Working together to keep people safe during Storm Dennis

This weekend brought another menace to our weather systems with the arrival of Storm Dennis plus heavy rains and storm force winds. Named ‘Dennis the Menace’ by some, after the popular mischief making cartoon character from the Beano comic, Dennis kept our teams and emergency services partners on our toes around the UK, all sharing the mission to keep people safe.

Weather forecasts predicted Storm Force 10 warnings, with high winds posing a danger to life and this was combined with torrential downpours causing severe flooding in  parts of the UK.

Around the coasts, our teams were in action 24/7, responding to 999 calls to the Coastguard requesting assistance as well as calls for help from emergency services partners and local authorities.

Over the weekend, the response really was nationwide and included:

  • Stornoway Coastguard Rescue Teams helping Police Scotland with a closure of the Braigh, a coastal road on Lewis being battered by dangerous waves and winds.
  • In Hawick, teams from South Queensferry, Leven, Fisherrow and senior Coastguard personnel were called to help in a major evacuation of people from their homes when the River Tweed burst its banks
  • Whitby and Ravenscar Coastguard Rescue Teams helping to get a person with an ankle injury to an ambulance after a fall on a beach
  • Dunoon Coastguard Teams helped the Fire service to get a person to safety after she was trapped in her car in fast flowing flood waters
  • Stranraer teams went to make the area safe after a suspected ordnance (bomb) was washed up on the beach (later found to be harmless)
  • Hillhead teams went to the aid of a kite surfer with an ankle injury off Lee on Solent
  • A dog was trapped off the end of Ramsgate promenade, with the tide fast coming in. Margate teams were on their way when happily the dog made it to safety
  • Coastal paths around the UK were slipping, crumbling and making walking just dangerous. In Swanage, the teams closed the path off for safety after the steps and supporting land slipped to an unnavigable angle
  • Pleasure craft ripped themselves clear from their moorings and floated loose on tides and winds before beign brought to safety, and two people in Portsmouth harbour needed a rescue when their outboard failed
  • In the Brecon Beacons in Wales, severe flooding trapped a man waist deep in his mobile home and the water kept flowing. The search and rescue helicopter from St Athan airlifted him to safety.

Thankfully many people stayed away from the coasts and other danger over the weekend but some didn’t. During storms and bad weather, please take extra keep well clear of the waves and cliff edges and avoid taking ‘storm selfies’ as strong rogue waves can hit in seconds and sweep people and pets off their feet. And worse.  If you see anyone in trouble around the coast, whatever the weather, please call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Our teams have been on the ground and in the air over the weekend of #StormDennis. Our search and rescue helicopter went to the rescue of a gentleman trapped in a mobile home engulfed by floodwaters, Crickhowell, Wales.  See the view here:

Images from Swanage CRT, Stornoway CRT and Owen Smith of Hartlepool CRT 

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