Thanet RNLI Community Safety

Thanet’s RNLI Community Safety Team Helps Out At Lifejacket Clinic At Erith Yacht Club

One of our team, John Homer travelled up to Erith Yacht Club on Saturday (29th September) to help out Gravesend RNLI Community Safety Team to deliver a lifejacket clinic for club members.

The aim of the lifejacket clinic is to undertake anumber of safety checks that will give the sailor or water activity enthusiast the piece of mind that if they or a member of their crew does find themselves in the water that the jacket will inflate.  So that Community Safety Advisors can undertake lifejacket checks they all attend a qualifying lifejacket clinic course at Poole HQ.

The team checked thirty lifejackets intotal, with nineteen failures and four being condemned.

John Homer commented “a great first clinic for Gravesend.  We really enjoyed talking with Erith Yacht Club members and we hope that they found the session beneficial.  We urge all sailors and boaters to check their lifejackets on a regular basis and to get them serviced by an approved service agent”.

Our next lifejacket clinic is taking place at Margate Lifeboat Station on Sat 12th October.  Why not pop along and get your lifejacket checked for free and plenty of maritime safety advice available.

**Please note that an Inspection by an RNLI Community Safety Advisor is not the equivalent of a lifejacket service by an approved lifejacket service agent**.

John G (Medway CS Team) pictured with John Homer (Thanet CS Team)

Useful links

Top 10 lifejacket checks which could save your life

When was the last time you checked your lifejacket?

Why wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid is so important?

Lifejackets – which one should I buy?


Gravesend RNLI Community Safety Team


Erith Yacht Club

How well do you know your lifeboats? Part II – The Mersey Class All Weather Boat
margatelifeboat margatecoastguard thanetlifeguards ramsgatelifeboat margateinshorelifeboat margateallweatherlifeboat RNLICommunitysafety RNLIwatersafety Lifeboatsramsgate lifeboatsmargate Merseylifeboatmargate margate broadstairs ramsgate talustractormargate
Margate’s ALB – Photo credit: Sarah Hewes

The second blog in the our series ‘How well do you know your lifeboats’? Focusing on the Margate All Weather Lifeboat (ALB) ‘Leonard Kent’. Following the RNLI tradition of naming lifeboats after rivers, the Mersey is named after the River Mersey. The Mersey boat was the first fast carriage launched lifeboat.

margatelifeboat margatecoastguard ramsgatelifeboat thanetlifeguards RNLIwatersafety RNLIcommunitysafety Margateinshorelifeboat margateallweatherlifeboat MargateAWB Margatelifeboatstation margatecoxswain margatelifeboatmechanic margateboathouse
The Mersey ALB
Photo credit : Sarah Hewes

The Mersey lifeboat is designed to be launched and recovered from a beach via a launch and recovery tractor and carriage just like the system currently in operation at Margate and can also be launched from a slipway (Douglas) or lies afloat.  The Margate boat is often called into action for incidents off-shore. Recent examples of it’s work includes: towing boats back into the harbour that have developed engine problems, rendering help to craft/sailers in difficulty, searching for persons observed in difficulty amongst others.

margatelifeboat ramsgatelifeboat thanetlifeguards margatecoastguard RNLiwatersafety RNLIcommunitysafety Margateallweatherlifeboat Margateinshorelifeboat margatelifeboatstation RespectthewaterRNLI

Technical Stuff

Crew of six (including Coxswain and Mechanic).

A number of Shore crew are also required to launch the boat including a fully qualified Talus tractor driver, head launcher and six launchers.

Maximum speed: 17 knots

Range: 240 nautical miles

Length: 11.62 metres

Self righting ability: Yes

margatelifeboat ramsgatelifeboat RNLIwatersafety RNLIcommunitysafety RNLIlifejackets RNLIpagers RNLIcallingforhelp RNLIcommunitysafetyteam Mayday Panpan
RNLI Pager

Comms equipment: Very High Frequency radio (VHF) system , Medium Frequency with digital selective calling (DSC), VHF Direction Finder, GPS with chart system and radar.

Width: 4 metres

Depth: 1.02 metres

Engines:  2 x Caterpillar 3208T marine diesel engines; 280 horse power each at 2,800 rpm

Fuel capacity: 1,110 litres

Weight: 14.5 tonnes

(Margate’s Mersey Class Lifeboat being launched below)

The Mersey can also carry a small ‘X’ boat, which is an inflatable unpowered daughter boat. The ‘X’ boat is manually launched and allows the crew to row to areas the Mersey cannot reach.

