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Hidden gems, hidden dangers: Is your idyllic beach spot worth it?

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Finding that idyllic unspoiled corner of the UK coast is a goal for many of us. The dream? The chance to lie on a secluded beach, bathed in sunshine – alone. For some of us, the peace and quiet of the quieter parts of the coast is what we’re really looking for when we head to the beach – away from the crowds and the relentless noise of thousands of people enjoying themselves. It’s not that those in search of quiet begrudge people their fun but the sound of waves crashing against the shore is what’s craved rather than the screams and shouts of those overcome with excitement. Some people's idea of the 'perfect beach day' is to find a secluded, remote coastal spot but, while the lack of crowds can be a big draw, the cost of that is a lack of access to help if needed So … secret beaches, rock pools and miles of sand as far as the eye can see, with not a multi-coloured umbrella in sight. No awkward tripping around the carpet of towels or apologising for standing on a sandcastle.

Defibrillator coverage now vastly extended thanks to HM Coastguard

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Lifesaving defibrillators are being put in some of the most remote UK communities thanks to HM Coastguard. Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) have been put in HM Coastguard’s vehicles and in its stations, creating the largest geographical spread of all emergency services. AEDs are now available in emergency response and support vehicles, including this all terrain vehicle.  Credit: Martin Leslie It means extra lifesaving capability at emergencies and helps to fill some critical ‘gaps’ to bring access to AEDs for people in the UK’s most remote communities. Nearly 500 AEDs are now available in Her Majesty’s Coastguard’s emergency response and support vehicles, coastal officer and divisional commander vehicles and all its rescue coordination centres. And AEDs are also in all other buildings belonging to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, including marine offices around the UK, adding extra protection for employees in the event of heart-related ill health at work. Additional hel

16 rowers rescued in round Great Britain challenge.

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UPDATE 16 Rowers Now Rescued.  Update - Sunday June 26 13:15pm  Third rowing vessel with five crew rescued in deteriorating weather conditions in the Irish Sea  The third and final crew from the GB Row Challenge that left Tower Bridge London on the 12th June, to circumnavigate Great Britain and to collect environmental data has been rescued.  The vessel had been monitored throughout the night by HM Coastguard with frequent radio transmissions.  During a check at 7:00am the rowers explained they had capsized and righted themselves, but were unable to row. The rowers were 23 nautical miles North East of Ardglass.  The Newcastle RNLI lifeboat from Northern Ireland was sent and established a tow. The rowers arrived in  Ardglass and were be met by Newcastle Coastguard Rescue Team. One rower will checked over by Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.  Previous statement released Sunday (26th) 00:30am HM Coastguard has coordinated the rescue of 11 rowers from two separate rowing vessels as they

Sailor rescued despite going overboard alone

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A woman has survived a scary overboard experience thanks to her vital rescue equipment and Her Majesty’s Coastguard. She was sailing a yacht single-handed when she went overboard at around 03:00 this morning (17th June) in the Irish Sea, about 12 nautical miles north-west of Blackpool. See below for video.  But, equipped with a lifejacket (Personal Flotation Device) and Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), she was able to activate the device and alert authorities. Her vessel sailed on without her but was located by the search and rescue helicopter from Caernarfon. The yacht was then intercepted by other local vessels and towed back to shore. HM Coastguard immediately put out a MAYDAY broadcast to all vessels in the area. A rig supply vessel made its way to the area, spotted her flashing a distress light from two nautical miles away and the crew were able to rescue her within an hour of her going overboard. She was then taken ashore by Fleetwood All Weather Lifeboat to be checked over by Nort

Long-serving team member retires

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"He’s breaking up the band – the 286-year band – but he’s earned his retirement." The affection and camaraderie among the Margate Coastguard Rescue Team is immediately evident from the way Station Officer Mark Gambrill talks about his group of volunteers – most of whom have spent at least two decades dedicating their spare time to search and rescue. In fact, the team of 15 have more than 286 years of experience between them, with at least seven of the current crew having surpassed their 20-year mark with Her Majesty’s Coastguard. So the retirement of Coastguard Rescue Officer David Paine after 40 years has hit them all hard, having spent the better part of half a century putting their lives in each other’s hands. David Paine, front (seated) has hung up his Coastguard lifejacket after 40 years The team, Mark says, are keen to put on record that he ‘will be sorely missed’ although they expect to see him continuing to attend any social events. “David got me involved all those ye

First-ever female station officer takes the reins on island

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One of the youngest ever female station officers has taken charge of a Scottish island team. The new head of Tiree Coastguard Rescue Team, Louise Reid, has become the first-ever female station officer on the island and is among the youngest female station officers anywhere in the UK. She is no stranger to breaking down barriers having become the first female volunteer on the island when she signed up in 2017. Her management perfectly illustrates the changing face of HM Coastguard; to one that truly embraces the inclusion of women in its teams. In fact, this is reflected in the number of women that have entered the Coastguard’s ranks since the start of 2021; with 25 per cent of our current female cohort of Coastguard Rescue Officers having signed up since 1 January 2021. The 28-year-old is flanked by deputy Hayley Douglas and sister Megan Reid, in a now majority female team. From left: Hayley Douglas, Station Officer Louise Reid and sister Megan Reid ready to respond to whatever inciden

Nic Salt’s volunteering ‘hobby’

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As we celebrate this Platinum Jubilee year and our 200 th anniversary, we’ve been giving an extra big shout out to our amazing volunteers around the UK. For many it’s a calling and a way of life – giving something back to the community and receiving the rewards and satisfaction of helping to keep people safe around our coasts. For volunteer Nic Salt, Deputy Station Officer at Aberdovey on the rugged coast of West Wales, volunteering may be what she modestly calls her ‘hobby’ but it’s become a way of life that’s opened up a wealth of opportunities. After training, some members of the Aberdovey Coastguard Rescue Team enjoy a nice 'cuppa' and a slice of bara brith - a special type of Welsh cake. Left to right are: In the photo is Geoff Unsworth Station Officer, Lee Bell Coastguard Rescue Officer and Nic Salt, Deputy Station Officer. Bara brith cake courtesy of Deputy Station Officer for the Barmouth team, Richie Jones   “Being brought up on the coast, I always knew I would volu