Saturday, 25 October 2014

BODY OF LATE NIGHT SWIMMER FOUND AT NEWQUAY

A man’s body has been found off the beach at Newquay after a 999 call triggered a search in the early hours of Saturday.

At 2.43am the Coastguard received a 999 call from a lady on a Newquay beach reporting that her boyfriend and a friend had gone swimming in the sea while under the influence of alcohol and only one of them had returned.

The Coastguard launched a search of the area for the missing swimmer involving Newquay and Padstow Coastguard Rescue Teams, Newquay RNLI All Weather and Inshore Lifeboats and the rescue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose.

The missing swimmer was located in the surf line by the Newquay Inshore Lifeboat, the Ambulance Crew attended to the casualty before being airlifted to Treliske Hospital where he was later declared deceased.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

MCA APPOINT NEW DIRECTOR OF STRATEGY AND CORPORTATE SERVICES

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has appointed Bill Dunham as the new Director Strategy and Corporate Services (DSCS). 

This new post combines the current role of Director Strategy and Finance with new responsibility for the Human Resources, Information and Communications Technology and Estates Management functions. 


Bill is currently serving as the Deputy Commandant General of the Royal Marines, in the rank of Brigadier. 


On his new appointment Bill said:


“Serving for over 35 years in the Royal Marines has given me an enduring sense of the importance of the sea for Britain as an island nation. 


"I am excited about being able to maintain my maritime links whilst exploiting my knowledge of the sea and using my wider planning, leadership and management skills in this newly created role. 


“I look forward to getting to know everyone when I start on 20 January 2015.”


Images of Bill Dunham are available from the MCA Image library.

                                                       

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

STRONG WINDS BATTER PARTS OF UK

As parts of the UK continue to be affected by gale-force winds today, the Coastguard is urging people to take extra care. 

Gusts of up to 70mph have been reported in some coastal areas and combined with the stormy seas, conditions are treacherous. The Met Office reports that the strong winds are expected to last throughout much of the day.

Liverpool Coastguard has this morning dealt with a number of vessels that have broken free from their moorings in the strong winds. 

Paul Parkes from Liverpool Coastguard says: 

“The crashing waves may be spectacular to watch but they are also extremely dangerous. The Coastguard’s advice is simple: don’t take risks. But if you do get into difficulty, or spot someone who might be in trouble, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard."

Monday, 20 October 2014

FALMOUTH COASTGUARD OPERATIONS CENTRE JOINS NATIONAL NETWORK

Falmouth Coastguard Operations Centre (CGOC) is to become part of the new Coastguard national network for the very first time this week.

Work has been carried out at the search and rescue coordination centre at Pendennis Point, upgrading the technology and introducing new systems. This means Falmouth CGOC will be connected to the National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) in Hampshire and other Coastguard stations around the country, which will be able to offer mutual support during busy periods.

From Saturday 1 November 2014, Falmouth CGOC and the new national network will start to take on operations from Brixham Coastguard.


The changes to Her Majesty’s Coastguard will see the NMOC and 10 other CGOCs around the UK work together to manage the workload. There will be no reduction in rescue resources. The availability of Coastguard Rescue Teams, lifeboats, rescue helicopters and other rescue units will be unaffected.

James Instance, Maritime Operations Controller at Falmouth CGOC, said:

“The public won’t notice any difference to the way search and rescue missions are responded to. If you call 999 and ask for the Coastguard, or issue a mayday broadcast, we will still be here to help you.

“The only change is that we’ll have a new national network that will be able to oversee and assist with operations around the whole of the UK. Here at Falmouth CGOC we’re now part of this network, so we can call upon help from our fellow Coastguards elsewhere in the country, and also in turn help them out if needed.”

Peter Davies was manager at Brixham Coastguard and has now taken up a new role at the NMOC. He said:

“This new state-of-the-art network will ensure that we are better prepared and will improve how we manage the workload. It’s key to remember though that the changes affect how we deliver the coordination to search and rescue incidents, but the rescue teams in your community are unaffected. There will still be the same number of lifeboats, Coastguard Rescue Teams, helicopters and other rescue resources.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the staff at Brixham Coastguard, who have served the community with the upmost professionalism over many years. I am pleased that some are staying with the Coastguard and have relocated to roles elsewhere.”

The new national network is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of 2015.

Friday, 17 October 2014

APPEAL TO OWNER OF GROUNDED YACHT TO CONTACT COASTGUARD

Coastguards have issued an urgent appeal to the new owner of a yacht that washed ashore at Seaton Harbour, Devon, earlier today (Friday 17 October) to get in touch.

At around 10am this morning a call was received from a member of the public that the vessel, the Yacht Louise - a 25ft to 30ft Hurley 20 with a blue hull - was aground at Culverhole Point.
Signs of recent occupancy and activity on-board have raised concerns that the yacht’s owner may have gone overboard.  Coastguards and Devon and Cornwall police have so far been unable to contact him. 

The Lyme Regis inshore lifeboat, the Sidmouth independent lifeboat and the Lyme Regis and Sidmouth Coastguard Rescue team as well as Coastguard Rescue Helicopter 106 are continuing to search the area.


Steven Mann, Coastguard in charge of coordinating the search, said: “Given the uncertainty of the situation, we are very keen to hear from the owner of this yacht if he is safe and well.  In the meantime we will continue to carry out a detailed search of the area where the vessel is likely to have drifted.”

Update:  Friday,17:15 - the area has been thoroughly covered but  the search has now been suspended, pending further information. Enquiries into the possible whereabouts of the yacht owner will continue.

