Thursday, 18 November 2010

Lucky Chad...

To finish the week we ran through a few scenarios thoughtfully provided by Jen.  Lucky Chad ended up as a diver with a bend in his favourite position...clenched between another chaps thighs!

All good fun!

Bet you can't guess what we're doing tonight!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Busy night...

Tonight is our first scenario night.  So far it seems to be going well, but we are only being drilled on what we've learnt so far, so pretty simple stuff. 

In this photo Chad and Tom are dealing with an unconscious sailor who has been hit on the head with a boom.  As taught they are working through their check cards and trying hard not to panic!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Quick as a flash...

It seems like no time since we did our last first aid course.  However, it's three years now so here we are again.  This time we have a lovely instructor called Jen who seems to know what she is talking about...which is encouraging!

It's always tough to concentrate at the end of a long working day but of course, there's a great incentive when doing first aid...the understanding that you are gaining the knowledge to save a life.  Good news.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Front page

This quarter's Lifeboat, Offshore and Compass magazines have just fallen on the door matt. There's a couple of photos and mentions of Swanage Lifeboat inside due to the service we performed in August with the local trip boat. It's always nice to get a mention!

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Expect the un-expected

So, I went for a paddle with a few mates this afternoon. A classic trip in our parts, K-Bay to Swanage. A 2 1/2 hour trip if you play the tides right and usually a few lumpy spots of fun around the headlands.

Steve also came with us as I have two lovely sea kayaks at the moment...we even managed to practise a few Shanties!

And then, before we really knew what was happening we had been sucked into a rescue of two climbers. As Eurion paddled past he noticed them waving. Of course he waved and paddled you do! We then noticed that the climbers were actually very friendly indeed, and in fact, perhaps not just friendly but also stuck. Upon paddling closer and having a chat this in fact turned out to be the case.

So we did what we do...called the Coastguard and explained the situation and what we thought might be the correct assistance. Naturally the Coastguards tone on the radio changed ever so slightly once they realised that they were dealing with two fellas who had seen this situation a number of times before. So we waited around at the base of the cliff (in a rather uncomfortable swell) until the Coastguard cliff rescue team arrived on scene and we had guided them to the spot.

So we then carried on our way...

And returned to Swanage feeling like quite the dutiful citizens...

All good.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Wish you were here...

Sadly, due to having to eke a living working out of town, I now miss more shouts than I like. Truth be told, many of them are not terribly exciting and, ultimately I don't lose much sleep over them. However, every now and then one comes along which I am gutted to have missed. Friday's shout was one such...

Sat at my desk marking books, the first I knew was that I got a text to say the boat had launched. Logging into I was able to watch the track of the lifeboat in (almost) real time. Curiously they seemed to leave the end of the slipway and head directly to Poole from the end of the slip, seemingly without doing anything much on the way...odd.

Later the story unfolded. A story of rescuing one of our own. Of course, nothing gives us greater pleasure that rescuing one of our own...does it Rob?!

The full story can be read here....

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
We're just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl,
Year after year,
Running over the same old ground.
What have we found
The same old fears.
Wish you were here.

(Pink Floyd)

Friday, 24 September 2010

Dirty thirty...

So it's Gav's birthday party tonight. It seems most of the crew is present...along with Jim Etherington playing some tunes and a substantial number of the rugby club.  I'm guessing it might get messy?

Happy birthday Gav....

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

The bringer of bad stuff...

Paul Savage came and provided a medical scenario this evening. Once again it was a juicy exercise, this time to a casualty who'd fallen down the cliff....

As always there are lessons to be learnt...perhaps most of all, we learnt that in certain situations speed is of the essence.  Hopefully, next time we have this situation, we will understand more clearly what is needed!

That said, those involved dealt with the casualty effectively and hopefully saved a life. If nothing else, at least some of the newer crew now know what a casualty who has fallen down a cliff might look like.


Monday, 20 September 2010


one of the great things about being part of the crew is that there is always a handy gang available to help you lift stuff.  Sometimes, what goes around takes a long time to come around...but yesterday I finally repaid Gav for his help when moving 7 years ago!

Fine work...

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Woof woof

so the ILB has just launched to assist a dog owner recover their unfortunate hound from the base of Old Harry. No real news yet....I'll let you know if it's an interesting story.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Lifeboat Lobster....

It seems like every year we manage to add more to our already busy lifeboat week. One fantastic addition to our event this year was a raffle for a lovely big lobster. Swanage Bay Fish proprietors Julia and Terry very kindly donated the prize and I believe arranged the raffle. In total their customers raised £145 for the RNLI. The lucky winner being a local lady, Mrs Cotterell. Well done Mrs Cotterell (and if you need anyhelp eating it just let me know!)

