Thanet RNLI Community Safety

Launch of Respect the Water campaign – Margate
South East region launch of Respect the Water – Margate RNLI Station

After week’s of careful planning and organising, the date Wednesday 23rd May, was soon upon us. This signalled the all important national launch of the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign. I was fortunate to be able attend the South East region launch at Margate, which I had helped to plan and organise.  Respect the Water incase you haven’t heard of it, is the RNLI’s branding for it’s safety campaign, which uses the ‘float not swim’ principle amongst it’s main safety messages.  The ‘float not swim’ technique saved seven people’s lives in 2017 from drowning. These survivors stories can be found on the brand new Respect the Water website which is now live.

The Margate launch involved a detailed briefing delivered by Guy Addington (RNLI South East Community Safety Partner) to the whole host of key community partners, who will be instrumental in helping to spread the key safety messages.  The launch was also featured on Wednesday’s ITV Meridian’s evening news programme.

RNlI Community Safety Partner Guy Addington delivering his safety briefing

The partner agencies that were involved at the launch comprised: HM Coastguard Margate, Kent Fire & Rescue Service (Margate Fire Station), RNLI Lifeguards, RNLI Education Volunteers, Margate Harbour Master, Kent County Councillor Emma Dawson, Margate RNLI, Central Cars (local taxi firm), RNLI Community Safety Volunteers, the Margate Harbour Arm bar, Bus Cafe and Sun Deck. After the briefing and photo call, anumber of local Margate harbour businesses received throw bag training from a qualified RNLI instructor. This training now allows these businesses to deploy a throw bag to someone in difficulty in the water if it is safe to do so and also increased water safety awareness. If you work or run a business close to a harbour, river or sea then you maybe eligible to sign-up for free throw bag training. Find out more by following this link if you are close to the sea or close to the River Medway.

Thank you to everyone who attended and supported the launch event, your help in sharing the safety messages will help make the East Kent coast safer this Summer and is much appreciated.

Community Safety Volunteer being interviewed by a TV crew

How to survive cold water shock by Professor Mike Tipton is one of the messages that the RNLI is keen to deliver. Please watch and share, it just could save someone’s life.




High tempo joint life saving exercise with Coastguard, lifeguards & lifeboat
Joint working exercise

One week ago, on a Sunday morning, Thanet Lifeguard’s executed a high-tempo joint exercise inconjunction with the Margate Coastguard Rescue Team (CRT), Deal CRT and Margate Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) crew on one of Thanet’s popular beaches.  The exercise was to test each of the agencies involved in how they work collaboratively in a complex rescue situation and also to hone their own skillsets. The exercise was the brainchild of the one of the highly experienced and highly skilled Lifeguard Supervisors, who came up with the plan to test his own lifeguards before the start of the busy Summer Season and as well as combining other rescue partners. You may have read about or seen one of these exercises first hand, in the newspaper or on social media, as coastal emergency service rescue teams up and down the country prepare themselves for the forthcoming Summer season.


Coastguard Rescue Officers inaction

The scenairo quickly unfounded revealing that three people had been out climbing in some caves above the beach and fell causing injuries. These included varying from walking wounded, to one requiring full CPR with spinal pelvic and leg injuries. All three agencies worked extremely well together with cliff, water, casualty care and beach evacuation put into practise.

Acknowledgements to the RNLI Lifeguards and HM Coastguard Margate for allowing us to use the photograph’s.

Remember for all emergencies at the coast or sea call ‘999’ and ask for the Coastguard, every second counts.

Useful links

HM Coastguard Beach Safety Top Tips

RNLI Beach Safety

RNLI Respect the Water

Someone In Difficulty In the Water – HM Coastguard Video

More information on how Emergency Services train and work together under the Joint Emergency Services Inoperability Principles.

Cliff Edge Selfie’s!

Cliff Selfie’s!

The weather this past weekend was absolutely fantastic, the record for the hottest early Bank Holiday Monday was beaten according to BBC Weather. The previous record was 23.6C which was set back in 1999. The hottest part of the UK was Gosport, Hampshire where it reached 24.7C. As thousands of visitors descended to the the coast, the HM Coastguard reported that they had received 94 missing children reports over the bank holiday weekend alone.  Inaddition to the missing children reports, the Coastguard had been sent numerous photograph’s of people posing for ‘selfies’ stood on cliff edges. One in particular at Beachy Head, featured a family posing close to the cliff edge with young children!

The Coastguard warn that there are simply no safe places to take that ‘cliff edge selfie’, as the recent torrential rain, followed by the very dry weather can make cliff edges suspectible to crumbling, rock falls and decay.

How to call the Coastguard

Follow these top tips should you see someone in difficulty in the sea, on the beach or at the coast:

1. Call ‘999’ or ‘112’ and ask for the Coastguard as every second counts. Over half the people we speak to don’t know to call the Coastguard for an emergency at the coast

2. Describe your location to the Coastguard officer where the emergency is taking place

3. Describe the number of people/craft in your group or who you can see in trouble

4. Describe the problem (dog in the water who cannot swim out)

5. Give any additional information, life ring has been thrown to the person

More information on coastal safety

Find out about how to Respect the Water

HM Coastguard twitter feed

HM Coastguard Rescue Youtube video

Discover how cold water shock can effect you. The effect on the body of entering water 15°C and below is often underestimated. This shock can be the precursor to drowning.




Life lost at Ramsgate during atrocious weather!

Acknowledgements to MCA for the above weather warning poster

The start of the week began with some really atrocious weather hitting the Kent Coast. The Sunday night weather broadcast, predicted high winds, a high rain fall (Kent and Surrey could receive up to 80mm of rain, compared with the April average for the area of 50mm), South Eastern railways predicting cancellations across it’s network as well as similar broadcasts from the Met Office and Environmental Agency. Weather forecastors had got their forecast spot on, which I found to my cost, whilst en-route to work on the Monday morning, where I was met with a tree down partially blocking the road and lots of branch debris strewn across roads.  Photograph’s on social media depicted beach buts being strewn across beaches and some unfortunately smashed up beyond repair.

As the weather worsened this brought further devastation along this stretch of the coast, including both of Ramsgate Lifeboats being summoned to rescue four men who had been swept off the harbour’s East Pier. The Lifeboat Press Officers report can be read in full here. Unfortunately, one of those who had to be rescued died at the scene due to the injuries he sustained. Our thoughts and prayers are with this gentlemen’s family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time. Further local press reports can be found in Isle of Thanet News

For the rest of the week, the weather took a turn for the better and the sun appeared and temperatures rose alittle.  What with the excitement of the forthcoming bank holiday weekend we urge everyone visiting the coast or enjoying the sea in one form or another to take on board these 6 top tips:

1) Check the tides & weather before you venture out 2) Tell someone where you are going & when the latest time you will be returning 3) Wear the right kit for the activity 4) Carry a full charged mobile phone or other ‘calling for help’ device eg VHF radio 5) If you see someone or an animal in difficulty in the water dial ‘999’ and ask for the Coastguard 6) Keep away from cliff and sea edges.

Acknowledgements to Tobias Taylor for the photo at the top of our page showing the Air Ambulance in action at Ramsgate harbour.

More information on how to stay safe at the coast can be found by visiting the RNLI website

or HM Coastguard.

Thanks for Ramsgate RNLI for the reproduction of photo’s and Press Officers Report.