Thanet RNLI Community Safety

Tips for Staying Fit During the Coronavirus Lockdown by Ian Lockyer

It is a difficult time for us all and most especially those front-line workers in the emergency services who are looking to protect us all and keep us safe. We can all do our bit by staying at home and only going out as advised by government guidance. However, it is vitally important that we look after ourselves and keep fit and healthy. Putting a few things in place in your daily routine will have massive benefits not only for your physical self but also your mental health as well…because physical and mental health is inextricably linked.

As well as being a Community Safety Adviser for Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team, I am also an Assistant Athletics Coach and Run Leader for Thanet Roadrunners AC, whose motto is ‘A Club for All’. This attitude is something I believe passionately in so I thought I would give some simple tips for staying fit and healthy through these difficult times.

 

  • Exercise doesn’t have to be a gym work out.

A lot of families have been following a plethora of daily online exercise sessions, but that isn’t right for everyone. Without a proper warm-up or following the correct instructions or not having the right fitness levels or flexibility you could get injured. And these types of sessions aren’t designed for everyone. Tendering to your garden, mowing the lawn, doing a bit of DIY will have just as much benefit. Even putting on the music loud and dancing with your partner will put you on their good books and will do wonders for your relationship.

 

  • Your house and garden can be a gymnasium.

It is amazing what you can find that can be good exercise. You might have a trampoline, badminton net and rackets or a climbing frame or even old skipping rope.   Why not get the kids involved in creating some imaginative games…maybe even set up your own garden Olympics.

  • Your dog is still your best friend.

Dogs love walkies so go and take them out and be their best pal.  Even if you don’t have a dog, you can still go out for a walk. If you have never exercised before, this is the best way of keeping fit.  All you need to do is the start off at your normal walking pace and maybe after a couple of weeks start to walk a little bit quicker. You will feel better getting out of the house and will become energised when you come back.

If you are used to exercising, as long as we are all allowed to exercise, go for a run or cycle around where you live.

  • Make sure you exercise according to your age and fitness.

We don’t want you getting any injuries.  Only do what you feel you are capable of doing.  Make sure anything you do becomes your new daily routine. If you skip a day for one reason or another, don’t beat yourself up…but make sure you get back to your new routine….you will feel better for it.

 

  • Avoid snacking

This is one of the biggest traps at the moment. By taking in, more calories than you are burning will mean that you will put on weight. I have been sticking to three basic meals a day and if I am peckish will eat a piece of fruit.

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Pegwell Bay Park Run Photo credit: Thanet RNLI Community Safety. Photo taken before social distancing was introduced

As for me, I have established a new weekly routine which I hope will keep my weight in check and maybe lose a pound or so each week.

It involves 30 minutes of dog walking every other day with my wife and two westies. The other alternate day includes a 30-minute hill session running up and down my local area dodging any walker with a bit of social distancing. This session is with government guidelines and is pushing my metabolism and continuing to build my strength.

 

Also, every night…because I am not a morning person… I do about 5 -10 minutes of conditioning/exercises including sit-ups, press-ups, squats, plank etc. which I am increasing each week steadily.

This new routine is keeping me sane and safe. However, not everyone is the same, and you should find something that is suitable and works for you. (Please consult your GP or other qualified medical professional before engaging in any form of fitness activity).

Stay Safe.

Ian Lockyer

RNLI Community Safety Adviser.

 

Useful references:

Please don’t use the sea for for recreation or exercise over the Easter break!

Lifting the lid on Thanet’s lifeguarding and surf lifesaving clubs Part II

Metal detecting at the coast – do you have an emergency plan if things should go wrong?

Ramsgate Lifeboat

Margate Lifeboat

Please Don’t Use The Sea For Exercise Or Recreation Over The Easter Break

The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) and the HM Coastguard are both calling on people not to take part in any water based activity on or in the sea, to help reduce the risk to the lifeboat crews, Coastguard Rescue Teams and Coastguard helicopter crews being exposed to COVID-19 and the pressure on their own time.

