Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Whitehaven Coastguard Rescue Team Rescue Two from Redness Point

This afternoon (Weds 2nd September) UK Coastguard received a call from Cumbria police reporting two people at Redness Point, near Whitehaven who were stuck on rocks and were becoming cut off by a rising tide.

The Whitehaven Coastguard Rescue Team arrived on scene and were able to recover the people to the shore, where they were handed into the care of the North West Ambulance.

Stuart Atkinson, the Senior Coastal Operations Officer said,

“I cannot praise the efforts of the team highly enough. The guys were on scene quickly and effectively recovered the two people before they got into real danger.  We always encourage members of the public to check the weather and tidal conditions before they set out.  At sea changes in tidal streams could make conditions worse, particularly if the wind and tide are against each other. Consider whether you could become cut off by the incoming tide, above all do not take risks. If you get into trouble, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

You can check marine weather at this link: and tides at this link:

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Diver found due to Personal Locator Beacon

Just after 2:30pm today (1st Sept) UK Coastguard received a mayday call from a dive support vessel reporting an overdue diver.

The diver’s buddy had resurfaced but had lost sight of his diving partner.

A large scale search was initiated and involved RNLI Lifeboats from Penlee, Lizard and Falmouth as well a Rescue Helicopter from Culdrose.

The missing diver was wearing a personal locator beacon (PLB) which had been activated and was instrumental in locating him. The warship HMS Somerset was in the vicinity and spotted the diver, who was conscious and waving, the warship was then able to direct the dive boat to the casualty for recovery.

Maritime Operations Controller, Andrew Jenkins, said

“In this instance the diver's PLB helped us identify his location. These devices are inexpensive and extremely easy to operate, the PLB helped us pin-point and recover the casualty in good time.

We always recommend that divers are adequately qualified and experienced for the dives that they undertake, and keep a close eye on weather and sea conditions.

This diver is to be commended for making the sensible decision to wear a PLB, which you could say saved his life today.”

The recovered diver has now been airlifted to Derriford hospital in Plymouth for routine medical checks.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

NEWS: Vessel Towed to Peterhead After Collision At Sea

A 24 metre fuelling vessel called Erin Wood is being towed to Peterhead this evening after a collision with a Cyprus registered cargo vessel Daroja.
At 5.10pm Aberdeen Coastguard received a Mayday call from the Erin Wood with two crew on board, which had taken on water following a collision approximately two miles off Peterhead with a cargo vessel.  No injuries to crew were reported.
Aberdeen Coastguard requested the launch of Peterhead All Weather Lifeboat and other vessels offered assistance.  The Erin Wood was taken under tow by a fishing vessel into Peterhead and the cargo vessel has also gone to Peterhead.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency will be attending both vessels and an investigation is underway.
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch, MAIB has also been informed.

Friday, 28 August 2015

NEWS: Skye hoax caller jailed

A man who has been found guilty of making multiple hoax calls to the UK Coastguard has been jailed for four months.

Alasdair Munro, 55, from Kyleakin, Skye, appeared before Sheriff Scott at Portree Sheriff Court on 27th August 2015.

Mr Munro denied all charges but was found guilty of an offence contrary to the Communications Act 2003 section 127.

The court was told that Mr Munro had called HM Coastguard multiple times on 30th October 2013 claiming that a yacht was lost in Loch Hourn.

Mr Munro explained that he had spoken to someone on VHF radio stating that they were lost in Loch Hourn and didn’t know how to get out.

In response to his call, the Mallaig RNLI Lifeboat and Kyle Coastguard Rescue Teams were sent to search for the vessel.

The yacht that Mr Munro claimed to have heard from was not found. Police interviewed Mr Munro and found that there was legitimate cause to believe that the calls to the Coastguard had been a hoax.

In passing sentence, Sheriff Scott said in his view that Mr Munro was guilty of the offence beyond reasonable doubt.

Mr Munro apologised for what he had done.

In jailing him for four months, Sheriff Scott said it was an extremely serious office.

