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In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard


Being by the seaside is a good time to spend relaxing and enjoying the different landscape around it. Before you go to the beach to sunbath, do water sports or walk around the coastline, we would like to give you a bit of advice to help keep you safe.

We want you to remember the good times that you had whilst out and about. Part of our role is to do patrols which keep us in the public eye and is a good way of seeing what is going on to hopefully prevent an emergency. You may see us in our vehicle around the seaside area. Whilst on patrol we are checking lifebelts to make sure they are in order if they are needed, as well as making sure the emergency telephones are working.

Before going to the seaside, please look at this checklist of things that you should do.


  • Make sure you have the right clothing for what you are going to do.


  • Ensure life saving equipment is up to date and make sure the person who is wearing it knows how to use it.


  • If you are on a boat, please make sure that you wear lifejackets. We have had to attend a few sad incidents where they have not been worn. If lifejackets are worn, they may help to keep you alive if you end up in the water until help arrives. Click here to see a video clip that should help.


  • If you are walking around the cliff edges or on coastal paths, make sure that you obey the warning signs. A lot of the cliffs on the island can give way under foot without warning. If you are walking your dog, keep an eye on where they are as dogs can fall over cliffs as well as people! If you look at our 'Call Outs' page you can see that we have had to help dogs who have fallen over cliffs. DO NOT try to rescue your pet yourself. Call the Coastguard who are properly trained and will use the correct equipment to rescue your dog.


  • Walking along beaches to get to different areas is often a nice way to get about but check the tides before you do this as this can catch people out on a regular basis.


  • Always let someone know where you are going if possible, the proposed route and the expected time of when you will be coming back.


  • If you are a boat owner, get it registered under the CG66 scheme. For further information about CG66 please click here. You can complete the form online or print it off and send it to your nearest Coastguard Co-ordination Centre. For our area, the details of Solent Coastguard can be found on our 'Contact Us' page.


  • Always make sure you carry a mobile phone in case you need to make that emergency call. Boat owners should have a VHF radio onboard as well.


  • Swim close to the shoreline as tides and currents are very strong and can move you quickly without warning.


  • Think about when you eat and drink at the beach as this may give you cramps when in the water and you may find it difficult to get back to the beach.


  • Always wear sun cream and be careful how long you are in the sun for.


  • DO NOT try to rescue someone yourself unless you are properly trained to do so. Never be frightened of calling us if you see or think you see someone in trouble as this is what we are here for.


In an emergency or if you see someone in danger out to sea or on the coast, dial 999 and ask for the COASTGUARD.


Phonetic Alphabet

This is the phonetic alphabet which should be used when communicating over a VHF radio.

A Alpha
B Bravo
C Charlie
D Delta
E Echo
F Foxtrot
G Golf
H Hotel
I India
J Juliet
K Kilo
L Lima
M Mike
N November
O Oscar
P Papa
Q Quebec
R Romeo
S Sierra
T Tango
U Uniform
V Victor
W Whiskey
X X-Ray
Y Yankee
Z Zulu


Our vehicle put away and ready for the next call. Please follow the advice above and hopefully you will not need to see it. Rescue India Juliet above Bonchurch


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The views expressed in this website are those of the Ventnor Coastguard Team and may not reflect those of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency

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