Thanet RNLI Community Safety

Swim Safe arrives in Margate!
Swim Safe launched on Margate Main Sands

Some of your may come across Swim Safe before either via social media, the RNLI website perhaps or heard about it by the good old fashioned word of mouth? If not, then it is a really exciting free of charge swimming and water safety lessons delivered at mainly beaches and across the UK and Republic of Ireland by Swim England and the RNLI in partnership. We are so lucky to be holding a Swim Safe programme of lessons on Margate Main Sands this Summer!

 

The Swim Safe Team have delivered two of the sessions so far, both on a Friday and they have been massively popular with local families and also those from some distance away.  To be eligible children must be aged between 7-14 years and be able to swim 25 metres. I have received quite a few enquiries that the on-line booking system shows no slots available for any of the sessions. My advice is if you really want your child to attend, then attend one of the sessions by walking up and asking the staff whether their are any vacancies remaining for the day and whether they can join the session. Definitely worth ago!

 

So, if you are in the Margate area and want your child to learn some essential water safety techniques, then check out Swim Safe. All the feedback that we have so far received has been an overwhelming thumbs up from both children and parents.  Before I go, to enable you to enjoy your time at the coast this Summer even more please search for ‘RNLI Float Not Swim’ and learn this essential technique that actually saved 7 peoples lives last year.  Figures are from the RNLI.

Pictured are some of the awesome Swim Safe Team at Margate Main Sands Lifeguard hut

Check out our top 5 useful links for beach, water and coastal safety:

RNLI Float Not Swim

Coastguard Beach Safety

Royal Lifesaving Society (RLSS) – Water Safety on holiday

RLSS issues warning after temperatures hit 30 degrees

Swim England – Swim Safe website

Fantastic Coastal Safety Engagement Session At Gravesend Gurdwara
Community Safety Stand at Gravesend Gurdwara

On Sunday our team worked in partnership with the great Gravesend RNLI Community Safety Team holding a joint Coastal Safety/Respect The Water stall at the fabulous Guru Nak Darbar Gurdwara Gravesend  (Sikh Temple, Gurdwara means door to a new beginning). One of the objectives of the session was to revise and refresh the communities knowledge on our key safety messages: float not swim, calling for help whilst at the coast, tidal cut-off’s and beach safety amongst others ahead of the start of the school Summer holiday.  Through recent research a significant number of the Gravesend community enjoy days out and holidays down on the Kent coast.

Engagement with our communities is key to helping people get more out of their time at the coast and staying safer

We really enjoyed chatting to the Gurdwara worshippers and visitors, amongst the subjects that cropped up for discussion: the recent tidal cut-off’s at Botany Bay, the safest beach to visit in Thanet, how to avoid getting stuck in the mud on the Gravesend foreshore, becoming a lifeguard, beach safety and how to survive falling into water.

If you haven’t ever visited the Gravesend Gurdwara before then it is definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in the area and have time to spare. More info via the excellent Visit Kent website.

Thank you to our lovely hosts for making our teams feel very welcome!

Our Top 5 weblinks for staying safe whilst at the coast or on the River Thames

Gravesend RNLI Station

Float Not Swim – RNLI website

Beach and coast safety – HM Coastguard

River Thames Safety – Port of London authority

River Thames Conditions – Environmental Agency

 

 

Speedboat hits seawall!

On Thursday 12th July, at around 2.25pm HM Coastguard was alerted to an incident whereby two men had been thrown from a speedboat which then continued and hit the seawall at Minnis Bay, Margate. RNLI Lifeguards, Margate Inshore Lifeboat, Coastguard Rescue Team and Kent Police were called to the scene.  Lifeguards rescued two men from the water who had been wearing lifejackets, but not a killcord.

Above: Kill cord switch in action – there are numerous ones on the market
Tony Evans, HM Coastguard Maritime Operations Specialist said:  ‘These two men have had a very lucky escape.  Although they were wearing lifejackets, it would appear that they had a kill cord on the engine but neither of them were wearing it.  With a busy beach nearby, the circumstances could have been very different, or indeed tragic, if the vessel had not crashed into the wall.’
What is a killcord?
As the name suggests, is designed to kill your engine in the event of you going overboard. All owners and drivers of open powerboats, personal watercraft and RIBs should ensure that if their boat is fitted with a kill switch and kill cord, it is correctly used. On a powerboat the kill cord should be attached securely around the thigh and on a personal watercraft it should be attached to the buoyancy aid.
→Attach your kill cord before the engine is started, but certainly before the boat is put in gear where safe to do so. Stop the engine before transferring the kill cord to another driver.
→Always check your kill cord works at the start of each day or session and remember to replace it when there are signs of ageing, or wear and tear or it starts to lose spiral tension. When replacing kill cords, buy the manufacturers genuine replacement kill cords.
→Do not leave kill cords out in the elements. Extremes of temperature and UV light will harm the kill cord in the long term.
More helpful advice on how to stay safe whilst at the coast
HM Coastguard blog on the Margate speedboat incident
Acknowledgements to HM Coastguard and the RYA for the use of photo’s and technical advice.
Check tide times, warns RNLI after calls to help dozens in just three days!
Tide Cut Off

I hope you are enjoying this long spell of hot weather! It’s been lovely being able to sit outside and enjoy abit of al fresco dining for a change. Thinking back to the horrible winter we had to endure, we certainly deserve it!. The hot weather is certainly attracting lots of visitors to the coast, to soak up the sun,  enjoy the beach and get involved in some great water based activities. Unfortunately, last weekend our lifeboat crews, lifeguards and Coastguard teams were kept busy with two calls to people being cut off by the tide at Stone Bay and Botany Bay.

Ramsgate’s Atlantic 85 Inshore Lifeboat

Our advice is to check the tide times before you head out for your trip to the coast, to ensure that you stay safe. If you are at a lifeguarded beach, then why not go over and ask about the tide times and local safety information. It just may save someone’s life!

You can catch up on the RNLI Press Officers report detailing the incident where 50 people were cut-off by the tide at Botany Bay via this link.

Saturday also saw 8 people cut-off by the tide at Stone Bay. The Press Officers report can be found here.

Over half of the people we speak to don’t know who to call for a coastal emergency. Have a look at this video to remind you who to call. Calling the wrong emergency service will only add to the delay on starting a rescue or a search for a missing person or animal at sea. Make sure you call the Coastguard via ‘999’ everytime for any coastal emergency.

Find out more about staying safe at the coast by checking out these links:

Ramsgate RNLI website

Ramsgate RNLI Facebook page, daily tidal updates and stay up-to-date on their latest shouts

Float Not Swim safety tips

BBC Weather tide tables

Visit Thanet tidal information

Alternative tide times website

Coastguard Coastal Safety

UK Met Office tide times

Beach safety Information RNLI