard’s along with partner agencies have conducted searches along the coast , cliffs and areas of Durlston and the Townsend nature reserve.

During the search today , a Coastguard search team located a 88mm Mortar shell in Durlston Park.
A EOD team attended and destroyed the item in situ.

Working with Dorset Police we would reminder readers not to put themselves at risk if searching.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Busy in the snow

As mentioned yesterday the team have been assisting partner agencies in the last three days mainly due to the bad weather.

The team have attended and monitored the flood barriers at high tide assisting the Town Council and Environment Agency.

A call to assist the ambulance to get to a medical incident.

Transport two nurses to various locations during the snow.

Recover a boat trailer being swept out in rough seas.

Recover a small dinghy washed up.

Tape off a structure on the beach which has become undermined in the bad weather.

Monitoring the barrier and ensuring people are safe during the high tide.

The barrier seems to have done its job and prevented flooding of nearby properties.

The force of the sea has moved the barrier several times.

There is debris washed up on the road. Town Council and Highway staff will attend and clear the road.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Team assisting multi agency response to weather

The team have been busy in the last 48 hours assisting partner agencies.

We will bring a full report in the next few days.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Temporary Sea Defence - First Deployment

The Environment Agency (EA) recently stationed an emergency modular flood barrier in Swanage for rapid response to low tidal flows and levels of flooding.

Swanage Town Council will be guardians of this equipment and will install it at the request of the EA, but the Coastguard also has a role to play in protecting members of the public and the Council team during installation and potentially deploying the barrier ourselves at times of short notice.

The DSO went for a briefing on the new equipment earlier in the week and gave it a good look over, whilst the Town Council deployed it today in readiness for tonight's high tide which is scheduled at 20:05 hrs.

The barriers are designed to hold back 500mm of flood water rather than prevent the odd wave crashing over.  It has been surges from high tide levels that has caused previous flooding in the lower High Street.
Thanks to Irene Wade, Ali Temel and Adrian Wright for kindly letting us use their photos today

Sunday, 25 February 2018

The Beast from the East

This weekend the team were sent out to check access routes and other survey work.

Prepare for the Beast from the East was the brief and check the area ready for the weather that is due this week.

Clearly they met some other beasts on their patrol !

Please monitor the weather reports this week as temperatures drop.

Keep and eye on those that may need some assistance in this  icy and cold weather.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Casualty Care

The team have been spending their Tuesday evenings during February practising their first aid and learning new skills.

Some new equipment is on the way so to start with it was just the basics.

Often we have to move casualties due to their location or Injuries and that’s not always easy.

practise , practise , practise - next weeks assessments !

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Team net an incident

As the patrol headed out today, the National Maritime Operations Centre requested the team attend a report of a large fishing net washed up at Peveril Point.

Watch keepers at the National Coastwatch lookout had reported the net and were concerned it could be a hazard.

The patrol headed down to the point and found several nets.
Sadly caught in the net were a couple of sea birds so a decision was taken to remove the nets.

A further net was located caught on some rocks so further team members were tasked to assist.

The net was collected up and removed to the boat park for collection by the Town Council , our thanks to them for their assistance.

It’s not always search and rescue incidents for the team but prevention work to avoid accidents or damage to our environment.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Hot Air

The SO and DSO have a regular catch up meeting to discuss the issues of the day, plan training and generally put the world to rights.

It's was such a beautiful morning that we were able to meet up outside today.


Monday, 12 February 2018

Tributes paid to Mike Tomlin

We were sad to learn of the death this week of Mike Tomlin former Swanage Sector Manager.

Mike came to Swanage from the east coast of England in 1986 and looked after the Swanage , St Albans , Kimmeridge and Lulworth teams until 2000.

On behalf of the Coastguard he will be fondly remembered with our thoughts with Fay his wife , children and grandchildren.