Unique identification Number: All Mersey Class Lifeboats have the starting numbers ’12’, as they are nearly 12 metres in length. The second number after the dash relates to the number built.

margatelifeboat margatecoastguard ramsgatelifeboat thanetlifeguards talustractormargate RNLIwatersafety RNLIcommunitysafety RNLIrespectthewater RNLIFloattolive
Talus Launch and Recovery Tractor – Photo credit: Sarah Hewes

Further links

Margate Lifeboat Station




Margate Lifeboat Station

Lifejacket familarisation session keeps volunteers refreshed on their lifesaving skills

Aumber of our team enjoyed a great lifejacket familarisation session this evening (Thursday 27th Sept). Not only is it vital to refresh and revise knowledge about key lifesaving equipment, but there is always new developments to keep abreast of. One of the items which the team discussed was the successful rescue of a casualty off Dover who was wearing a lifejacket and a strobe light which was picked up by the HM Coastguard helicopter. More information on the rescue involving RNLI and HM Coastguard teams

The rescue footage is shown below in the twitter link

Thank you to everyone who attended. Our next free lifejacket clinic is taking place on Sat 12th October at Margate Lifeboat Station.

Useful links

Free lifejacket checks at Margate

Which lifejacket should I buy?

Lifejackets – useless unless worn

Margate Lifeboat Station

Ramsgate Lifeboat Station

Lifejacket poem


HM Coastguard



Out for a few beers with your mates this weekend? Know how to stay safe?

Out for a few drinks with your mates this meeting? Some of our Community Safety Team really enjoy watching sport on their days off. Andy Mills one of our Team says “we want everyone to enjoy themselves and have a great time whilst out having a few drinks, but think about how to get home before the night has finished and stay away from walking alongside water after a night out”.

Here are some tips to get you and your mates home safely:

  • Don’t walk home alongside water after a night out
  • Make sure your mates get home safely after a night out, don’et let them walk by water
  • Plan your journey home before you start your night out, book a cab inadvance
  • Paths beside water are not safe when you are drunk, find a better route home
  • If you do unexpectedly find yourself in water ‘float on your back’ until you get your breath back

What affect does alcohol have on the body?

  • Alcohol lowers in habitions, leading to impaired judgement which means you are more likely to take risks and get into trouble
  • Alcohol limits muscle ability making simple movements harder
  • Alcohol slows down your reactions making it more difficult to get yourself out of trouble
  • Alcohol numbs the senses particularly sight, sound and touch, making swimming very difficult
HM Coastguard and RNLI Community Safety sharing Don’t Drink and Drown safety messages with the Cinque Port Bar Manager 2018

If you do see someone who you think is in difficulty in the water or at the coast or on the River Thames dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ ask for the Coastguard straight away, giving an accurate location, the number of people involved and what you can see (what is happening).  If you are at an inland location such as a river, lake, loch or canal ask for the Fire and Rescue Service.

Other useful links

Don’t Drink and Drown campaign

Discover more about how Community Safety Teams shared the Don’t Drink and Drown message


Royal Lifesaving Society


HM Coastguard


How well do you know your lifeboats?
Ramsgate’s All Weather Lifeboat at Broadstairs Water Gala 2019- Photo credit : LPO Ramsgate

This is the first in the series of four blogs focusing on the lifeboats that are operational along the Thanet coastline.   We kick off this blog with a look at the Ramsgate All-Weather Lifeboat.

The All-Weather Boat (AWB) – pictured above

The Esme Anderson (14-02) which is a Trent class lifeboat (named after the 3rd longest river in the England), has been stationed at Ramsgate since 1994, being handed over by Christopher Oldham, the son of the donor the late Esme Anderson.

Facts and figures

  • Capable of 25 knots (RNLI want all their all weather lifeboats to be capable of 25 knots by 2019)
  • Has a range of 250 neutical miles
  • 28 tonnes
  • Length 14.3 metres
  • Fuel : 4,180 litres
  • Depth 1.45m
  • Width 4.9m
  • Designed to lie afloat, either at deep-water moorings or alongside at a berth
  • A key feature is that it is self-righting
  • What do Coxswain’s across the country say about the Trent? “She’s fast and manoeuvrable enough to respond quickly, but powerful and large enough to take on big seas, tow big boats and carry lots of survivors”

  • The engine room is at the stern and space limitations led to a novel engine layout
  • One of the engines is turned around, driving the propeller in a conventional way, while the other works through a V drive
  • Also carries a small XP boat, which is an inflatable daughter boat with a 5 horse power outboard engine capable of 6 knots. This allows the crew to access areas the Trent cannot reach. Ramsgate use their XP boat along the River Stour where their Atlantic Inshore Boat cannot be used due to the shallow water
  • All lifeboats have a unique identification number – The first part indicates the class. Trent class lifeboats start with 14 because they are just over 14 metres in length. The numbers after the dash refer to the build number. So the first Trent built was given the number 14-01.

Useful Links

Ramsgate RNLI Facebook page



Ramsgate RNLI

Inflatable balloon sparks Coastguard and Lifeboat call-out in Margate Lido

On Monday (16th September) HM Coastguard Margate were tasked by the UK Coastguard along with RNLI Margate Inshore Lifeboat to reports of a person in the water by the Lido, Cliftonville. Arriving on scene Coastguard officers spotted an object in the water and once the lifeboat arrived it was quickly established that the object was an inflatable balloon possibly accompanied by a seal.

The balloon was removed from the water and taken back to the lifeboat, boat house.
The Deputy Station Officer for Margate Coastguard said “we cannot stress enough how bad these can be when they make it into the environment! Not only are they a danger to local wildlife but they can also cause issues for the emergency services. We will always attend reports of people in trouble but this could distract us from potential real life rescues. Please enjoy them but please do not let them off by the sea. Dispose of them sensibly when you have finished with them”.

Useful links:

HM Coastguard Margate Facebook page

RNLI Margate Facebook page

Know who to call for a coastal emergency – Thanet RNLI Community Safety


HM Coastguard Margate

Visiting the coast this Autumn? Here’s some top safety tips to help keep you safe

Some may argue that visits to the coast or beach during the Autumn is even more pleasurable than the Summer, what with the cooler temperatures, fabulous sky lines, less crowds and also the opening up of beaches that can be explored without worrying about restrictions on dog walking.   The lifeguard patrols have long since finished for the season, leaving beaches without that extra layer of surveillance and immediate highly trained help in times of need.

To enable you to enjoy the coast during the Autumnal months here is a run down on ten safety tips that you may like to consider. It is worthy to mention at this point that exploring the coast during stormy weather looks like great fun, but big waves and strong wind can easily knock you off your feet and place you in danger. The best place to observe stormy weather is often the inside of a nice coffee or tea shop with a cuppa and a cake.

  1.  Plan Ahead – check the tide times and weather forecast before you head out of the door. There are a variety of mobile device app’s which are free to download for your everyday use.  If you aren’t technically minded some harbour offices and businesses stock paper tide times booklets which are available at a nominal cost.  Local knowledge is always a good way of finding out whether it is safe to be venturing out to the coast.

safetrx RNLICommunitysafety seasafety thanetrnlicommunitysafety

2.  Download the SafeTrx App

Many walkers, open water swimmers, off-rock anglers and divers have downloaded this app and use it regularly, which is absolutely free to down-load and use. More information on SafeTrx

VHFradio mayday callingforhelp RNLI respectthewater bewateraware

3.  Carry a means of calling for help

Such as a fully charged mobile phone or VHF radio.  Having a means of calling for help will enable you to get help to you or anyone else in an emergency quickly. More information on calling for help devices.

4.  Know who to call in a coastal emergency

If you hear or see a person or animal in difficulty in the water or at the coast dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ immediately and ask for the Coastguard. This will allow the correct equipment and trained personnel are mobilised to the scene as soon as possible.


5If you end up in the water – what should you do?

RNLI advice is to float on your back until you get your breath back and then you can call for help by waving one arm and shouting towards the shoreline. More information on Float to Live.

6.  Know what to do if you saw someone in difficulty in the water

The RNLI’s advice is  Call for help rather than endanger your own life and the lives of others.  More information on what to do if you saw someone in difficulty in the water

7.  Wear a buoyancy aid or lifejacket

If you are taking part in any form of water activity such as kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, sailing etc always wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid. More information on lifejacket safety

8. Tell someone what your plans are

Before you head out speak with a family member or friend and let them know what will be the latest time you will return and your route.  This will help if you are overdue and HM Coastguard are alerted.  Try downloading the SafeTrx App

9.  Read and follow safety signs

Heed any safety signs that you may across on your coastal or beach trip. The information could help prevent getting involved in an incident which could have been avoided.


10.  Wear the right clothing or equipment for the activity

Wearing the correct kit and or equipment for the activity you taking part in will definitely enable you make the day more enjoyable.

More useful links

Half the people that accidentally drown never intended on entering the water

Cliff Edge Selfie’s

How do I prevent being cut-off by the tide?

How to have a fabulous, but safe time at the coast with your dog



HM Coastguard

Ramsgate Lifeboat Station

Free Lifejacket Clinic at Margate Lifeboat Station in October
Members of Thanet CS team pictured during a lifejacket check

When was the last time that you checked your lifejacket? Are you aware that a significant number of lifejackets that we checked recently had out-of-date firing mechanism’s and or corroded gas bottles. Why not pop along to our free Lifejacket Clinic on Saturday 12th October at Margate Lifeboat Station.  Where you can get your jacket checked and at the same time receive safety advice about which ‘calling for help’ device to carry, book your very own free ‘Advice on Board’ session and much more. Lifejacket clinic’s also enjoy support from GJW Direct who is one of the RNLI’s commercial partners.


*Please note that an inspection by an RNLI Community Safety Advisor is not the equivalent of a lifejacket service. Lifejackets should be serviced by an approved service agent.

Other useful links:

Lifejackets – which one should I buy?

Lifejackets useless unless worn!

How to book a lifejacket clinic?

RNLI’s complete guide to lifejackets