Many thanks to Swanage Bay Fish for their support.

Saturday, 21 August 2010




Ollie's better half, Kate, has been busy this spring making this awesome chap. He's doing his bit for raising funds during lifeboat week due to having a mystery name...can you guess it?

I for one really want to win him as he is certainly  the most detailed knitted lifeboating I've ever seen.

Thanks Kate...

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

In days of Yore

Men wore tweed jackets, Oilskins, Kapok (whatever that is) Lifejackets and Sowesters.

I love the detail of old the head launcher with the hammer, one dangerous looking chap with a pistol (varey pistol?) and another rather lucky chap with a couple of flags! Somehow these guys look rather heroic and this to our motley crew who turned up to the shout on Saturday wearing board-shorts and flip-flops!

I wonder, would anyone care to date this photo or name the boat? Indeed, does anyone out there know the name of any of the crew?

Interestingly, the building here still forms part of our building and the cobble slipway still exists underneath ours...built to last!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

41 pob

And I forgot the dog!

Full up...

just as the Red Arrows finished their routine over the bay our pagers went off once more. This time to a local pqssenger ferry had run aground while scattering ashes.

Once on scene near old harry we began taking all 34 passengers onboard and transferring them on to another passenger boat.  The tally included on old fella in a wheelchair and a babe in arms!

Anyway, they all ended up safely onto one of the Belles and happily on their way. 

Good job...

Friday, 6 August 2010

Chain of events...

So, we are sat in the crew room drying off and warming up after a quick shout to a yacht in difficulty off Anvil point.  Doing so we are reflecting on the unfortunate chain of events which led to this shout.  Sometimes the difference between happy sailing and crisis is nothing more than a broken shackle and some dirt in the fuel...

Thursday, 5 August 2010

More pulling...

Tonight is the pub gig rowing regatta In the carnival.  The crew has entered 3 teams and thing are going well so far.  A good bit of healthy competition can't be bad!

And, a quick update...I'm delighted to report that we won...(well, sort of, one of the RNLI boats won, my boat came second and the WAGS came sixth. Good result.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Red devils

Tonight men fell from the sky. As part of the Carnival we were asked to provide as many boats as possible to act as rescue boats for the Red Devils parachute display team. Dave, JFL, Matt and myself had the privilege of being there on the water in the landing zone ready to pick the guys up as they landed on the water. Just one of the great joys of living here...

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Today is the day

So, here we are on the carnival start line ready to go. The boat is looking fab and she generating a huge amount of interest.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

She's here...

So, after a considerable journey and no small number of emails and phone calls, the 'William Riley of Birmingham and Leamington' is finally here. Now we've just got to work out how to pull her around town and row her! In any case, for the moment she looks wonderful parked up at the Middle School....

Friday, 30 July 2010


And they just keep coming...towards the bottom of the M3 we passed the 'William Riley" on a Low-loader heading for HQ in Poole. Hopefully Deasy will then tow her over to Swanage tonight ready for the Carnival procession on Sunday.

They're everywhere!

So we are heading home on the M3 and pass yet another lifeboat.  This time it is Margate's Mersey 12-20.  Our own, 12-23 was out again last night, this time for a shorter trip. Looking forward to getting home...

Thursday, 29 July 2010

No getting away from it...

so, I'm in London with the family for a mini cultural break but of course there is no getting away from lifeboating...I might have missed last nights shout but I still got to witness a bit of action here!

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Quick bit of assistance...

The ILB has just launched for a quick job in the bay...not sure what it is, yet but probably not terribly epic.   Keep you posted.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

I'll shout.

The ILB has just launched to assist three swimmers in the water.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Cameron's Christening

This Afternoon we've all been busy at the Christening of Chad and Jane's son Cameron.  The weather held and there were loads of folk dressed up for the occasion.  Even the pagers managed to stay quiet!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010


So, we're out on exercise training Daz and Barren how to use the Drogue.  All good fun and they're doing very well!

Monday, 21 June 2010

Secret weapon

So tonight was the final of the lifeboat darts competition.  We had three crew teams entered and Sam and Charlotte were the secret weapon of the C team! 

John F Gilmour
via HTC legend


Here's a shot of last nights casualty taken from the ILB helmet camera.  Luckily for the occupants some of it seem to have remained afloat.

Except it wasn't!