'MAKE A DIFFERENCE' IN NORTH YORKSHIRE - VOLUNTEER AS A COASTGUARD

This October, we are all being asked to ‘Make A Difference’ and what better way to do so than by volunteering with the Coastguard Rescue Service.

‘Make A Difference’ is a month long campaign by the charity Community Service Volunteers (CSV) to encourage more people to volunteer.

Her Majesty's Coastguard is the emergency service responsible for coordinating maritime search and rescue in the UK. One rescue resource often called into action is the Coastguard Rescue Teams. There are 347 of these teams in the UK, made up of more than 3,200 volunteers.

The Redcar, Robin Hood’s Bay, Skinningrove, Staithes and Whitby teams are currently looking for new recruits. In the past year, the teams have collectively been involved in more than 200 incidents, ranging from capsized boats to people stuck on cliffs and water rescues.

So what's it like to be a Coastguard Rescue Officer?

Here's Keith Gregory, Deputy Station Officer with the Staithes Coastguard Rescue Team to tell us why..

"Since becoming a Coastguard Rescue Officer I have found that my life has been enhanced in a number of ways. 

Of course the obvious thing that everyone will probably immediately think of is that of saving lives. Knowing that you have played a role in those outcomes is, of course, a wonderful thing. I am sure that we all hope that will be the case when we join up and I  have been in that position several times since joining. 

There's much more to the role than that though.

Becoming part of a well trained, close knit team, where everyone trusts and supports one another, is a wonderful feeling. Everyone plays an important role in maintaining the team ethics. 

Not only do we work as part of a small local team, but also a great deal of our jobs involve surrounding teams throughout the sector. Therefore there is also good relationships with all teams throughout the sector. 

As well as other coastguard teams it is not unusual for us to work closely with other emergency services including: Police, Ambulance, Fire Brigade, Helicopter Rescue teams,Mountain Rescue etc. 

There is vast opportunity to train and gain qualifications in Rope Rescue skills, Water Rescue and also Land Search Management as well as gaining First Aid certificates and opportunities to gain promotions. From the first time you achieve a basic level skill, right up to technician level the feeling of achievement is a good one.

Throughout this training there is a vast amount of support and encouragement available, which all helps it be achievable. 

Currently I am a deputy station officer and that is a role that I have been able to enjoy greatly. It means supporting new trainees and all team members alike and I am able to aid with a lot of the training. That is something I particularly enjoy, along with cementing strong team relationships. 

Some of the things that I have done during my time as a CRO include:
  • Climbing down a cliff to rescue people who are trapped by incoming tides or who have fallen etc Sometimes I have been the 'cliffman' and other times assisted at the top of the cliff
  • Being winched in to a helicopter with a casualty
  • Preparing landing sites for helicopters
  • Co-ordinating searches for missing people
  • Assisting in the carrying off of injured persons from cliff paths etc to waiting ambulances
  • Recording information from boats that have been recovered by the RNLI
Of course there is a lot of commitment needed at times. When you are sitting down to Christmas dinner and the pager goes off then you have to go. If you are fast asleep at 3am you could find yourself awoken by the pager and again we just go. Commitment is also needed for the training programme. However, the positive side of that commitment is the feeling that you have achieved something and are making a difference, however large or small, to people who need our help. It definitely changes you as a person. 

There's a greater sense of self worth from very early on. I would highly recommend joining."

If you're interested in applying, please email Chris Coulter chris.coulter@mcga.gov.uk or telephone 01947 602 107.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN NORTH YORKSHIRE? BECOME A COASTGUARD

This October, we are all being asked to ‘Make A Difference’ and what better way to do so than by volunteering with the Coastguard Rescue Service.

‘Make A Difference’ is a month long campaign by the charity Community Service Volunteers (CSV) to encourage more people to volunteer.

Her Majesty's Coastguard is the emergency service responsible for coordinating maritime search and rescue in the UK. One rescue resource often called into action is the Coastguard Rescue Teams. There are 347 of these teams in the UK, made up of more than 3,200 volunteers.

The Redcar, Robin Hood’s Bay, Skinningrove, Staithes and Whitby teams are currently looking for new recruits. In the past year, the teams have collectively been involved in more than 200 incidents, ranging from capsized boats to people stuck on cliffs and water rescues.
Water rescue

Chris Coulter, Senior Coastal Operations Officer at Whitby, said:

“Coastguard Rescue Officers are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, ready to respond at a moment's notice. They're trained in first aid and a variety of rescue techniques, from water, mud, rope and cliff rescues, to search methods and assisting helicopter operations.

“People across Yorkshire are privileged to have these rescue teams which form an integral part of their communities. They respond to callouts every day of the year, in all weathers and often at unsocial hours to assist people in distress. You’ll be given regular training, and all we ask in return is that you are situated within 20 minutes of the Coastguard base, and be available to respond at most times.”

But it’s not just rescues that the teams get involved with. As a Coastguard Rescue Officer, you may also spend time educating people in coastal safety. This preventative work includes visiting schools and shows as well as patrolling the coast to advise people of the dangers.
Staithes Coastguard Rescue Team

Keith Gregory, Deputy Station Officer at Staithes Coastguard Rescue Team, said:

“Since becoming a Coastguard Rescue Officer I have found that my life has been enhanced in a number of ways.

“Of course there is a lot of commitment needed at times. When you are sitting down to Christmas dinner and the pager goes off then you have to go. If you are fast asleep at 3am and the pager goes off, again we just go. However, the positive side of that commitment is the feeling that you have achieved something and are making a difference, however large or small, to people who need our help.

“It definitely changes you as a person. There's a greater sense of self-worth from very early on. I would highly recommend joining.”

For more information, please email Chris Coulter chris.coulter@mcga.gov.uk or telephone 01947 602 107.