Since January, the team have had a busy start of the year with a range of taskings from false alarms with good intent to major searches over large areas. Below is a summary of these incidents.
- 25/01/2018 15:37 – The team were called out this afternoon with our colleagues from Sunderland CRT to assist Northumbria Police with a elderly female with dementia who had gone missing from a local care home in South Shields. Our officer in charge formulated a search plan to carry out cliff top searches between Trow Point and Marsden using both vehicles and on foot. As we were carrying out our searches news came through the lady had been found on a local high street safe and well and we could stand down. Duty SCOO S5A from Amble was also on scene to provide assistance.
- 25/01/2018 21:27 – The brigade were tasked after a report of 2 males on the wrong side of the safety barrier at Marsden. Fire Ambulance and police were already on scene and after our OIC liaised with their OIC, it was decided to put our team at the cliff bottom to assist paramedics and police officers who also had teams there. The police negotiator was belayed out by fire crew in order to speak to the male. After some time the male returned to the correct side, it was then realised the 2nd person in the report was a friend of the other male and was trying to speak to him.
- 26/01/2018 01:15 – The team were tasked to the Leas opposite the Bamburgh pub, after a report of a dog walker expressing concern over a person walking towards the cliffs, as team members arrived the first informant had left. The team liaised with police and a search plan devised using our vehicle and team members on foot, the Tynemouth lifeboat were also tasked to search the shoreline. After a comprehensive search from Trow to Marsden with nothing found Humber were happy for us to stand down at 02:45.
- 1/02/2018 11:21 – The team were tasked to the Wherry at Whitburn after a call from a member of the public reported that their dog had fallen 30ft down a hole. SSB arrived on scene and spoke to the woman, her dog could be heard but not seen, a fellow dog walker had managed to access the hole from the sea side as the tide was out, he managed to lead the dog out and reunite it with the owner. Humber were informed and stood the team down.
- 4/02/2018 23:59 – Tasked to reports of a person in distress at Marsden. Person brought to safety. All teams stood down.
- 10/02/2018 02:37 – The team were tasked by Humber Coastguard early this morning along with our colleagues from Sunderland CRT to the cliffs between the Marsden Grotto and Whitburn after receiving reports of a possible person having gone over the cliff. A search was carried out by both team members on the cliff top and on the beach as far as the tidal conditions would allow. With nothing found, both teams were stood down.
- 10/02/2018 18:43 – The team were tasked along with our colleagues from Sunderland CRT, police and fire service after a report of a female on the cliff edge at Frenchmans bay, SSB arrived and spoke to police officers and the fire service OIC, as the teams were setting up their equipment police managed to encourage the female to return to the safe side of the barrier. Our 4×4 came in handy as a police vehicle had bogged down and needed assistance to get back to the road.
- 14/02/2018 15:38 – The team were tasked along with our colleagues from Sunderland CRT to the Fat Buddha restaurant in Seaburn after concerns were raised by a customer of a windsurfer in difficulty, as the team arrived a search plan was devised and teams deployed, the Sunderland lifeboat was also launched, after a comprehensive search and more information received from other windsurfers, Humber stood the teams down at 16:56.
- 14/02/2018 19:33 – The second call of today was to reports of a person on the wrong side of the railings at Marsden Grotto. The team attended along with our colleagues from Sunderland Coast Rescue team, Northumbria police and North East Ambulance Service. The teams arrived on scene, prepared equipment and stood by as the police spoke to the individual. They were encouraged to return to safety after a short time.
- 17/02/2018 04:47 – The team were tasked along with our colleagues from Sunderland Coast Rescue Team to search for a 75 year old female missing from her home. The teams rendezvoused at Latimers in Whitburn and a search plan devised, due to the large area of the search 2 teams with 2 vehicles as back up began a comprehensive search, after several hours of searching and all avenues exhausted we were stood down at 10:45.