Jackie Mackenzie, HM Coastguard, said:

"The important thing is that the hoax caller was found and punished. HM Coastguard fully supports the action of the police and the court in dealing with this offence.  Hoax calls can, and in this case did tie up a valuable maritime Search and Rescue resource.

“Those who risk their own safety to rescue others should also not be put at needless risk in responding to hoax distress calls.”

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Feature: How deep is the ocean? We know.

When you go out to sea in your boat, you need to trust your chart. You need to know where you’re going, what the potential hazards are and how deep it is. It’s all there on your chart. But have you ever wondered how anyone can tell how deep the water is when you can’t see the seabed?

The answer might surprise you. The process used to find out the depth of the water is similar to that used by bats and marine mammals to navigate and also that used in some medical procedures: sound. 

In the past, of course, it was the old plumb line that was used to work out the depth, but now boats measuring the depth use echo sounders. A sound wave is sent to the seabed - the time it takes for the signal to get back to the boat tells you how deep the water is. It can also give an indication of what the seabed in that place is made of. Sound waves bounce off rock more easily than they do sand.

The work is carried out as part of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s running of the UK Civil Hydrography Programme (UKCHP). We use the latest technologies to continually survey UK waters. When the data comes in, it’s processed and checked. Images like this one of Lundy can be made from the data. Although it looks nothing like the charts you use on your boat, it is used to make them.

The MCA pass the UKCHP data to the UK Hydrographic Office which then uses it to make the charts. From a survey being completed to a chart being available to buy takes around 4 months, meaning when you buy one, you have the most up to date information available.

It’s a lot of work but it’s about producing data that can be trusted. And when you’re sailing your boat or trying to bring a container ship into port, that’s something you really need to know.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

NEWS: Two people rescued after fishing vessel sank off Dungeness

Two crew were rescued from the sea off Dungeness early this morning after a fishing vessel sank in the English Channel. 

At 03:28 BST UK Coastguards at Dover were alerted by their French counterparts at Cap Griz Nez that they had received a mayday call from a fishing vessel in difficulties. The fishing vessel sent out a distress alert using VHF radio reporting that they were taking on water. The fishermen were in UK waters approximately 10 miles south west of Dungeness Point.

The RNLI lifeboat based at Dungeness was sent along with the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter, based at Lydd. Three fishing vessels and a Cargo ship also responded.

The fishermen were recovered from a life raft by one of the fishing vessels and Dungeness RNLI All Weather Lifeboat attempted to pump the water off the sinking boat but, due to the volume of water, the vessel sank. After it was known that the fishermen were safe and well the Coastguard Rescue Helicopter was stood down.

The crew were taken back to Boulogne-sur-mer on the fishing vessel that recovered them from the water. 

UK Coastguard Julia Fuller said:

“The Coastguard recommends that where possible, all vessels are fitted with VHF DSC radio equipment, which can send a distress alert that will enable us to get help to the right place as soon as possible.

“This incident also serves as another reminder of why you should wear a lifejacket and have an appropriate life raft. I’m sure this crew were thankful that they had them whilst they waited to be rescued.”

Monday, 17 August 2015

NEWS: Coastguard Rescue Man from Mud in Emsworth

This evening the National Maritime Operations Centre received a call from Hampshire Fire and Rescue about a man who had become stuck in the mud at Osprey Quay, Emsworth.

The man had gone to retrieve a paddle and could not make his way back, so he sat on a buoy waiting for help.

The Selsey and Hillhead Coastguard Rescue Teams (CRT) were able to extract the man from the mud using their specialist mud rescue equipment.  The Hampshire Fire and Rescue team and South Central Ambulance also arrived on scene to assist.

Holly Newnham, the Coastguard Senior Maritime Operations Officer, said: 'Our advice if you do find yourself stuck in the mud, is to try to spread your weight as much as possible, avoid moving and stay as calm as you can. Call 999 and ask for the Coastguard and we’ll get our specially trained teams out to you as quickly as possible. Discourage others from attempting to rescue you, since without the proper equipment they could become stuck in the mud as well.'