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Margate’s Mersey ALB.  Photo credit : Sarah Hewes

Normally, hoards of people would be flocking to the coast over the Easter weekend and holiday period to enjoy the joys of the beaches and coastal area’s.  However, both the RNLI and HM Coastguard are asking everyone to abide by the government instructions to Stay at Home, Protect The NHS and Save Lives.

The government have decreed that everyone is permitted to go outside for their daily exercise whether it it is a walk, run, cycle or jog, however, the RNLI and HM Coastguard do not recommend taking part in any activity that is on or in the sea. This would include: any type of sailing, personal water craft (PWC), in-beach play, boat fishing, rowing, motor boating, kitesurfing, paddle boarding, off-shore angling, kayaking, canoeing, coasteering, diving, climbing or swimming amongst others.

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HM Coastguard Officers dressed in water safety kit during a multi-agency exercise. Photo credit: Margate Coastguard Rescue Team

The RNLI’s lifeboat crews and the HM Coastguard Rescue Teams are still available 24/7 for emergency calls, however, on every occasion a crew or team is called out this will put extra pressure on the personnel responding to the call and other emergency services such as the NHS hero’s, Ambulance Service; and Fire and Rescue Service. Additionally, potentially exposing teams and staff to the Corona Virus.

Our team really appreciate that it’s tempting to visit the coast. We all absolutely love the coast too. But please, this weekend, stretch your legs local to where you live, don’t stretch the RNLI and Coastguard resources and don’t travel to the coast. To quote the Coastguard “It’s not a holiday, it’s a national emergency”.

 

Gareth Morrison (Head of RNLI Water Safety) said: “We know that people who live at the coast still want to exercise by the sea, but when you do this, please think of the potential impact of your actions on RNLI Lifeboat crew volunteers and other emergency services.  While you could be fully competent and never needed to be rescued, by going out on the water you could encourage others who are less proficient to take part in similar activities”.

 

“Since the government lockdown was introduced around the UK Coast, our lifeboat have been called out all too often to rescue people. So, if you do go out for a walk or a run at the coast, please follow the RNLI Safety Advice”:

  1.  Take care near cliff’s – know your route and your limitations

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     2.  Check the weather forecast and the tide times

tides cut-off RNLI RNLICommunitysafety thanet Kent RNLICommunitySafety3. If you fall into the water unexpectedly FLOAT TO LIVE, fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend back, extend your arms and legs – FLOAT

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4. In a coastal emergency dial ‘999’ ask for the Coastguard

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Gareth added “Our lifeboat crews are still at the ready 24/7 – thanks to their own courage in a time of crisis and the generoristy of our supporters”.

How to support RNLI crews during COVID-19

If people are compelled to show their support from home, we ask them to help by giving something that keeps our volunteers ready to launch, replace worn-out kit or helps us repair a lifeboat. To support our lifesavers go to the RNLI donation page

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No lifeguard patrols this weekend

There will be no lifeguard patrols at any beaches this weekend as the planned roll-out of beach lifeguard patrols was postponed until further notice following government advice to stay at home to save lives and protect the NHS.

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. From all of the team we wish you a safe Easter weekend!

Other useful references

What is the difference between the Coastguard and RNLI?

Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives

Sign-up to receive our team’s free newsletter

Acknowledgements

RNLI

HM Coastguard

Public Health England

Stay At Home – Protect The NHS – Save Lives

Many apologies for the delay in writing another blog post, but some of our team are key workers and have been pretty busy in their day job working to help protect the public from COVID-19.

We hope that everyone is keeping safe and well; and looking after your loved ones where possible! These continue to be challenging times, with everyone having to adapt to new ways of living and going about their daily business.  It won’t have escaped your notice, but there have been some ingenius ways of coping with life whilst staying at home.

