Search for possible aircraft in distress

At 16:53 this evening a concerned member of the public on the East coast of Herm contacted Guernsey Coastguard stating that an aircraft trailing smoke was seen to lose altitude, however it was not seen to crash and no accurate distance or positions could be given, only that it had possibly crashed somewhere between Sark and the adjacent coast of France.

The St Peter Port all weather lifeboat, ‘Spirit of Guernsey’ and the Channel Islands Airsearch aircraft, ‘Airsearch 1’ were both launched at 17:20 in order to investigate the sighting further.

The St Peter Port Lifeboat arrived on scene at 17:55 with Airsearch 1 arriving at 18:17 at which time an extensive search was conducted in the near perfect conditions of smooth seas and visibility in excess of 10 nautical miles.

Sark and Herm constables mobilised manpower to conduct visual searches from the shore and also several small vessels from Sark put to sea to assist in the search.

Enquiries were made with Air Traffic Control authorities in Guernsey, Jersey, France and the United Kingdom, all of which investigated and found no overdue aircraft or any acting erratically on recorded radar displays. No distress calls or beacon alerts were received at any time during the incident.

At 20:00 with no sightings of any objects or fuel slicks on the water, and no further information from air traffic sources the decision was taken to cease the search.

Airsearch 1 was back on station at 20:15 with the St Peter Port Lifeboat being back on station at 20:52.

Until any further information is available this incident is being treated as a call with good intent and Guernsey Coastguard are grateful to the informant who showed the presence of mind to call in an event that looked out of place.

AIS tracking courtesy of Digimap and RES

Multi-Agency Response to Cliff Rescue

At 3pm on 9th August 2020, Guernsey Coastguard received a call reporting that a 60 year old male had fallen 20 feet down a cliff at Le Gouffre on the south coast of Guernsey during a recreational climb. A Coastguard officer and paramedics attended the scene to make an initial assessment and after meeting one of the other climbers, it was quickly established that the Guernsey Cliff Rescue team and RNLI Lifeboats would be required in order to carry out the rescue.

Both St Peter Port All Weather Lifeboat (ALB) and the Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) launched on service at 3:43pm and proceeded to Le Gouffre to standby at the base of the cliff. Cliff Rescue arrived on scene at 3:49pm and after assessing the situation, it was determined that the safest means to extract the casualty was to lower him to the base of the cliff and to transfer him into one of the waiting Lifeboats.

Whilst the cliff rescue was being set up, the ILB collected a paramedic from the beach at Petit Bot. The casualty was safely lowered to the base of the cliff and transferred to the ALB via dinghy with the Cliff Rescue team. Both lifeboats arrived back in St Peter Port shortly after 5:30pm where the casualty was transferred to a waiting ambulance having suffered injuries to his legs and arms.

A spokesman from Guernsey Coastguard said “This was an excellent demonstration of multiagency working with assets from the Guernsey Cliff Rescue Team, RNLI Lifeboats, St John Ambulance Service and Guernsey Coastguard all contributing to a successful rescue”

James Way Duty SAR Mission Coordinator

photo by Dylan Ray
Photo by Dylan Ray

Swimmers in Distress

The St Peter Port Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) was launched last evening (6th July 2020) to go to the assistance of two 17 year old males who were in difficulties off the Groines at Vazon.

Guernsey Coastguard received a call at 19:27, informing them that 2 males were in difficulty and clinging to the Groines.

The ILB departed St Peter Port at 19:43 and was on scene at 20:05, the Spirit of Guernsey was also tasked to assist, departing at 20:02.

An experienced local surfer on a rescue board made his way to the two persons in distress and gave assistance and ultimately paddled them back to shore.

Thanks must be given to a surfer who threw his board out to the casualties, which they then managed to get a hold of, and which provided a buoyancy aid, until the local surfer reached them.

The two lifeboats were stood down, and were back on station at 20:43 and 20:32 respectively.

Pic by Tony Rive 06-07-2020 Lifeboat Spirit of Guernsey passing La Platte Beacon while returning to St Peter Port Harbour after being stood down from a shout to Vazon Bay on Guernsey’s West coast. The Relief ILB John and Louisa Fisher (B-870) also attended the shout.
Photo by Dylan Ray

St Peter Port lifeboat returns to Guernsey

Following recent repairs in the UK, the St Peter Port lifeboat “Spirit of Guernsey” has returned to Guernsey and the relief lifeboat went back to Poole the same day. Pictures by Tony Rive

Pic by Tony Rive 02-07-2020 The St Peter Port All Weather Severn class Lifeboat Spirit of Guernsey about to pass La Platte Beacon as its return to Guernsey after a 6 month stoppover in the UK (Cowes and Poole) after being damaged during a rescue of a Fisherman last year.
Pic by Tony Rive 02-07-2020 Spirit of Guernsey passing Brehon Tower inward bound to St Peter Port following repairs in the UK.

Boat taking on water

The St Peter Port All Weather Lifeboat (ALB) “Fraser Flyer” was launched at 1423 on Friday 26th June 2020 to go to the assistance of an Alderney registered pleasure vessel taking on water 6 miles north of Platte Fougere Lighthouse.

The 8 meter vessel with 8 people on board broadcast a PAN PAN message on VHF Ch.16 prompting Guernsey Coastguard to launch the St Peter Port ALB and request the launch of Channel Islands Air Search’s Air Search 1.

St Peter Port ALB was on scene at 1459 and transferred two of the Lifeboat Crew to the casualty vessel with a salvage pump. Then the crew of the casualty vessel transferred to the Lifeboat. At this point Air search 1 was stood down.

Once the water ingress was controlled and pumped out the casualty vessel was escorted back to St Peter Port.

photo by Dylan Ray
Pic by Tony Rive 26-06-2020 Lifeboat Fraser Flyer (17-17) passing Brehon Tower as it heads north up the Little Russel after leaving St Peter Port on a Shout. The 27ft Dell Quay Ranger Motorboat Kildaloo was taking water

Lifeboats Launch to Multiple Incidents

In a busy afternoon for Guernsey Coastguard, both the St Peter Port All Weather Lifeboat and the Inshore Lifeboat were tasked to incidents around the coast. (20th June 2020)

Shortly after 5pm, Guernsey Coastguard received several calls reporting a man in the water in difficulty close to rocks in Saints Bay Harbour. Both lifeboats were paged and Police and Coastguard officers attended the scene. Police were able to lift the man out of the water however, he had sustained injuries to his head and was unable to walk back up the rocks. St Peter Port Inshore Lifeboat arrived on scene just before 5:30pm and crewmen assisted paramedics in transferring the casualty onto the Inshore Lifeboat by stretcher. The casualty was taken to the landing in Saints Harbour and safely carried up the steps to a waiting ambulance.

Whilst on route to the same incident, Guernsey Coastguard was alerted to a vessel broken down and drifting north from Herm Harbour. As the person in Saints Bay had been recovered ashore, St Peter Port Lifeboat was diverted to assist the drifting vessel. A tow was established and the vessel was towed safely back to St Peter Port arriving back on station just before 6:30pm.

Two shouts at the same time – AIS tracking by Digimap
The Inshore Lifeboat heading for the first shout – – photo by Dylan Ray
The lifeboat heading for the first shout before being diverted- photo by Dylan Ray