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Angling for safety: Helicopter rescue sparks cliff warning for fishers

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Senior coastal officers have warned keen anglers of the ‘unknown’ dangers of fishing from beaches, rocks and piers, following a dramatic rescue in Cornwall last week. The coastguard helicopter from Newquay was needed to winch a man with a suspected compound fracture to safety on 18 September, after he took a heavy fall down the rocky outcrop at Towan Head. The man was reportedly fishing with friends but lost his balance and tumbled down to the water’s edge. Video has no sound     🔇   The injury to his leg was severe enough that teams decided the helicopter was the only way to safely extract him from the rocks and transfer him quickly for onward medical care. Martin Leslie, area commander for Cornwall, said: “Fishing in a quiet spot at the edge of a vast sea is one of life’s greatest joys, but there are things we all need to be aware of to ensure it remains a joy and not a curse. “Rocks look like the perfect place to set up, there’s a flat spot, it’s remote and people will genera

Behind-the-scenes Coastguard heroes honoured at national awards ceremony

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Three behind-the-scenes heroes from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) have won national recognition at the Control Room Awards 2022. A ceremony at the NEC in Birmingham on Wednesday night (September 21) celebrated unsung staff on the opening day of the Emergency Services Show. More than 170 nominations were received from over 40 organisations. The winners from the MCA were Garry Campion, Jules Fynn and Tom Barnett. Garry won the John Gilhooly Unsung Hero Award, named after John Gilhooly who served in the Scottish Ambulance Service control room for almost 30 years. Jules was recognised as Young Achiever of the Year. Simone Jefford, also of the MCA, was shortlisted for the same prize. While Tom was named as Community Champion by the award judges. The MCA’s Jonathan Mustard was shortlisted for the Control Room Ambassador of the Year, while Garry Campion was also in the running to win the Lifetime Achievement Award. Tom said it was 'incredible' to see the MCA w

"We will not forget them" - wreath laid in memory of crew who died 40 years ago

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A wreath-laying ceremony and memorial have been held on the Shetland Islands, in honour of six people who died while carrying out a flight to provide urgent support to an injured man forty years ago. Six crew members – Captain Alistair Mackie, Captain Robin Rusk, winch operator Stan Ormiston, winchman Robert Marfleet, Dr Alan Farquharson and medical assistant Jeff Hagen – were all lost when their aircraft entered the sea on 14 September 1982. Fully prepared for a winch rescue operation in difficult conditions, the helicopter was travelling from its base – a floating accommodation facility located in the same oilfield as the ship. During the journey however, the aircraft was lost from radio and visual contact. To mark the fortieth anniversary, representatives from His Majesty’s Coastguard and aircraft operator Bristow Helicopters gathered in a small private ceremony at Sumburgh, to remember those who were lost and lay a wreath. Captain Martin Shepherd, who attended the event said:

Maritime and Coastguard Agency pays tribute to Her Late Majesty

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Her Majesty’s Coastguard. For over 70 years, staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly to keep people safe at the coast, in the name of our late Queen. So long was her reign that no current coastguard or employee of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has worked under any other monarch. As an emergency service and government agency, many of our people have had the honour of meeting the late Queen Elizabeth II over the years, and are keen to share their heartfelt tributes and memories of the moments they will never forget. The King was a coastguard when at school at Gordonstoun. July 1967                              Credit: Gordonstoun So, as we welcome a new King and move into a new era as His Majesty’s Coastguard, we take a final moment to pay tribute to our late Queen. A common theme, reflected across the many tributes from the nation, was of a charming – and always smiling – Queen who put those in her presence at ease with her good grace and humour. Though incredibly

Kayaker rescued after following Float to Live advice

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A kayaker was rescued late on Friday, September 2 after following float to live advice. The man's family raised the alarm after seeing his kayak capsize in Browns Bay, Northern Ireland at around 8.40pm. The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Belfast responded to the call by sending coastguard rescue teams from Largs, Ballycastle and Portmuck, RNLI lifeboats from Larne and the Coastguard helicopter from Prestwick to search for the man. The Irish Coastguard also sent a rescue helicopter to help with the search. The man was found floating on his back and was rescued by the inshore lifeboat after coastguard rescue teams heard him shouting for help. Following 'float to live' safety difference might have made all the difference. Leaning back and stretching out your arms and legs to float, using the time to catch your breath, can reduce the risk of drowning significantly.  Network Commander George Close said: “This was a good outcome for this man using the float to live ad

Preparation of paddleboarders prevents tragedy

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What could have turned into a large-scale search for two lives at sea was halted, thanks to the preparation of two paddleboarders.  HM Coastguard’s rescue teams rushed to Sandbanks beach on Monday (August 29) after emergency reports that two paddleboarders had fallen into the water and were struggling. The pair had been making the most of the bank holiday and sunshine in Poole when things went wrong. But, thanks to carrying mobile phones in waterproof pouches, they were able to tell the coastguard they had returned to shore safe and well shortly after the incident. At around 7pm, the Coastguard received multiple 999 calls from people concerned about the paddleboarders’ fall. The Poole Coastguard Rescue Team and RNLI Poole Lifeboat were sent. The lifeboat quickly found their board tied to a buoy around 100 metres from the beach, but no people were in sight. So RNLI Poole lifeboats started a search.  The most important 999 call received by the coastguard however was from the paddleboarde

Eight people stuck on rocks rescued from rising tide

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Coastguard rescue teams rushed to the aid of eight people caught on rocks and in a rising tide near a Cornwall beach today (29 August). HM Coastguard received multiple 999 calls from members of the public shortly before 4pm, reporting people waist deep in water on the rocks and unable to get to safety at Maenporth beach in Falmouth. Falmouth and Porthleven coastguard rescue teams, Falmouth RNLI inshore lifeboat and senior coastal operations officer Matt Rogers were immediately sent to help. They found an urgent situation, with the tide coming in, time running out and the lifeboat unable to get close enough with the rocks jutting into the water. A water rescue was the only solution – so Matt and a coastguard rescue officer carried out tethered swims to bring all eight people to safety. The rocks at Maenporth beach                               Credit: HM Coastguard Senior officer Matt Rogers said: “It shows how suddenly you can find yourself in quite serious danger on our coasts. Tides