 

A plethora of community based support groups have sprung up, not to mention the growing popularity of virtual entertainment social media channels offering everything from cooking classes, children’s activities, schooling, fitness groups, dancing, pub quiz’s, drama and music sessions to name a few.  The RNLI are running their own ‘Water Safety Wednesday for children each week via their Facebook page.

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Ramsgate Lifeboat Station and All Weather Boat. Picture credit: Thanet RNLI Community Safety. Photo captured before COVID-19

As you will be aware the RNLI announced that all their stations, shops and engagement activity will be suspended until further notice follwing advice from HM Government.  This includes our drowning prevention work and water safety activity. Rest assured RNLI Crews, maintenance engineers, the supply team and HM Coastguard teams are continuing to provide an operational emergency service 24/7.

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Coastguard teams practising a water rescue. Photo credit: Greenock HM Coastgaurd Team

Duty Crew System – Lifeboat Station’s

I read this morning on one station’s social media page that they had introduced a ‘duty crew’ system: reducing the number of crew that respond to the pager launch request from the Coastguard so the risk of cross contaimination is reduced.

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RNLI Pager

Simply, crews will be split into teams or ‘watches’ with the appropriate number of women/men with key skills:  eg launch authority, coxswain, helmsmen, mechanic, navigator, tractor driver, or head launcher allocated to each team to provide the operational readiness.  Other safety measures will have been introduced at other stations to help mitigate risks where possible, but ensuring the lifeboat(s) and crews are able to maintain their search and rescue capability.

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Ramsgate Inshore Lifeboat – Atlantic 85 class (ILB) returning from a service call Summer 2019.

Minimising the risk to yourself and family

In line with the Government’s guidance on minimising the risk to yourself, family and others the Coastguard have said that visits to the beach should only be undertaken by those who live close to them.   If you do live close to coast please observe the government’s instructions which are available via the Public Health England site and maintain the 2 metre social distance if you meet anyone on your walk, run or cycle.

 

Pete Mizen, assistant director for HM Coastguard, said: “The rules are very simple. The risk of spreading coronavirus is huge and while you might be OK, the person you give it to may not.

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HM Coastguard Officers dressed water safety kit during mult-agency exercise Photo Credit: Margate Coastguard Team (picturen taken before COVID-19)

“And if you get into trouble and have to call ‘999’ and ask for the Coastguard, you’re then putting frontline emergency responders at risk of Covid-19 too.  At this time of the year the beaches aren’t lifeguarded which is a double risk to you and our emergency responders. Help us to help you.”

 

RNLI – Pausing Beach Lifeguard Patrols

You may also have read that the RNLI are “immediately pausing” lifeguard patrols at beaches, and other public organisations such as councils and tourist groups have also taken steps to try to deter people from visiting.

 

Keyworkers

I am sure that you will all join our team in thanking all the key workers who are keeping the country going, protecting us, maintaining our emergency services and making sure we have got the essential supplies to keep everyone healthy and well.  So, whichever organisation, health service, company, charity, volunteer group or agency you work or volunteer for thank you very much for everything you are doing!

Rest assured our team are still working to share water safety and drowning prevention information via our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platforms. If you do hear or see an animal or person who is in difficulty in the water at the coast dial ‘999’ straight away and ask for the Coastguard.

Please stay safe and thank you very much for reading.

keyworker COVID19thanet COVID19 RNLICommunitySafety RNLIWatersafety RNLISeasafety Respectthewater Thanetlifeguards Lifejackets RNLI margatelifeboat Ramsgatelifeboat coastaldogsafety beachsafety RNLILifeguardsthanet
Picture taken at Margate Blue Light Community Day 2019 – (photo credit Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team)

Other useful links (to help you keep safe if you live close to the coast)

Out for a coastal walk – how to stay safe and have a great time!

Don’t paddle after your dog

How do I call for help by phone at the coast?

Sign up to the newsletter –  Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team’s work

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Acknowledgements

RNLI

HM Coastguard

Ramsgate Lifeboat Station

Margate Lifeboat Station