Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Mighty Power Rangers

Dave, Tom and Neil have recently returned from the Divisional conference (held annually for key station personnel). At it they were told about the RNLI's environmental policy and how they want to make a 5% electricity saving across the whole of the Institution. Being as our own electricity bill runs in to the thousands each year, this should represent a worthwhile and significant saving. Typically, rather than seeing this as a call to turn off the odd light, Dave saw it as a chance to audit our power usage and develop some sophisticated timers and switches so that we can continued to do everything we need to but make at least a 5% saving and, knowing Dave, twice that.

So Dave's first move was this simple timer which when the button is pressed turns on the heater in the crew room for a set period of time.

Then, in a flash of inspiration he has designed this very clever box of tricks which, if pressed after a shout or exercise, will turn on the drying cupboard heaters for 6 hours...just long enough to dry our sodden drysuits and oilskins.

Alone this should be enough to save the required 5% but Dave is naturally not satisfied with this and now has the hot water boiler and station PC in his sights!

Well done Dave!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

There and back

So there was a quick shout this afternoon to head over to the other side of the bay to check on a kayak which had been reported to be in difficulty. As is quite often the case, it turned out that the boat wasn't actually in difficulty but had apparently been practising self-rescue techniques!

Still, it was a pleasant afternoon so most of us were perfectly happy to spend an hour on the slipway watching things happen and catching up on each others news.

Of course Sam was pleased to have got another shout under her belt so all was not wasted.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

That sinking feeling!

So the Mersey was out again yesterday, called this time to a small yacht which had been spotted adrift and seemingly unmanned.

Sure enough there was no one aboard so we sorted that by putting Gav on.

Un-accustomed to such burdens, the poor unfortunate vessel promptly sank!

It would seem that the vessel had been cast adrift from it's mooring and had then drifted out of the harbour.

(Photos: Boat camera)

Monday, 19 October 2009


It's almost unbelievable but last night Poole lifeboat station was broken into and ransacked by thieves. It's not certain at this point what was taken but what is certain is that many of the Poole crew have had a busy day sorting out their kit and trying to restore the place to some sort of order. Let's hope they catch the culprit(s) and find a way of re-briefing them about how decent members of a society should behave. In the meantime our thoughts are with the lads and lasses in Poole.

Friday, 16 October 2009


Good friend Nigel Saxon brought this new RNLI YouTube video to my attention. I really approve of this sort of attempt to boost the positive image of young people and what they contribute to communities. We are lucky in Swanage in having a good number of young people on our crew with more joining all the time. Please pass this link on to as many people (young and old) as you can. Thanks.

Thursday, 15 October 2009


Last nights exercise was once more a game of two halves. To begin with the ALB launched at 1800 with an assessor onboard and ran through a number of CoBT assessments. I understand that these all went well and that many of our crew are now closer to being fully competent in all aspects of their training.

The Alb then came in for a crew change and then went to sea for a second time with a more experienced crew and undertook a night navigation exercise using radar and chart-plotter around East Loe channel. Again this went well and everyone demonstrated that they understood what was being done and achieved all that could be expected of them.

On return, I had my first go at re-housing the boat while using a breasting line which proved to be interesting but ultimately successful! Phew...

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Bear with me

For a variety of reasons life seems to have got a whole lot busier recently. Consequently I seem to have very little time for blogging at the moment. It's not that nothing is happening in our lifeboating world in Swanage...quite the opposite...things are very busy one way or another. However, for some reason none of it seems easy to write about in the time I have available. So, what I think I'm saying (and this may well change tomorrow or indeed at any other time in the future) is that there is going to be little in the way of action around here for a while 'till things calm down.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Lifeboats 365

I have mentioned recently to a few folk that I had a new idea for a blog which I was mulling over. Over the summer I got a fair number of photos from tourists, friends and other people involved with lifeboats which they thought might find a place on this blog. Having given this some thought, I've decided that I would like to keep the Lifeboat Scrapbook fairly exclusively about our crew and boat in Swanage but create a space for a more collaborative blog about lifeboats and maritime lifesaving in general. Here is my first attempt, if you would like to contribute (and there will only be any content if you do) then please e-mail me at remember to include both photos and pictures which I do not intend to edit unless absolutely necessary.

Friday, 2 October 2009


As I anticipated, Paul Savage, Clinical Lead from the RNLI, felt inclined to add some detail to yesterday's post:


Last year the MCA requested that P4 was dropped in favour of the term "dead". This is partly because in strict international triage rules P4 does not mean dead. P4 is a category called "expectant" which means the patient is not dead but will not survive the injuries they have sustained. This call is usually made by a doctor.

Also, in line with all the other emergency services, when involved in a major incident management and using the triage sieve, if the patient is not breathing they are "declared" dead. Certification of death will be done after the incident by a doctor and police officer.
These rules only apply on mass casualties, the definition of which is casualties outnumbering rescuers on a 1:to:1 ratio.
When rescuers outnumber casualties non-breathing casualties will always be given CPR and be a P1 patient.

Hope this helps.


Many thanks Paul for the detailed all makes sense now!

Thursday, 1 October 2009


Dave has just sent an email around to let us know that a new piece of kit has just arrived at the station. He often does this to keep us in the loop and fully informed of what is changing. Not that we often have to resort to triage, but in the past we have identified each casualties priority level with a card tag which would be attached to them. We now have these rather nifty arm bands which are much clearer and will remove a lot of the confusion. The said, I'm suprised to see that we should now be categorising casualties as 'Dead' rather than the old P4...somehow it felt more subtle and perhaps professional to refer to them as a priority number (also, we have always been told that we are not qualified to declare someone as being dead therefor were not allowed to use the term. Just goes to show that things do change.

Thanks Dave for the photo