- 17/02/2018 20:04 – The team were called out for the second time today after the Coastguard Operations Centre at Humber received a 999 from someone threatening to end their life in the Seaburn Area, they then hung up. We were then joined on scene with Coastguard duty officer SC5, Sunderland CRT and officers from Northumbria Police. The search area was extended to cover Roker and Whitburn. As a team approached Roker Pier they were flagged down by two young fisherman who said there was a despondent person at the end of the pier. All units responded to the pier and found the individual who confirmed they had made the 999 call. They were passed to the police for further care.
- 23/02/2018 09:33 – The team were called out this morning with Sunderland CRT and Seaham Coastguard to a dog over the cliff at the North end of Frenchmans Bay. On arrival we found due to the state of the tide we could access the bottom of the cliffs around the point to recover the dog. The dog, a young cockerpoo was recovered in an animal rescue bag before being returned to it’s owners, brigade members assisted the owners to their car on the main road. A trip to the vet was advised. We would like to remind all dog owners the importance of keeping their dogs on a lead when near the cliffs.
- 26/02/2018 11:59 – The team were contacted to assist police after a report of a distressed male threatening to drive his vehicle over the cliff. SSB arrived on scene and was informed by police that the male was speaking to officers through the car window, after updating Humber SSB was informed that Sunderland Coastguard Rescue Team and the Tynemouth Lifeboat were also en route, however after a few minutes police officers encouraged the male to get into their vehicle and away from the cliff edge. Humber were updated and teams stood down at 12:27.
- 2/03/2018 09:34 – At the request of HM Coastguard was on station from 14:00 ready to respond to any flood emergencies due to the high tide and the tidal surge associated with it. Safety patrol occurred without incident.
- 3/03/2018 20:25 – The Team were tasked along with our colleagues from Sunderland CRT to Roker pier after a report of a male entering the water, as teams arrived it was discovered it was 2 fishermen that had climbed around the locked gate to fish. Police officers escorted them off and took details. The teams were then stood down.
- 8/03/2018 15:03 – This afternoon the team were paged to take part in a full scale coastal search for a person reported to be overboard from a DFDS ferry after their belongings were found still onboard after its arrival in North Shields. Ourselves, Sunderland, Blyth, Seaham and Tynemouth VLB conducted a full coastal search of beaches and coves from Seaham in the south to Cambois in the north. Whilst lifeboats from Filey, Whitby, Scarborough, Hartlepool, Tynemouth and Blyth along with the Coastguard Search and Rescue Helicopter conducted a seaborne search of the extensive probability area. With our search area from the piers to Frenchmans Bay at South Shields complete and with high tide fast approaching the team was stood down to return to station.
- 15/03/2018 08:13 – The team were tasked to the South Pier after a report from the pier watchman that he had found abandoned fishing equipment near the first gate, 5 team members attended and used the vehicle to complete a thorough search of the pier. With nothing found the team made contact with the watchman who had recovered the equipment which was broken and appeared to have been discarded, after informing UK Coastguard they were happy to stand the team down with thanks.
- 18/03/2018 16:21 – The team were tasked by Humber to the Herd Groyne after a report from a concerned member of the public that a male was in a precarious position, upon arrival SSB spoke to the first informant who witnessed the male walk to the end of the Groyne and then return to the beach, after a hasty search of the area and finding nothing untoward, Humber were informed and the team were stood down.
- 30/03/2018 12:40 – The team were tasked to the Little Haven slipway after a report of a vehicle and jet ski stuck on the beach with an incoming tide. The team’s priority was to ensure the safety of the owners. The team managed to secure the vehicle with a tow line to stop it floating away. The 4×4 was then used to pull the vehicle and jet ski to safety. A member of our team noticed one of the owners was showing signs of hypothermia, due to him being in the water trying to save his vehicle. After assessing him, it was decided to call for an ambulance. In the meantime we used blankets and our vehicles heaters to keep him warm. He was then taken to hospital as a precaution by the ambulance crew.
The team would like to thank everyone that has supported us so far this year. Everything we do is done by volunteers and requires constant fundraising. If you would like to support us with our efforts, we would be very grateful for your donations and continuing support.
Remember, in the event of a coastal emergency, dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.