So last nights shout wasn't quite what we expected. And that happens sometimes...the initial information from the Coastguard leads you to form an opinion about the shout which eventually turns out to be completely wrong. Last night was one of those occasions.

Anticipating a drifting kids inflatable, what the ILB crew actually found was a 12 foot inflatable with a 25 horse-power engine on the back. It had two punctured tubes and had almost entirely sunk with its crew in the water.

Before long it was in tow, crew in the ILB and heading back towards the beach at Ocean Bay.

Job done!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Lovely sunny evening...

No sooner had I put my fork down after Sunday diner than the pagers went off.  A typical Sunday evening shout, inflated dingy drifting out to sea...hopefully all well.

Monday, 14 June 2010


The shout was a pretty straightforward tow of a yacht into Pooled harbour.  The only real excitement was the fact that our VHF broke!  Still, we've always got a back up and the lads coped just fine.  They arrived at Poole at tea time but sadly had no money for chips on.the quay...luckily the Poole DLA came up trumps with chocolate cake!

Back on the slip

It's always frustrating to miss a shout. I've been ill recently so missed a frustrating amount of action. Today  I returned to work then got home to find the boat out. And here they are just returning to the slip.  More later...

Monday, 7 June 2010

All the colours of the rainbow.

I meant to post this on Saturday but forgot.  This was the scene in the car park at the end if the day after the OK classic fishing competition.  I believe that Dave was there to receive the donation of 500 pounds (the combined entry fees rounded up by the nice folks at Johnson outdoors).

Saturday, 5 June 2010

All in aid of a good cause...

So the kayak fishermen are in town for a fishing competition. Nearly 50 of them are out on the water and their entry fee of a tenner is being donated to the RNLI (the competition is being sponsored by Ocean Kayaks with a brand new kayak as the first prize. Good on you folks and have a good days fishing.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

One of the best things about my job

is days like this!

Please mind the gap

It was another great exercise last night, in the wheelhouse Deasy and Dave grappled with the new Foruno plotter. Meanwhile, up on deck, Shi, Kev and myself anchored the boat and paddled ashore in the x boat for a bit of landing practise. We used the ILB as our method of escape and the video shows a skillful bit of boathandling from Andy Lyons assisted by useful 'spotting' from Becky.

I'm still not sure what martin and Steve spent the evening doing!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Good crowd tonight...

A good crowd of watchers tonight.

Lunch date.

Lunch today was a sociable event down at the Boathouse. We had a group of folk visiting us being shown a real life lifeboat station by various staff from HQ in Poole (and Divisional base South). It was our pleasure to show them around the station and talk to them a little about the work we do.

Two for the price of one...

I've just been informed by Dave that we have a shiny new chart plotter onboard (the top one in this rather poor photo. This replaces both the old Navstar plotter (which acted as our back-up GPS) and also our echo-sounder. I suspect that the idea behind this is to free up a bit of space for some other new piece of this space.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Sunny bank holiday...

Despite it being a bank holiday, the weather has held up and Swanage is once again full to the gunnels.  Quiet so far on the lifeboating front, I've been out in the bay with the girls getting a bit of time on the water.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

The Bends...

OK, so I wasn't there for the shouts today, so I might as well get someone who was to write this one up...introducing Becky:

The bank holiday brought its usual flurry of visitors to the town and shouts. Following a quiet Saturday the pagers sounded for the first time on Sunday at 13.45. The town was heaving and crew had to negotiate the crowds and queuing traffic to make it to the station in time. On arrival at the station it was no suprise that those first on site were those that had come on foot or bicycle!

On arrival we were informed that we had been stood down and the reported missing diver had in fact been found safe and well. However, a few minutes later we were told that the diver was suffering suspected bends and was therefore to be air-lifted to a decompression chamber from our lifeboat slipway. The local Coastguard were on hand to assist.

Today's DLA Dave Corben had his camera at hand and managed to get these snaps whilst typing up the service report, thank you Dave.

Less than 3 hours later the pagers were off again and the ILB was tasked to a 15 foot power boat with its anchor caught close into the rocks off Peveril Ledges. This combined with two flat batteries had rendered the boat and crew stranded at sea. The ILB was quickly on scene releasing the anchor and towing the casualty vessel back to land.

Thanks for providing dinner in exchange for writing a blog, the bribery worked!.......................

To the rescue...

So, it has been a busy  lifeboating day here in Swanage.  Not that I can tell you what's been happening.  I been busy driving to Somerset and back to rescue Liz who has just completed the second of two 120 mile bike rides. Unfortunately her lift abandoned her today hence a rather long drive for me.  I'll fill you in on the details of the shouts once I know more!