Monday, 11 May 2009

Busy exercise (and sorry for the delay!)

Right...I'm feeling a little better now so here are a few more details from the weekend exercise.

In a sense Sunday's exercise was a big one for me. Since becoming one of the Stations Deputy Second Coxswains a number of years ago I have spent a lot of time acting as Second Coxswain for the other three (Martin, Rob and Dave) but very little time taking complete command of the lifeboat as Coxswain. So on Sunday I took the boat out for an exercise with my own crew...the sort of crew I would have is Martin, Rob and Dave were absent.

My intention was to give the engines a run, get Gav doing a little navigating and spend a bit of time running Paul E and Kev through a couple of seamanship evolutions with them acting as my Second Coxswains. Of course it didn't turn out like that. Events and colleagues conspired to scupper my plan.

Midway through out little Navigation exercise I overheard Deasy on the ILB talking to Portland about a kayaker which they had spotted in difficulty. It was agreed that they would take the kayaker onboard and head back towards Swanage along with his Kayak. After a brief discussion it was agreed that we would head off to meet them and take either the kayak or the Kayaker onboard. As it turned out we did both as the fellow was a bit cold from his swim.

Having practised this sort of thing last year the recovery of the kayak went smoothly and it was soon emptied of water. In short order it was stowed on the side deck and we returned to the slipway to land both the vessel and the casualty.

We then headed out to continue our exercise. And it was a busy day for kayakers in the bay. This bunch seemed well organised and had the added benefit of safety in numbers.

No sooner had we resumed our planned exercise than we had a 'For Exercise' shout from Portland Coastguard. They had had a report of an explosion on a fishing vessel 1/2 a mile SE of Peveril point. Of course we made best speed towards the casualty and dealt with what we found (burnt crewman, one crewman missing presumed overboard and a disabled boat). Kev and James boarded the boat to administer first aid. We did a quick search and found the casualty in the water, we then brought the casualty onboard the ALB before rigging up a tow to bring the casualty vessel home.

And it mostly went well and smoothly. So...a big thanks to Rob and Dave for arranging that little beauty for us!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the positive comment this is a group of young people from Herts Young Mariners Base Cheshunt Herts. I am the leader in the red decked white hulled "Romany" in the middle of the group.

Being a true Yorkshire Man and trained in Scotland I am even more generous than yourself. Moved down south to bring the message to these soft southerners with the aid of my wife (unfortunately Lancastrian).

If you ever need kayakists for an exercise, I often bring groups both young and adult to the area for training.

If you want to see who we are try