Lowland Search Dogs Southern take part in an Exercise with the Coastguard, RNLI and the Fire Service. 10 June 2009 ‘PASSENGERS’ SAVED FROM BURNING BOAT IN MOCK DISASTER

It’s straight from the scene of a disaster movie: a burning boat stranded on the water with choking passengers on board.

But a disaster was averted thanks to the quick thinking and teamwork of emergency services in a mock emergency on the Hayling Ferry.

The rescue exercise was staged to show what would happen if there were a serious incident on the ferry.

And lifesavers from across the area, including the RNLI, firefighters and coastguard, rose to the

challenge to save the Pride of Hayling and its occupants from disaster.

As part of the mock-up, the ferry had left the island with 12 passengers and a crew of two.

A mayday was sent out, reporting that the vessel was adrift and without power because of a fire in the engine room.

Three passengers were seen jumping off the ferry as smoke began to engulf the vessel. Two of these were reported to have swum towards the eastern shore of Langstone Harbour.

No-one got wet, however, as the overboard passengers were actually dummies.

But there was plenty of drama as passengers, mostly from the coastguard service, simulated the effects of smoke inhalation and burns.

Lifeboats quickly arrived and evacuated the passengers, while firefighters from Hayling Island put out the ‘fire’.

Meanwhile, search dogs scoured the shoreline for the missing ‘passengers’ and two were found on the beach and carried by stretcher back to Hayling pontoon. The third dummy was found in the harbour and rushed to the pontoon to receive ‘treatment’.

Alec Gall, Hayling Ferry operator, said his passengers, amounting to 75,000 a year, should feel safe and reassured following the exercise, which was organised by coastguard sector manager Steve Duff.

He added: ‘I think they did a very professional job. It gives you the confidence for what would happen if they were ever needed.’

Attachments Preview:

Solfire Exercise 21 October 2008


Whilst negotiating the Needles channel a small sightseeing ship runs into difficulties and grounds. In poor weather the situation worsens and the ship partially capsizes. Passengers and crew are already abandoning ship by various methods as “mayday” communications activate a major air, sea and land search & rescue operation, culminating in the rescue of survivors and recovery victims over a moderate area.

Twenty Five Organisations took part:

Queens Harbour Master Portsmouth 1
Associated British Ports Southampton 2
Hampshire Constabulary 3
Hampshire Marine Police Unit 4
Hampshire Fire & Rescue Service 5
South Central Ambulance Service 6
Isle of Wight Primary Care Trust 7
Hampshire County Council 8
New Forest District Council 9
Coastal Safety Manager (Southern) 10
MCA Public Relations 11
Rescue Coordination Centre Manager Dover 12
Rescue Coordination Centre Manager Portland 13
Rescue Coordination Centre Manager Solent
Watch Manager Solent
Sector Manager Isle of Wight
Sector Manager Portsmouth
Sector Manager Southampton
Coastguard Helicopter Unit Solent
Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Solent Sea Rescue Organisation
Hampshire Search & Rescue (HANTSAR)
Lowland Search Dogs (Southern)
Maritime Volunteer Service (MVS)
51 Squadron, Royal Logistics Corps

Lowland Search Dogs Southern located two casualties in the area they were deployed to search


For the exercise the missing person was located by Cynthia and dog Carraigh in the underground tunnels of the fort.The Coastguard teams brought the missing person to safety from a very difficult location using stretchers and rope work.

Exercise with HMCoastguard 21 JANUARY 2007

Two LSD Southern Dogs and handlers supported by Portsmouth Sector Manager and two Coastguard

Rescue Officers were airlifted by Coastguard helicopter ,India Juliet, to the ISLE OF WIGHT.

Landing sites were set up by HMCoastguard on Hayling Island Beach and St Catherines Hill IOW.

The dog teams undertook a search exercise with Coastguard teams on the ISLE OF WIGHT for two missing people.

Both were located one by search dog team which was a great result for all involved.

Coastguard and Dog Teams ready for exercise

Winchman leads the team to India Juliet

Boarding flight

Arriving back Hayling



Debriefing after the exercise at the Coastguard Station

A section of the area to be searched

Training with HMCoastguard on OSPREY


Operation Mutley’s medal 29 October 2006

Dog team being deployed by RNLI Portsmouth Lifeboat

` Combined Sector Search exercise with HM Coastguard ( Portsmouth and Hayling Island) Portsmouth Lifeboat and Lowland Search Dogs Southern. The task; to locate and evacuate, all simulated casualties from Northern Shore of Langstone harbour.  The search dog team supported by HM Coastguard and deployed by RNLI Portsmouth Lifeboat, located four casualties on Long Island and the south tip of Farlington Marshes.

Boarding the lifeboat at Hayling Island



Kala our “Body” rewards Teaghan for finding her

Carraigh located body and goes in close to check it out