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!

Saturday, 29 May 2010


...was the lucky one who had a ride in the helicopter on Wednesday. It was a short ride but, judging by the grin on his face, a great deal of fun!

On the rather cramped afterdeck of the Mersey the winchman, Kev and Tom (who was tending the high-line) prepared for the lift.

It struck me that this new helicopter hovers much lover than the old Whiskey Bravo so the actual trip us was very short.

Once onboard it was a quick trip round the bay then back into formation on us ready for a lower back down.

Once again, the spray flew and made photographic conditions somewhat testing for Sam who was wielding my camera.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Suprise visit

I wasn't really expecting to take the boat out as Cox'n last night but somehow that's what happened. With little warning I found myself out there with a solid crew but not the most exciting plans of what to do. Imagine my delight then, when I heard over the radio one of our local Coastguard helicopters (Coastguard Helicopter 104, from Solent) calling to tell Deasy (navigator for the evening) that they were in the area and would like to spend some time exercising with us! Excellent...

So, out of the sunset they came, all red, white and exciting!

Their winchman, a nice bloke, came down on the winchwire and gave us a good briefing of what to expect.

All of us were surprised at the amount of spray which gets flung around by this new helicopter compared to the old 'Whiskey Bravo'.

This shot in particular shows vividly the cramped conditions on the afterdeck of a Mersey class lifeboat during helicopter operations.

Then after a few turns with the ILB they were off and heading for were we. To arrive back for a quick washdown before a meeting about this year's lifeboat week.

Happy days!!