The Radio Amateurs' Emergency Network

Eastbourne and Wealden RAYNET

Current Operational Status
No Current Incidents

Next Scheduled Event
Sat 17 Feb 2018
Training Day - Basic Skills
Operation Snow Watch Tuesday 30th November to Friday 3rd December 2010
Operation Snow Watch Tuesday 30th November, Wednesday 1st, Thursday 2nd & Friday 3rd December 2010
The group was called out by the Eastbourne District General Hospital DGH at 16:00 hours. Six members were able to respond and two 4X4 vehicles were despatched to transport them the DGH and to collect staff and take them home to outlying areas. At approximately 18:00 hours the Conquest Hospital requested assistance, Hastings RAYNET were contacted but unfortunately none of the members have 4X4 vehicles and most were snowed in.
At 19:19 hours it was possible to free up one 4X4 to travel to the Conquest Hospital to and to pick staff on route. The last mobile G8NFZ closed at home after midnight having travelled back and forth transporting staff to the Conquest and the last journey transferring a doctor from Eastbourne to Hastings.
Direct radio contact was made with South Sussex Group Controller and maintained through the period of operation on the 30 November.
Operations restarted at 06:00 hours on Wednesday with G0BUX 4X4 travelling to DGH Eastbourne and M6DRL to the Conquest Hospital picking up staff on route. APRS trackers were used in both vehicles and the Eastbourne and Wealden RAYNET digipeater sited at Heathfield proved its worth. The control station(s) were able to maintain a track of G0BUX-13 and M6DRL-15 with up to the minute positioning, which made the control work much easier. The morning work was complete by 13:00 and stations took a well earned break before activities recommenced at 17:00 hours. Steve G8NFZ shouldered the work transporting people in the Hastings and rural areas finally arriving home at 01:15 hours on 1 December.

Overnight on Wednesday 1st heavy snow falls occurred, when the net formed at 06:30 on Thursday 2nd the WX reports were -4C and heavy snow. Operations carried through out Thursday. A call was received from the Eastbourne DGH requesting urgent assistance in transporting a midwife from Upper Beeding to the DGH, James G8AJP travelled 102 miles in treacherous driving conditions in the dark and in temperatures of -5C to collect the midwife and get her to the DGH. James G8AJP travelled outside the coverage area of the Eastbourne TTU and Tony G8WBI was able to QSP traffic from his home in central Brighton which was very useful. I guess some operations can be cancelled but babies will arrive when they want to, the midwife delivered 6 babies on Thursday night. The net finally closed at 22:27 hours.

Friday 3rd December the net commenced at 06:30 hours and Bob G0BUX set off for the Eastbourne District General Hospital to collect the midwife and take her home to Upper Beeding. Bob G0BUX reported that the roads were generally clear and the Army had been brought in by the NHS Trust. Eastbourne & Wealden RAYNET Group stood down at 09:48.

As stated earlier APRS trackers were used in G0BUX and M6DRL vehicles this confirmed the evidence from use at community events that APRS could be of great benefit to RAYNET. The Eastbourne and Wealden RAYNET digipeater MB7UEW sited at Heathfield provided fantastic coverage and proved its worth. I am sure that Bob G0BUX and Tony G8WBI and the APRS team are very happy with success of the APRS project, well done. What Operation Snow did highlight was the need for a digipeater to infill the coverage gap on the A27 from Lewes to Arundel.

A total of 15 Eastbourne & Wealden members were involved in the operation and grateful thanks go to:
Bob Clinton G0BUX
Steve Sims G8NFZ
Daryl Wilcox M6DRL
Tony Seabro
John Dennis G4ZOQ
John Kay M0RYA
Patricia Jeffries G8TNH
And to those who were standing by to assist
Kate Glover M1DRB
James Eade G8AJP
Andy Holter M3OWF
Phil Penfold 2E0RAJ
Richard Taylor M0HJL
James Harris M0GUR
Jack Macy, M5YNF

During the three days of operation the group provided over 250 operator hours, transported over 60 members of staff and covered in escess of 900 miles

I am also indebted to Phill Hills G7JRV South Sussex Group for generally assisting and liaising with the Isle of Wight Group on Thursday evening when they also had a callout and as we both use 144.675Mhz and to the IOW Group for their forbearance. And to John Rivers G0GCQ Hastings and Rother Group for his assistance in trying to find operators that were not snowed in.
Dick Jeffries, G4KAR
Group Controller
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