Joint Exercise with National Coastwatch Institution
Two of our launches, Tom Sherrin and Avocet, left Poole Quay at about 0945 on Wednesday 14th August to take part in a joint exercise with the National Coastwatch Institution stations at Swanage and St. Albans Head.
Although the day was a little overcast, the forecasted wind was suitable and good progress was made to Swanage Bay where contact was made with NCI Swanage and the Portland Coastguard. The exercise consisted of the Tom Sherrin proceeding to a pre-planned position in Swanage Bay and asking the NCI to plot us. This was followed by the NCI requesting the us to proceed to one of their pre-plotted positions and us stating where we were. On each occasion the plotting was completed with a satisfactory result. We then moved to a “common” position in visual of both stations and then repeated the procedure with St. Albans Head.
After a brief lunch stop and watch change the exercise continued but using Avocet as the target. Unfortunately the visibility prevented the second “common” position with Avocet being found but otherwise the afternoon went well. During the day different members were able to take part in the plotting and radio communications, an area where practice and confidence building are always needed.
We were very pleased with the results and the experience was gained with plotting, navigation and radio procedures. Hopefully future exercises will enable a different mix of members to take part and gain similar experience. Both vessels were back alongside at 1645 hours.
Peter Lockwood, Poole Unit.