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Old 06 November 2013, 03:07   #1
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Sad incident at Tilly Whim Caves

A lady died recently at Tilly Whim caves along dorset coastline near swanage. Very sad, lovely stretch of coast.

BBC News - Tilly Whim Caves: Swimmer dies after becoming trapped

Ive seen people clambering along the rocks here a few times, always looks rather dangerous but I never know whether I should call someone or not. Even seen people fishing along the stretch beneath Durlston Castle, I expect Poole Sea Safari have seen them many times also.

Question is when your out on your Rib near coastline and see what appears to be people clambering over rocks along and under a cliff who are not part of an organised group and it looks really stupid and dangerous to you do you think about calling anyone as in coastguard.
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Old 06 November 2013, 04:37   #2
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Borris,

Obviously if someone is in distress then call the CG. Similarly if the CG are asking for info about people who may be overdue or where someone else has noted concern etc?

However, as for "see what appears to be people clambering over rocks along and under a cliff who are not part of an organised group":

- there's no guarantee that people in an organised group are not heading into danger
- a very small group could be very experienced and competent, how would you know?

Quote:
and it looks really stupid and dangerous to you
- if you are not experienced at coasteering how would you judge what looks dangerous? from an outsiders point of view you need to consider how most water sports would look to a casual observer.
- there is no certainty that had you seen these two people that they would have fallen into the 'crazy / stupid' category - they may have appeared well equipped.

Having said all that I believe the conditions were so bad that the ILB returned to base after an hour. Even if I saw a very experienced looking group in those conditions (not that I would likely be out) then I may have made the CG aware of them - basically use your common sense.
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Old 06 November 2013, 16:21   #3
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We see groups and individuals along stretch of coast regularly.

Unless they signal that they are in distress or common sense says they are in danger, we would leave well alone.
A common sense situation has only occured the once, when we came across 3 very young lads scrabbling along the rocks, looking concerned (and lost their shoes), we went in close and told them to stay where they were. We then backed off to get in radio contact with CG and the ILB was launched. We then went back in close to offer reassurance, they were more concerned about being told off by the RNLI.
Safely recovered, they were taken back to their parents on Swanage beach, who "knew" where they were (not) and I'm told the RNLI guys told them in no uncertain terms how irresponsible THEY were, in not controlling the kids.
Steve
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Old 06 November 2013, 17:43   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boristhebold View Post
Question is when your out on your Rib near coastline and see what appears to be people clambering over rocks along and under a cliff who are not part of an organised group and it looks really stupid and dangerous to you do you think about calling anyone as in coastguard.
I did..
My wife and I went for a "quick spin" round yo Swanage out from Poole late on the Sunday afternoon after the Bournemouth Air Show. On the way round past Old Harry rocks I noticed a couple of people at the base of the cliffs beneath Ballard Down well towards Old Harry and a long way from the eastern end of the beach in Swanage Bay and went in closer to investigate. We could not get right into the cliff due to the rocks under water, it was an East Asian couple in their 20's/30's in "ordinary" summer clothing no special
Footwear, climbing gear or anything we established they were OK (not sure they spoke English) and they were making slow progress back towards Swanage. The tide was up and they were clambering/climbing over the rocks near the waters edge. We moved offshore a bit and discussed what to do... We decided to call the coastguard, we felt it was a dangerous route fro them back to the beach & whilst they appeared OK at the time we decided we'd rather make sure they got back safely then hear about them on the news!
I radioed Portland Coastguard and was asked to standby and monitor them while the Swanage Coastguard shore based mobile unit was scrambled. We ended up stooging around for 1.5 -2 hrs while the cliff walkers made their way back to the beach. The Swanage Coastguard unit turned up by the slipway after an hour or so & we liaised with them and Portland by VHF until they were safely on the beach and the Swanage Coastguard has eyeball on them. As they wanted a "safety chat" and double check they were OK.
We were both getting cold as our quick spin has been extended somewhat.. & were both glad to be heading back into Poole with everyone safe.
One slip and they would been in the sea and could easily have sustained nasty injuries on the way in. If hey had fallen in we would have gone to their aid in seconds & any damage to the boat would have been a secondary consideration in the circumstances I'm happy with our decision.
We could have turned a blind eye and have left them to it but we would have been left wondering did they make it back OK...

Our comms with Portland were a bit difficult at times (handheld VHF) and it took me a while to realise I has to go offshore a little way to get a better signal. Swanage Coastguard & Portland also had difficulty liaising probably to due to a poor signal because of the geography.
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Old 06 November 2013, 17:55   #5
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Very sad news item this one :-(
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