Thanet RNLI Community Safety

Lifeboat Community Safety Team Help Beach Goers Avoid Tidal Cut-Off’s In Thanet

On Saturday (19th September) our Lifeboat Community Safety Team deployed using their Incident Prevention Engagement tactic to Thanet’s beaches due to the unusually high ‘spring’ tides over the weekend.  These tides are caused by lunar activity, such tides ‘spring’ forth with the greatest difference between their high and low points – meaning it’s easier to get caught out and cut off.   Coupled with the forecast of high winds and a relatively warm day there was a significant chance of people getting cut off by the tide.

 

Arriving on Botany Bay it was apparent that the beach was proving a popular Saturday retreat with a large number of people enjoying the mild late September temperatures.   Whilst chatting (socially distanced of course) with some of the visitors to the beach it was apparent that they weren’t aware of the dangers of the incoming high ‘spring’ tide, the tidal cut-off ‘hotspots’ ie Botany Bay, Kingsgate, Stone bay and environs; and Dumpton Gap. As well as the need to move around further up the beach to safety.

Whilst chatting to the lovely beach visitors our team covered the following safety advice:

  • Check the tide times and weather before setting out
  • Carry a ‘calling for help’ device ie fully charged mobile phone or VHF radio in a water proof case if possible so you can call for help if you get into difficulty
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times
  • Read and follow local safety advice displayed at the entrance to beaches
  • If you are going to take a swim always take a friend or family member follow the Water Safety Code
  • Not to enter the water if you are cut-off by the tide, but to shout for help
  • If you do end up in the water, float on your back until you get your breath back
  • In all coastal emergencies dial ‘999’ ask for the Coastguard

The team spoke to 55 people in total who were all very appreciative of the advice and guidance.  A group who were using an inflatable in the poor sea conditions were also spoken with and advised strongly against using the inflatable, who took onboard the advice and removed it to the safety of the beach.

Our team learnt later on in the afternoon that Margate Coastguard Rescue Team, Rescue Helicopter and Margate Lifeboat were tasked to a person possibly in difficulty in the water at Botany Bay.  Thankfully the person had come out of the water and was ok.

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John Homer (RNLI Community Safety Advisor) said “If you are visiting the coastline this weekend our advice is always to check out the tide times and weather before you set out.  We want you to have a great time, but taking onboard some advice could help save your life and help stop you getting into difficulty. We would like to thank everyone who spared a few minutes to speak with our team on Saturday and we hope you enjoyed your time at the coast”.

Useful links

How to check the tide times

Sign-up up to our newsletter to keep you updated on our water safety and drowning prevention activity

Can I suffer from cold water shock?

Find out how a 10-year old boy called Ravi used ‘Float to Live’ to save his life at Skegness

 

Acknowledgements

Royal National Lifeboat Institution

HM Coastguard

Margate RNLI LPO

How To Make The Most Of the Last Weekend of Beach Lifeguard Cover In Thanet

This Sunday (6th September) marks the end of RNLI lifeguard cover across Thanet beaches. But, there are more than 100 beaches which will still have patrols, some for longer than during a ‘normal’ year.

 

Our Community Safety Team want everyone to enjoy the beach and coast, but here’s a quick reminder of those safety tips which could help save you and your family/friends from getting into trouble in the water:

  1.   Whenever possible swim at a lifeguarded beach
  2.   Always read and pay attention to the advice displayed at the entrance to the beach
  3.   When visiting a lifeguarded beach locate the yellow and red flags and swim between them
  4.   Always swim with a friend
  5.   If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help. Float on your back until you get your breath back.  Find more out about the RNLI’s Float to Live technique
  6.   If you see someone in difficulty, don’t attempt a rescue. Tell a lifeguard, or, if you can’t see a  lifeguard, call ‘999’ or ‘112’ and ask for the coastguard.
  7. Please adhere to your government’s safety guidelines regarding COVID-19 and respect social distancing at all times. Please consider whether you should travel to a beach and remember to follow guidelines regarding travelling only with your household.
  8. Leave inflatables at home and keep them for the swimming pool.  Lifeboat and HM Coastguard call-outs this year have significantly risen due to people taking inflatables into the sea and getting into difficulty.
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Margate Main Sands – lifeguarded beach

Here is a list of the beaches that will be covered in Thanet until Sunday (6th September)(taken from the RNLI website):

Botany Bay

10:00-1800hrs

Post Code: CT10 3LG

OS Grid Ref: TR 3915 7117

Joss Bay

10:00-1800hrs

PostCode: CT10 3PG

OS Grid Ref: TR 3992 7017

Stone Bay

10:00-1800hrs

Postcode: CT10 1ED

OS Grid Ref: TR 3992 6869

Broadstairs (Viking Bay)

10:00-1800hrs

Postcode: CT10 1NB

OS Grid Ref: TR 3990 6768

 

Ramsgate Main Beach

10:00-1800hrs

Post Code: CT11 8JD

OS Grid Ref: TR 3875 6490

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Margate Main Beach

10:00-1800hrs

Postcode: CT9 1XP

OS Grid Ref: TR 3506 7079

Minnis Bay

10:00-1800hrs

Postcode: CT7 9QR

OS Grid Ref: TR 2871 6971

Have a safe and enjoyable time at the beach! If you are into your social media please share #BeBeachSafe to help spread our safety messages as wide as possible. Thanks for reading!

Further useful references:

Margate Lifeboat Station

Ramsgate Lifeboat Station

How to become an RNLI Ambassador

Sign up to our newsletter? 

Be Beach Safe

Lifeboat Community Safety Team Returns Back To Saving Lives At Sea At Dumpton Gap

On Thursday evening (13th August 2020) our RNLI Community Safety Team were back out in action at Dumpton Gap after gaining permission from the RNLI to re-commence operational duties once again.

Following the suspension of all water safety and drowning prevention operational activity imposed due to COVID-19 the team have been unable to deploy to help save lives at sea by holding water safety engagement stands, deliver talks to schools and community groups; undertake Advice on Board sessions; and carry out lifejacket clinic’s.

 

However, after gaining permission on Thursday morning from RNLI HQ, the team quickly took the initiative and formulated a plan to deploy operationally during the early evening at Dumpton Gap which is a tidal cut-off point and very popular with dog walkers and other beach users.

John Homer (Thanet RNLI Community Safety Advisor) said “It was great to get out and about at Dumpton Gap to talk to beach users about water safety on Thursday evening.  The number of calls that the RNLI and Coastguard have received has significantly increased this Summer due to more people taking ‘Stay vacations’ and we are very pleased that we are now able to help share the key safety messages again to beach users to help save lives at sea. Our plea is to keep inflatable toys for the pool and not bring them to the seaside as they can be extremely dangerous as we have seen recently along the coast”.

inflatables DPW Royallifesavingsociety Respectthewater RNLICommunitysafety RNLIwatersafety RNLIseasafety Thanetlifeguards beachsafety margatelifeboat Ramsgatelifeboat

If you do decide to bring an inflatable to the coast please follow this advice:

  • children should be supervised at all times by an adult
  • inflatables should be kept close to the shoreline
  • inflatables should only be used on a lifeguarded beach between the yellow and red flags
  • never use an inflatable in big waves
  • never use an inflatable when the orange windsock is flying as this indicates and off-shore wind that will blow the inflatable out to sea
  • always follow the advice of a lifeguard
  • whenever you take to the sea we recommend that you and your children wear a suitable buoyancy aid or lifejacket.  This will provide the necessary floation should the inflatable suffer a puncture or similar
dogsonice Royallifesavingsociety Fireandrescueservice bewateraware
One of the lovely doggie’s that stopped by to say hello to the team!

During the Beach Safety Deployment the team spoke with thirty members of the public about a wide range of water safety advice including using inflatables at the seaside, how to ‘Float to Live’, Coastal Dog Safe, Paddle Boarding, lifejackets and Tidal Cut-Off’s.

 

We would like to thank everyone who stopped by to chat to us at Dumpton Gap on Thursday evening.

Our team now looks forward to deploying again to help share the water safety messages to the Thanet Community and visitors to the coast.

coastguard watersafety seasaafety communitysafetyrnli

Other useful links

How to Float to Live

Inflatables aren’t designed for the beach

Find out where your nearest lifeguarded beach is?

HM Coastguard Advice on Inflatables

How to enjoy a fabulous and safe time at the coast our ultimate guide

How well do you know your lifeboats? Part II – The Mersey Class All Weather Boat
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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.

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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.

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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

RNLI

Acknowledgments

RNLI

Margate Lifeboat Station

Broadstairs Water Gala resounding success

Broadstairs Water Gala is such a magnificent event showcasing everything that is great about the British seaside including Punch and Judy, Teddy Bear Picnic, Sea Shanties, Walkabout characters to name a few.  The programme of events is truly fantastic and is testamont to the hardwork and dedication of the volunteers and the organisations that help support the event year in year out.  Since the 1970’s Ramsgate Lifeboats have also attended the event and the tradition has continued ever since.

Our Community Safety Team are always very happy to support community events and the Water Gala is no exception. We were also joined by the great fundraising team who raise much needed funds to help keep the RNLI carrying out it’s lifesaving work, the Education Team and Face 2 Face team.  Both the Inshore and All Weather Lifeboats also moored up on the harbour, but unfortunately were unable to show visitors around the boat due to the sea being too rough.

Ramsgate Mayor Raushan Ara (centre) pictured with John Homer (left) and Ian Lockyer (right), beside our Community Safety Stand Water Gala Day

What was really interesting to note that the majority of young people we chatted to during the day had heard about the RNLI’s Float to Live lifesaving concept (float on your back if you fall into the water unexpectedly or get into difficulty).  This was very poignant as two young people who had been swept out to sea on an inflatable earlier in the week off Foreness Point who had been rescued by lifeboat and lifeguards. The young people had been told about the ‘Float to Live’ drill only a couple of days before by one of the RNLI Face 2 Face teams and remembered it. This was really great to hear that the ‘Float to Live’ concept was used in a lifesaving situation by these young people.

Our Safety Selfie frame was put to good use with the Ramsgate RNLI Press Officer Karen Cox and the Ramsgate Mayor Raushan Ara.

A thoroughly valuable day supporting the magnificent Water Gala and at the same time sharing the key safety messages which will help keep the community and visitors safe at the coast.

Picture credit: Karen Cox – RNLI Ramsgate Press Officer (All Weather Lifeboat)

Other useful links:

How to book Swim Safe – free swiming lessons at Margate main sands

How to float to live

Coastal Safety stand at Mayday Coffee Morning

Saturday saw the fabulous Ramsgate RNLI Fundraisers Mayday Coffee Morning raising funds for new lifeboat crew kit. The coffee morning included free tours around the lifeboats, bric a brac stands, the super RNLI shop, lovely cake and coffee; and of course our Community Safety team sharing key safety messages. It was lovely to see Councillor Raushan Ara (Thanet District Councillor for Ramgsate) pop by and have a chat with our team. Raushan is hugely supportive of our team’s drowning prevention work and that of the RNLI and it was fabulous to have the opportunity to chat with her. Our team hugely enjoyed the morning chatting to visitors about water safety.

Councillor Raushan Ara visiting the Mayday Coffee Morning

One of the most important safety messages we talked about was the recent tidal cut-off’s in and around Kingsgate Bay. Our top tips when visiting the coast are:

  1. Check the tide times and weather before you set out
  2. Wear the right kit for the activity & grab some training if you are taking up a new activity from an approved provider
  3. Always carry a means of ‘calling for help’ eg fully charged mobile phone
  4. Tell someone your plans eg when is the latest time that you will be back home
  5. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and heed local safety warnings
  6. If the event of hearing or seeing a person or animal in difficulty at the coast or in the water always dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ ask for the Coastguard without delay every second counts
  7. If you do end up in the water unexpectedly float on your back and float to live.

We would like to pass on our thanks to the Fundraising Team for inviting us along which was appreciated.

The Miss Ramsgate’s visiting the Coffee Morning and were presented with Respect the Water badges which they proudly wore.
One Year On

I thought I would update you on how our first year of being operational has gone. Wow, what a year! The Summer was incredibly hot, as hot as the Summmer of 1976, if you can remember that far back! No stand pipes for water this time or hosepipe bans, but the UK saw some of the worst grass fires for a long time. Well, what has happened:  we have attended over 60 events to-date (still a few more before the year is out including the Coastal Dog Walker Engagement Event with Thanet Police at Botany Bay on Saturday 13th October), this includes community events, talks to community and water activity groups, lifejacket clinic’s, and pop-up stands at beaches and harbours to name but a few.

We have also shared the key safety messages to as many different groups and communities as possible, including visiting the fabulous Margate Mosque and chatting to the Inman; and holding a Respect the Water stall in the Gravesend Gurdwara which was a massive success.  The team have spoken to visiting coach parties and train passengers at Margate on how they can stay safe whilst visiting the seaside. This has proved really worthwhile working in conjunction with face2face teams, lifeboat crew and lifeguards to continually help spread the beach safety messages.

Reminding and Refreshing Beach visitors on Safety Tips

Our team have raised £1,000 towards the RNLI through donations received from groups and individuals after delivering safety talks in the community and at local events.

We have forged collaborative links with a whole host of local community groups, partner agencies and charities so that we can continue our community safety activities and help spread the RNLI key safety messages to as wide an audience as posssible.

 

Our team raised £1,000 with the help of an awesome local Kent County Councillor, Margate Mayor and other local charitable groups towards the running and equipment costs for Swim Safe. Incase you haven’t heard of Swim Safe, it is swimming lessons and water safety awareness in the sea for children aged 7-14 years run inconjuction with Swim England and the RNLI.

Pictured above is our ‘selfie frame’, this was the very 1st outing at the Turner and Pooch Dog Event on 30th September at the Turner Contemporary in Margate.

So, to conclude we have come along way in twelve months and we are looking at making 2019 an even better year. If you would like to find out more about our work then why not follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or check out our blogs which are published weekly during the Summer and monthy during the Winter. Thanks for reading and following our work, until next time take care.

Roundup of September’s Lifeboat calls in Thanet

So, apologies for the lack of blog entries recently, I’ve been pretty busy what with several RNLI community events, my day job and spending two days working at the Southampton Boat Show on the RNLI’s Safety stand which will be subject to another later blog.

I thought I would give an insight into the recent work of the isle’s lifeboats (Ramsgate and Margate). There has been quite few people flocking to the coast due largely to the warm weather that we have been experiencing. The fantastic lifeguards have now finished for the season and therefore we have been reminding everyone to be that extra special careful as there isn’t the extra layer of beach safety cover available.

Round-up of recent lifeboat calls:

Monday 17th September – Approx 10:00hrs Margate ILB rescued two persons in the water between Reculver and Minnis Bay. 2nd call of the day this time for Margate’s AWB to a vessel which had broken down North of Margate which was towed to Ramsgate Harbour.

Sunday 16th September – Ramsgate ILB launched to an inflatable containing children blowing off Broadstairs. The ILB successfully located the inflatable and and conveyed the children safely back to shore.

Wednesday 12th September – Ramsgate ILB launched to 2 kayakers in difficulty off the main beach. On scene the ILB found the Cross Atlantic rowing boat practicing and in no difficulty. 2nd call of the day again for the ILB launched to a report of 6 persons cut off by the tide at Stone Bay. