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Coastal safety: Warning message issued by HM Coastguard

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The cold, crisp winter days can be a perfect time to explore the coastal areas around the UK and the start of a new year is a perfect time to turn a new leaf and get outside into our picturesque countryside. But the sunshine can quickly vanish and the weather can quickly turn, with the temperature much colder, the wind much stronger and the rain more frequent; you can quickly find yourself in danger. So far in 2022, HM Coastguard has been called out to a number of incidents involving walkers out on a stroll finding themselves  –  or their pets  –  in difficulty.  So if you plan to take a walk this weekend, please remember to be careful out there and have a look at the below safety advice before setting out. Take your eye off the water for just a moment and you can quickly find the tide closing in around you, like this walker in Blackpool Picture: LB Photography It  is vital at this time of year to be prepared before you head to the coast. Make sure you check the weather and tides befor

Lucky escape as walker rescued from cliff face

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A walker has had a lucky escape this week, after HM Coastguard teams rescued him from a cliff face in Scotland. Coastguard Rescue Teams rushed to his aid at Seaton cliffs in Arbroath with the man clinging on, after his companion called 999. He was approximately 10 metres from the top and in a precarious position  –  and slipping. It was a race against time to rescue him. Teams from Arbroath, Dundee and Stonehaven were sent to the scene at Dickmont’s Den, alongside the RNLI Arbroath lifeboats and the search and rescue helicopter from Inverness. They found a cold and tired man in a desperate situation, a finger’s grip away from plunging to almost certain death. A helicopter rescue was quickly deemed too dangerous due to the downdraft, which could have had enough force to dislodge the man from his position, and so the teams geared up to carry out a technical rope rescue.             🔇 Video has no sound David Kerr, Senior Coastal Operations Officer, said: “It was a close call – he was st

"One team": Royal Navy and coastguards work together after kayaker's Mayday call

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A kayaker's mayday call off the coast of Cornwall was answered by an unexpected team today (Monday 24), as a Royal Navy helicopter crew on a training exercise responded. Matt Rogers, team leader for HM Coastguard, was overseeing the search and rescue response. He said the Navy crew's 'quick actions meant they located the casualty within minutes of arriving' before winching him to safety. The man - who was perfectly prepared with a Personal Flotation Device (Lifejacket) and Personal Locator Beacon - had capsized while paddling off the Lizard Peninsula and made an urgent mayday call on his radio. The message was picked up by the Merlin Mk2 helicopter crew in Falmouth Bay, who happened to be practising search and rescue winching with trainee aircrew.  They immediately flew towards the search area about one mile south of Coverack. Falmouth Coastguard was already coordinating the rescue and the Lizard RNLI Lifeboat was also launched as the drama unfolded at around 12.45pm. 

Double incident sparks tide warning from Coastguard

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A senior coastal officer has urged walkers to check tide times, following five people calling for help within minutes of each other on the same stretch of coast. Graham Easton has issued the safety warning after two groups found themselves cut off by the tide at the base of Seven Sisters and Birling Gap cliffs on Saturday, calling 999 within eight minutes of each other. It follows four people also finding themselves cut off by the tide at the famous fossil beach at Lyme Regis  earlier this month. View from the helicopter of three of the people cut off by the tide at the bottom of Seven Sisters on Saturday                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Picture: MCA At 1.49pm on Saturday, HM Coastguard received a 999 call from a family of three reporting they had become trapped on

Fifty-six years and counting: HM Coastguard's longest serving officer

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When HM Coastguard’s longest serving volunteer signed up in 1965, humans had yet to visit the moon. Television was still in black and white. There was no speed limit on motorways, of which there were very few anyway. There was no internet. No personal computers. No mobile phones. It was a very different world. But it was the world in which Keith Dare-Williams first donned his HM Coastguard blue overalls and took up his post overlooking Plymouth Sound. He has remained in that role for 56 years, as time and tide moved around him. Keith poses with his service medals alongside the current, electric response vehicle in the station he has called 'home' for 56-years The 72-year-old Coastguard Rescue Officer (CRO) was awarded an MBE in 1996 for Services to Safety at Sea as he surpassed the 30-year service mark and has gone on to offer 26 more years. Keith estimates he and the Plymouth team have rescued hundreds of people in his time. He spent 37 years as Station Officer before making

Full-time chaplain appointment to support staff and volunteers

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A commitment to caring for those on the frontline has led to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency appointing its first ever full-time chaplain.   Rev Tom Ebbens began his career in Her Majesty’s Coastguard as a volunteer and has since worked in both operations centres handling distress calls and latterly on the coast as an officer overseeing volunteers.   He says he sees the role for all faiths and none, a companion to those who serve on the frontline an d who might need some extra support from time to time.   Tom has now been given the full-time role of chaplain after a pilot project which allowed him to fulfil a multi-faith chaplaincy role while still in his full-time coastal role. As well as the full-time chaplain, he is also a self-supporting curate with the Church of England in Cornwall.   I t is a recognition of the value that chaplaincy brings to an organisation which includes a frontline emergency service organisation and which is committed to the welfare and well-being of all

Keeping you safe at the coast for 200 years: HM Coastguard celebrates landmark birthday

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  From its beginnings with coastal lookouts to today’s hi-tech national network of coordination centres , from small localised beginnings to international players – one thing has stayed the same for two centuries – Her Majesty’s Coastguard seeks to search, to rescue and to save.   Two hundred years of saving lives along the UK coast and at sea, as well as coordinating rescues for those in distress in international waters, is being marked this year as HM Coastguard celebrates its milestone anniversary.   It was on 15 January 1822, that HM Coastguard was formally brought into existence and has been working to keep people safe at the coast and sea ever since.   Today (15 January) in honour of that actual birthday, coastguards across all four home nations are casting throwlines as a symbol of the service’s dedication - past and present.     Throwlines, which form part of the lifesaving kit used by coastguard teams, will be cast into the seas around England, Scotland, Wales and No