Lyme Bay Coastwatch
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Sighting of Cetaceans
MARINElife: Southwest Sightings Project For the attention of all members based around Dorset, Devon or Cornwall: MARINElife are looking for people around Dorset, Devon and Cornwall who would be interested in sending in details of any cetacean (whales, dolphins and porpoises) or sea bird sightings, thereby contributing to our important research. MARINElife are a charity based in Dorset and our main work is conducting cetacean and seabird surveys, along with gathering species sightings around the UK - our mission to conserve marine wildlife through research and education.  Please feel free to have a look at our website for more information, We are currently re-launching our southwest sightings project, whereby we are aiming to gather public sightings of cetaceans around the Dorset, Devon and Cornwall coasts.  As members of an organisation frequenting the coastline, we would really appreciate it you would be interested in letting us know of any sightings you have.  All we need you to do is record the date, time and location (preferably GPS coordinates if possible), in addition to the species, number of individuals and any young seen.  Photos (and/or videos) are extremely useful so we can confirm the species and conduct photo-identification on the individuals seen.  But please do still let us know of any sightings you have without photos. Please email me at if this is something you would be interested in doing, and I will send you further details. If you have recorded any sightings over the summer, please feel free to email the details (as above) straight to Many thanks, Ellen Last (MARINElife Southwest Sightings Coordinator)
Recognising the Symptoms of Drowning
Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning The new captain jumped from the cockpit, fully dressed, and sprinted through the water. A former lifeguard, he kept his eyes on his victim as he headed straight for the owners who were swimming between their anchored boat and the beach. “I think he thinks you’re drowning,” the husband said to his wife. They had been splashing each other and she had screamed but now they were just standing, neck-deep on the sand bar.  “We’re fine, what is he doing?” she asked, a little annoyed. “We’re fine!” the husband yelled, waving him off, but his captain kept swimming hard.  “Move!” he barked as he sprinted between the stunned owners. Directly behind them, not ten feet away, their nine-year-old daughter was drowning. Safely above the surface in the arms of the captain, she burst into tears, “Daddy!” How did this captain know, from fifty feet away, what the father couldn’t recognize from just ten? Drowning is not the violent, splashing, call for help that most people expect.  The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience.  The father, on the other hand, had learned what drowning looks like by watching television.  If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that’s all of us) then you should make sure that you and your crew knows what to look for whenever people enter the water.  Until she cried a tearful, “Daddy,” she hadn’t made a sound. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event.  The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for, is  rarely seen in real life. The Instinctive Drowning Response – so named by Francesco A. Pia, Ph.D.,  is what people do to avoid actual or perceived suffocation in the water.  And it does not look like most people expect.  There is very little splashing, no waving, and no yelling or calls for help of any kind.  To get an idea of just how quiet and undramatic from the surface drowning can be, consider this:  It is the number two cause of accidental death in children, age 15 and under (just behind vehicle accidents) – of the approximately 750 children who will drown next year, about 375 of them will do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult.  In ten percent of those drownings, the adult will actually watch them do it, having no idea it is happening (source: CDC).  Drowning does not look like drowning – Dr. Pia, in an article in the Coast The instinctive drowning response: 1. Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing.  Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled, before speech occurs. 2. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water. 3. Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water, permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe. 4. Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the  water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment. 5. From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.  This doesn’t mean that a person that is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble – they are experiencing aquatic distress. Not always present before the instinctive drowning response, aquatic distress doesn’t last long – but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in their own rescue.  They can grab lifelines, throw rings, etc. Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are in the water: Head low in the water, mouth at water level Head tilted back with mouth open Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus Eyes closed Hair over forehead or eyes Not using legs – Vertical Hyperventilating or gasping Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway Trying to roll over on the back Ladder climb, rarely out of the water. So if a crew member falls overboard and every looks O.K. – don’t be too sure.  Sometimes the most common indication that someone is drowning is that they don’t look like they’re drowning.  They may just look like they are treading water and looking up at the deck.  One  way to be sure?  Ask them:  Are you alright?”  If they can answer at all – they probably are.  If they return  a blank stare – you may have less than 30 seconds to get to them.  And parents: children playing in the water make noise. When they get quiet, you get to them and find out why.
Poole Maritime Team Border Force 2nd Floor Portcullis House New Harbour Road (South) Poole Dorset BH15 4AJ         Tel: 01202 579233 29th July 2016 NEWSLETTER 06/16 Dear Ladies and Gentlemen Many thanks to all those who have emailed us in recent weeks. There is still plenty of activity on the other side of the Channel that should concern us.   As a result of improved security at Calais, migrants have dispersed to other areas where they believe their chances of crossing the Channel might be greatly improved and there have been reports of makeshift camps in Cherbourg and Dieppe. Many migrants will attempt to smuggle themselves into lorries, but there is increasing evidence to suggest that others are prepared to risk making the crossing in small boats.  Locals in Carteret identified a boat suspected to be for migrants to get into the Channel Islands, and the French coastguard has been involved in several operations to rescue people from small boats off the coast. There have also been cases of migrants getting into difficulties in small boats off the English coast in recent weeks. Boats used by migrants may well be unmarked.  As the image below illustrates (taken in the Channel fairly recently). There’s a distinct possibility they may also be totally inappropriate for a Channel crossing, so please let us know if you suspect a vessel fits this profile. Just to remind you, if you encounter such a vessel while at sea: First check your mobile coverage and call 01202 579233. If you need to contact us between the hours of 01:00 and 07:00 please call 01303 299073, which is our Regional Control Unit. If there is no mobile phone coverage, please contact the Coastguard by radio on the emergency channel. We are keen to build on existing relationships with partner organisations based locally, such as the Police, MCA and RNLI and develop relationships with other local organisations such as Harbourwatch. With that in mind, we are trying to get out and about to meet as many of you as possible.  In recent weeks, we have been to the National Coastwatch Institution stations at St. Aldhelms Head and Swanage and visited harbour authorities or sailing clubs at West Bay, Lyme Regis, Axmouth, Lymington, Swanage and Mudeford. In September we plan to visit the Maritime Volunteer Service on the Isle of Wight. You might find the attached maps interesting; they illustrate our Team’s areas of responsibility and marinas/ports within that area.  Please let us know if you feel there’s a potential landing area that we may have overlooked – local knowledge is always most welcome. We would ask you all to continue to be vigilant and inform us if you see any suspicious activity, or encounter any suspicious boats. Enjoy the rest of the sailing season. Poole Maritime Team