Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Search off Stornoway Terminated

At 1852 UTC hours on Tuesday 26 May 2015, Stornoway Coastguard received a report of an overdue boat which set off from the Brevig Pier on the Isle of Lewis. A major search and rescue operation was carried out utilising Stornoway RNLI Lifeboat, Coastguard Rescue Teams from Stornoway, Ness, South Lochs, Miavaig, Tarbert, Bragar, Breasclete, Coastguard Helicopter R948, Hebrides Search and Rescue and Police Scotland. The search was stood down overnight and resumed by all units this morning. At 0850 UTC, the missing boat was found submerged by Stornoway RNLI off the area of Point, Isle of Lewis. The body of a man has sadly been recovered not far from where the boat was located. The man's next of kin have been informed of the circumstances. Our thoughts are with his family. No further details regarding his identity will be release at this stage. Enquiries are ongoing into this matter and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.

Search ongoing for man missing on board home-made boat

Coastguards are currently coordinating the search for a man who is missing off Broad Bay, Isle of Lewis. The man left Breivig in his homemade boat at 7.00 am this morning. Concerned relatives called the Coastguard at 8.00 this evening when he failed to return. The missing man did not give details of where he intended to go and does not have a radio or mobile phone with him. Carol Collins, Stornoway Coastguard Watch Manager says: “The Stornoway-based Coastguard rescue helicopter, Stornoway RNLI lifeboat, Coastguard Rescue Teams from across the Isle of Lewis, Police units and Hebrides Inland Rescue are all currently searching for the missing man. Sadly we have not found any sign of him or his boat yet.” The missing boat is blue and black, three metres long and has an outboard motor. If you think that you may have seen the missing boat or its skipper today please call Stornoway Coastguard on 01851 702013.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Do you want to volunteer and make a difference?

“Help… help!”

“We’re on the rocks and the tide’s coming in…”

“Someone’s fallen over the cliff edge. He’s hurt… I can’t get to him…”

Every day, around the coast, hundreds of people make a 999 call to Her Majesty’s Coastguard.
Whether it’s someone out of their depth in the sea, or who has fallen off a cliff or is stuck in the mud and unable to free themselves, it’s a Coastguard Rescue Team that will be on hand to help.

As the emergency service responsible for coordinating maritime search and rescue in the UK, HM Coastguard needs volunteers for its rescue teams. Ordinary people doing an extraordinary job.

Coastguard Rescue Teams can be called into action any time, day or night. There are 3,500 volunteers in 347 teams around the coast of the UK, but there are always vacancies.

Coastguard Rescue Officers help search for and rescue people in difficulties, be it on cliffs, stuck in mud or in water and also missing people. They report and deal with pollution and other hazards and work with other emergency services and local authorities during major incidents.

Head of Coastal Operations Charles Ball said:

“If you live in a coastal community, you’ll know how vital the Coastguard Rescue Team is to the area. These are people who are prepared to react day or night - often in matters of life and death. What they do matters. And we need more people like them to join.

“Coastguard Rescue Officers are trained in first aid and a variety of technical rescue techniques, depending on their location. Aside from giving your time to a worthy cause, volunteering has a number of key benefits for your career too. It can help you stand out from the crowd and learn practical transferrable skills.

“If you’d like to join, we’ll ensure you have regular training, and all we ask in return is that you are within a few minutes of the Coastguard base, and available to respond at most times.”

Have you got what it takes to be a Coastguard?
To search. To rescue. To save.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Diver still missing despite extensive search

A search and rescue operation carried out to find a diver who went missing near Swanage will not be resumed this morning.

Despite a major search across a ten mile area after a call to the UK Coastguard from the dive vessel Emma J, the man hasn’t been found.

The search was suspended last night and discussions held overnight to decide what to do next.

Tristam Newey, National Maritime Operations Commander said, ‘This hasn’t been an easy decision to make. This man is still missing and we appreciate the concern and worry this is causing his family and friends.’

‘We used many resources yesterday to make an extensive search of an area covering 10 square nautical miles. The search and rescue helicopter from Portland and then from Lee-on-Solent carried out a comprehensive search from the air and the lifeboats from Poole and Swanage did an equally thorough job on the sea.’

‘In the early hours of this morning yachts taking part in the Myth of Malham race passed through the area that we searched yesterday. We asked all to keep a look out for this diver but nothing was seen.

‘This morning in the absence of any further information we have decided not to resume the search. The family has been informed of this decision.’

Update: Search for missing diver Swanage

The search for a missing diver in an area south of Swanage has been suspended for the night.

Lifeboats from Poole and Swanage, as well as the search and rescue helicopters from Portland and then Lee-on-Solent have been involved in looking for the diver who failed to return from an expedition earlier today.

The situation will be assessed with Dorset police and other agencies before a decision on next steps is taken.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Search for missing diver near Swanage

A search and rescue operation is being carried out to find a diver who has not returned after an expedition.

The call came in to the UK Coastguard at 4.40pm (BST) today (24th) from the dive vessel Emma J reporting that only two out of three divers had resurfaced.

A major search is being carried out of an area south of Swanage covering 10.2 square nautical miles.

Poole all-weather lifeboat and inshore lifeboats together with the Swanage all-weather lifeboat are all involved in the search. The Portland search and rescue helicopter was also involved initially, with the Lee-on-Solent SAR helicopter then taking over.

Mark Rodaway, operations centre commander at the National Maritime Operations Centre, which is currently overseeing the search, said, 'This is a significant incident.

'This diver has been missing for more than three hours and clearly this is very serious.

'We are concentrating our search on this area and will continue to do so.'

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

It’s something you can’t see, smell, taste or touch – but it kills...

Carbon monoxide kills – on average – one person a week in England and Wales. And about two hundred people a year need to be taken to hospital after suffering its effects.

It gets into the bloodstream through the lungs, blocking the oxygen your body needs. Prolonged exposure or very quick exposure to high concentrations can kill you.

The symptoms of CO poisoning include irritated eyes, headache, nausea, weakness and dizziness. These are often confused with seasickness or too much drink meaning often people who experience it don’t receive medical attention.

So what causes carbon monoxide to build up in your boat? Inadequate ventilation, exhaust gas from engines – yours or someone else’s, heater outlets. These are all possible causes and you need to be one step ahead of them.

Keep your boat well ventilated. Keep it well maintained – not only the engine, but also water pumps and cooling systems on ‘wet exhausts.’ Have your gas systems serviced by a ‘Gas Safe Engineer.’
Remember – if you can smell exhaust fumes, you are being exposed to carbon monoxide. Watch out for the symptoms. If you experience any of them get out on deck and into fresh air and get medical attention unless you are absolutely certain it’s not CO poisoning.

And the best piece of advice I can give you? Buy a carbon monoxide alarm – preferably a marine one as they last longer. But make sure it conforms to the BS and EU standards – BS EN 50291-2. 

If you want more information on carbon monoxide, the fitting and
maintenance of gas installations and a list of standards please go to

Tony Skeats
BEng (Hons) CEng. CMarEng MIMarEST
Marine Surveyor
Belfast Marine Office