How Can You Help The RNLI – Help You? RNLI Local Ambassador Scheme

The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) relies on help and commitment from members of the public in numerous ways:  donating money, giving up their free time to volunteer in souvenir shops, fundraising projects, crewing lifeboats, lifeboat launch teams, station visit officers, water safety and educational roles; or lifeboat Launch Authorities.

If you are an avid follower of our social media and blog pages you will seen the RNLI Local Ambassador campaign was advertised during Summer 2020.  Even though we are still a few months still off the Summer we are again asking for your help.  The coast is an amazing place to visit at any time of the year, bringing different experiences and sights/sounds for everyone to enjoy.

As there are less people about to spot an animal or person in difficulty in the water it is imperative that everyone stays alert to coastal emergencies.  That is why we are asking anyone who runs a business, lives close to the coast, takes part in any form of coastal based sporting activity or who visits it regularly to help us publicise the joint RNLI and HM Coastguard message: “In an emergency dial ‘999’ for the Coastguard”…..

Becoming an RNLI Local Ambassador

To be a Local Ambassador you don’t need to spend hours of your very valuable time helping the RNLI.  Simply by printing off one of the downloadable posters and displaying it in your premises or venue, sharing water safety posts or video’s on social media; and chatting to visitors and friends about coastal safety will be invaluable in getting the message across to as wide an audience as possible and helping to save someone’s life.  We have received great support so far in sharing the Ambassador scheme from Batchelors Patisserie in Margate, Broadstairs Town Council and Visit Broadstairs

Here are some of the incidents that the Coastguard should be contacted (not exhaustive):

  • Person in the water
  • Someone shouting or waving for help from a boat or other water craft
  • Someone stuck on/fallen from a cliff
  • Someone stuck in coastal mud or quicksand
  • Boat or other water craft sinking or on fire
  • Person(s) floating out sea on a lilo or inflatable
  • Distress flare sighted
  • Persons jumping from quay walls or harbours putting themselves in danger
  • Persons ‘wave dodging’ and putting themselves at risk
  • Someone who has gone: kayaking/sailing/swimming/canoeing/fishing/climbing/surfing/kitesurfing/walking/diving at the coast and is not back at the time that they said they would be
  • Boat aground
  • Someone injured on the beach
  • Someone cut-off by the tide
  • Child(ren) lost at the beach
  • Marine pyrotechnic’s (flares) or military ordnance found on a beach

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The five key beach safety tips from the RNLI and Coastguard which should be shared when chatting to visitors:

  • Have a plan

Check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage

  • Keep a close eye on your family -on the beach and in the water

Don’t allow your family to swim alone

  • Don’t use inflatables

They are meant for pool use only and are high risk on the beach

  • If you fall into the water unexpectedly – Float to live

Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs and float

  • In an emergency dial ‘999’ and ask for the Coastguard

Remember to follow the current government safety guidance around the COVID-19 pandemic

You can also point people towards the RNLI Water Activity Safety pages for detailed information about water safety activity

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What to do if someone is in trouble in the water

Working, carrying out your favourite water sport or living close to the coastline/beach you may be the first to hear or see someone in trouble in the sea.  Know what to do in an emergency:

STEP 1: CALL FOR HELP

Keep a constant eye on the casualty, dial ‘999’ and ask for the Coastguard straight away giving an accurate location.  Have you downloaded the What3Words App yet?

STEP 2: TALK

Talk to the casualty, encourage them to keep calm and float. Reassure them that you are getting help.

STEP 3: REACH

Try to reach them from the shoreline using any lifesaving equipment available.  Do not enter the water yourself.

STEP 4: THROW

Throw a line to the casualty and pull them towards the shore if possible.

Is there a community defibrillator available?  Note the location of your nearest defibrillator for future use. 

By becoming an RNLI Local Ambassador you will be instilling valuable water safety knowledge and drowning prevention advice to visitors and local people alike. The more people who are alert and looking out for coastal emergencies will in turn provide an safer environment for everyone to enjoy leisure pursuits and relax at the coast.

Thank you for all your support which is hugely appreciated!  If you require further information please drop our team a DM on Facebook or Instagram. 

Other useful links

RNLI Local Ambassador Scheme

Sign-up to our newsletter

Ramsgate Lifeboat

Margate Lifeboat

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

Acknowledgements

Royal National Lifeboat Institution

HM Coastguard

RNLI Water Safety Team