Tuesday, 30 June 2009

More new winch wire

Dave has been busy once more. He's just sent us all an e-mail to let us know that the ILB winch has just been fitted with a dynex rope the similar (but not purple & a lot smaller) to the ALB one. It is a lot more costly than the old steel ones but hopefully will last a long time as it won't corrode when it gets wet. Also it won't kink and should be a lot nicer to handle. It is also slightly longer which should help with low water recovery.

(Photo: Dave)

Monday, 29 June 2009

Busy but quiet

So it was a quiet lifeboating weekend. Though the weather was good, and there were plenty of people about on the water, they all managed to keep themselves safe and avoid calling upon our services.

Making good use of this lull a group of us took to the water on Sunday morning for a spot of wakeboarding/kneeboarding and waterskiing. And good it was too!
Nick got up first go on a wakeboard...well done mate

John Mono-skied and carved up some huge turns.

Dee was looking good and got some small air under her board.

And, doing her bit for the tourist board took in the sight of Tenacious which was visiting.

Daz was also looking good and getting some good air.

A fun morning, thanks John for the boat.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Both boats

Due to a rather busy day yesterday I failed to mention yesterday that both boats were busy on Wednesday afternoon with another shout. This time it was a yacht which had gone aground in slight seas just to the west of Chapman's Pool. Luckily for them it was a rising tide so the merest of pulls from the ILB soon brought them off into deeper water. Once there the bilges were checked by the skipper for water ingress before the vessel was declared fit to proceed on her passage to Weymouth. Once they were on their way both boats headed back to station. Job done.

One of the great things about shouts like this during the working week is that there are always crew out of town so lots of our less experienced crew get a shout. Good for experience and good for moral.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

That reminds me....

Lifeboat week is coming up soon. We'd all love you to come so here is the up to date list of events to tempt you.

Sun 9th 10:00 - 16:00 Comp, Swanage Angling Club
Sun 9th 11:00 - 16:00 Lifeboat Fair, P.A.G.
Sun 9th 19:30 - 23:00 Shakespeare Production, P.A.G.
Mon 10th 19:00 - 21:00 VIP Boathouse Guided Tours (Tickets £10)
Tue 11th 17:30 - 19:00 Junior Race, Sailing Club
Wed 12th 10:00 - 16:00 Book Stall, Swanage Seafront
Wed 12th 19:00 - 21:00 VIP Boathouse Guided Tours (Tickets £10)
Wed 12th 20:00 - 23:00 Fun Quiz, Swanage Con Club
Thur 13th 18:00 - 21:00 Pilot Gig Race, Main Beach
Thur 13th 18:30 - 20:30 Senior Race, Sailing Club
Thur 13th 20:00 - 00:00 Beach Party, The Ship Inn
Fri 14th 10:00 - 15:00 Flag Day street collection
Fri 14th 18:00 - 23:00 Live Music, Bar & BBQ, P.A.G.
Sat 15th 11:00 - 17:00 Cream teas, music & stalls, P.A.G.
Sat 15th 12:00 - 16:00 Build a boat competition, P.A.G.
Sat 15th 16:00 - 17:00 Build a boat race, Stone Quay
Sat 15th 17:00 - 18:30 Raft race, Main Beach
Sat 15th 18:00 - 23:00 Live Music, Bar & BBQ, P.A.G.
Sun 16th 12:00 - 16:00 Cream teas, music & stalls, P.A.G.
Sun 16th 12:00 - 16:00 Lifeboat Festival, P.A.G.
Sun 16th 19:00 - 20:00 Lifeboat Service, Swanage Pier

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Forgotten shout

In the rush to reach the weekend I completely forgot to add the details of last Friday's shout. The Alb was launched to got to the assistance of a 50' Fairline motor cruiser which thought they might have struck an underwater object and damaged their sterngear.
Here is a copy of the report from our station website:

The cruiser had earlier radioed in to say that they had lost drive on one engine possibly caused by hitting an underwater object. They were returning home on one engine when they started to smell burning coming from the engine room, there also seemed to be water in the bilges. Portland Coastguard immediately requested the launch of Swanage's All Weather Lifeboat and vessels in the area were asked to make their way to the cruiser. The lifeboat launched and headed to the casualty's position, 6Nm East of Durlston Head. The salvage pump was made ready just in case. Once on scene station mechanic, Dave Turnbull, was put aboard to assess the situation. He was able to confirm that the boat was taking in a small amount of water through the shaft seal due to catastrophic failure of the shaft coupling. A tow line was connected and the slow tow back to Poole commenced.
The speed was kept to 3 knots as the damaged shaft was overheating and could damage its seal further causing more water to leak in. Once outside Salterns Marina a crew from the yard came aboard and took the boat in tow so she could be lifted straight out of the water. The lifeboat was then free to return to Swanage.

(Photos are from the boats camera - photographer unknown)

Friday, 19 June 2009

Even after all...

It is not uncommon during an exercise to use a vast amount of the kit that we carry onboard. The list of equipment which we get out might include the 'x-boat', first aid kits, stretcher, emergency steering, salvage pump, drogue, tow rope etc etc. Once back in the boathouse much of this can be re-packed and stowed away for next time. However, a lot of it needs to be dried off first. Consequently, the morning after an exercise, the boat looks a little bit like a gypsy camp with the boat festooned with kit waiting to dry. If we subsequently get a shout there is bit of a scramble to return all of the kit to its proper stowage before we launch. Otherwise Dave will do it over the course of the next day or two as and when the kit drys.

Even after all
You just survive soldier
And your soul is beautiful
And your soul is good
Ride on and turn the people on

(Even after all - Finlay Quaye)

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

On the pull

We are all lifelong learners nowadays...at least that's what our government tells us. So last night practise got underway for this summers RNLI Gig racing challenge. Martin and Karina (Mrs Coxswain) took charge and introduced a select group of novice/beginner lifeboatcrew to the pleasures of Gig rowing. Actually, to be honest, Martin just sat there along with the rest of us and did exactly as he was told by Katrina. It quickly became clear that I was being given an opportunity to learn first hand from a veritable Yoda (this comparison does not apply in respect of Karina's looks, stature, posture or comlexion) of man management teaching...

One thing quickly became apparent. When Karina is in charge, she knows exactly what she wants doing, is very capable of putting those expectations across, and woe betide anyone who doesn't do as they are told!It was certainly a pleasure to witness Martin relegated to sitting up at the front of the boat with a rope in his hand.
He was even spotted doing a bit of manual labour.

And afterwards we enjoyed a very pleasant cup of tea at the pierhead courtesy of Jill (Ty's Mum).

All good fun...

Monday, 15 June 2009

Any one for croquet?

Since April twelve teams have been competing in the Swanage RNLI Croquet knockout competition. This is the third year that this event has been run as a fundraiser and it is once more proving to be very successful. Every Wednesday evening six Teams compete on the Lawns adjacent to the Cricket Club in North Swanage and go about the business of quietly raising money but also bringing people together who perhaps are not associated with the Lifeboats in any other way. Teams participating include a local Dental Practice, the Lions Club, a group called Probus, the table tennis club, some bowlers, a team from Swanage Sailing Club, a team from National Coastwatch Institute, Church Teams, a Swanage Hospital team, a group of Golfers and also individuals who have formed their own teams.

The knockout competition continues to late July or early August (weather dependent) when the final will be played and The RNLI trophy presented. The competition has proved to be an excellent and worthwhile event, with an superb atmosphere which ends with a drink and get together in the pleasant surroundings of the Cricket Club bar to round off the evening. By the way, the above photo provided by Robin shows our own team of Val, Ann, Sandra and Colin.

Well done to you all!

We've been quiet but.....

Lyme Regis Lifeboat and Portland Coastguard have been busy:

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Not for the faint hearted!

It was a good exercise last night. Dan and Tom set up a fishing boat based scenario which involved 3 injured and 1 missing crewmembers. Both boats dealt with it and did a fair job of sorting out the difficulties.

Oli played the part of one of the injured crewmembers and had an arm which had been severed leading to a catastrophic and life-threatening bleed.

Daz also played one of the injured crewmembers and also had a nasty injury, this time an open fracture of one of his arms.

It is clear that we are not only getting better at dealing with these sorts of injuries...we are also getting much better at making the scenarios realistic! (Amazing what can be done with a bottle of ketchup)!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009


Ian Brown, station officer of the Coastguard in Swanage was been having a few problems last week.

It turns out that an impostor, styling themselves as Swanage Coastguard, had opened a Twitter account and was posting defamatory, racist, homophobic and slanderous comments about members of the Coastguard and, I am led to believe, the Lifeboat crew. Now, bit of me thinks this is funny, however, not having seen the content I'm not really in a position to comment. However, it does remind one that anything written on the Internet which is public and criminal could essentially be used as evidence against you in a court of law.

It would seem that Ian has informed Dorset police about the contents of the Tweets and has asked them to investigate. It will be interesting to see what happens. It would certainly be worth this person remembering in future that nothing on the Internet is 'Anonymous' and that the same laws apply here as they do anywhere else in the media.


Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Welcome Aboard...

Meet Paul Boissier (or to use his full title Vice Admiral Paul Boissier Royal navy), he has been named today as the successor to Andrew Freemantle as the Chief Executive officer (formerly known as the Director) of the RNLI. Like his predecessor, he has had a glittering and distinguished military career before being head-hunted to take up what must be perhaps one of the most prestigious jobs within the charitable sector. To quote the press release:

After more than 10 years’ service, Chief Executive Andrew Freemantle will be retiring in September. After a lengthy search, Chairman The Lord Boyce and the Trustees have now chosen his successor.

Following stiff competition for one of the charity sector’s most rewarding and prestigious jobs, the new Chief Executive will be Paul Boissier.

Paul, 55, who recently retired from the Royal Navy, says: ‘I have been absolutely bowled over by the sense of commitment, service, courage and energy that drives the RNLI and its people. It is one of the most valued and respected charities, doing a uniquely challenging job in a way that cannot be matched anywhere else in the world. It is a huge privilege to be asked to be the Chief Executive and I greatly look forward to taking up the appointment.’

Andrew Freemantle comments: ‘My warmest congratulations go to Paul Boissier on being selected for this marvellous job. I have no doubt that he will enjoy it as much as I have. For me, it has been an enriching experience to work for such a wonderful organisation. My very best wishes go to Paul and to everyone in the RNLI family, past and present, for even greater success in the future.’

After graduating in Mechanical Engineering at Cambridge University, Paul joined the Royal Navy, specialising in navigation. He served in and then commanded a variety of submarines, before moving to the surface fleet as Captain of an anti-submarine frigate.

At Portsmouth Naval Base, he was responsible for repairing and accommodating most of the Navy’s ships. As Chief Executive of the Naval Support Organisation in Bristol, he worked closely with a variety of industrial partners and managed the three naval dockyards. Paul spent his last 2½ years in the Royal Navy as Chief Operating Officer, integrating HR, support, training, logistics and procurement.

Paul has sailed extensively with his wife Susie in their boat Snow Goose. He has also written a book on the maritime rules of the road, and for 3 years was Commodore of the Royal Naval Sailing Association. He is a Younger Brother of Trinity House. Away from the sea, he enjoys travel, gardening and writing and bread making.

So it does indeed sound as if a worthy successor to Andrew Freemantle has been found. We look forwards to welcoming Paul over here in Swanage in the near future and wish him a fair wind when taking up his new job in September.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Pity the poor mechanic

After a shout or an exercise, the lifeboat is washed down by all present then, while the rest of the crew get off the boat, the mechanic must complete the remainder of his tasks...refuelling the boat, re-stocking any stores used, re-ordering anything which requires it, fixing anything which has been broken before being able to finish up. Sometimes this takes 10 minutes, sometimes several hours...by which time most of the rest of the crew have disappeared.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

ILB helo

Last Sunday was an exercise morning and the Coastguard Helicopter was out for the exercise. Unusually they spent lots of time working with the ILB much to Gav's delight (he was the only helm).

Tonight is an Ops Team meeting...

And she'll have fun fun fun
til her daddy takes the t-bird away
(fun fun fun til her daddy takes the t-bird away)

(Beach boys)