The six monthly meeting of representatives from Calshot, Lee on the Solent, Gosport and the Needles stations took place today 8th October at the Trafalgar Room at The Royal Southampton Yacht Club. Discussions covered all aspects of our activities including relationship with HMCG, Radio training and recent joint exercises, fund raising and Queens Award for Voluntary Service joint application.
A busy Saturday at the Tower
Following on from Ian Davis’s e-mail about needing people for last Saturday’s Live Exercise, I thought it was about time my two years training was put to the test.
By the time Jane, Tony and myself arrived the fog had cleared and some initial chatter on CH65 from NMV Granville was heard still around the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour and dealing with Gosport NCI. The decision was taken to split the shift with Jane looking after the Radio and I would do the chart work, leaving Tony to cover the general watch in particular up Southampton water.
With the Granville still over by Gosport, it seemed sensible to start plotting their positions and request for bearings to a new position, it did show up that the T-square is not quiet long enough for that part of the chart, but a useful warm start, including one position being high and dry around Lee on Solent and the use of old racing buoys names that added some confusion.
I was expecting to see a craft that was big enough to be seen at a distance, so wrong, it took all eyes to finally identify Granville around East Brambles/Hill Head after requesting a position, course and speed. Again the live practice shows up what was said in training, things are difficult to see and identify even if you know what you are looking for.
Around 1430 Calshot NCI took over and received several requests for a bearing from a position to a new position, this all seemed to work well, with good response times for the bearings and distance from Calshot; that was my view, Bryan Young who was overseeing the exercise from the Tower may have a different take.
The exercise made the shift go past quickly and sharpen up both Plotting at speed and use of the Radio for all concerned. I would suggest anyone who has not been around for one these exercises should jump at volunteering next time (if I do not get there first)
Helena Carr, one of our watchkeepers was recently involved in an incident at Mudeford, near Christchurch….her words to Ian Davis, our Radio Comms Officer
‘I have to say Ian my NCI training and very basic knowledge of speaking with the Coastguard came in handy……………..we were down at Mudeford recently for a walk around, on the way back from Avon Beach to Mudeford car park I noticed something/someone out in the water who appeared to be struggling with a jet ski…………..splashing water, some smoke and a waving arm did for me – ended up waving back with a thumbs up to indicate someone had seen them while dialing 999 for the Coastguard. The RNLI Mudeford Lifeboat was launched, we stayed on the beach and rocks waving at the person and eventually indicating to the lifeboat the approx location (he had drifted quite a way at this stage). Well, he was picked up and returned to Mudeford and we went to see him…his jet ski motor has burned out, he was shaken and quite tired but Ok. But during my 2 calls to the Coastguard I could give the approx location and distance, very basic description (he was wearing at least an orange buoyancy aid), the sea state, what the tide was doing, wind direction and buoy marks etc. I told 2 or 3 other people on the beach to keep their eyes on the person so that we didn’t lose him. See it does work Ian!!’
Visitors to the Tower today….a floatplane from Prestwick! on it’s way to the Schneider Trophy race in Alderney!
A floatplane arrived today on it’s way to a Schneider Trophy Race in Alderney… Continue reading
Note, Velsheda in the background, going straight home to Ocean Village, winner two days in a row!
15 July 2015.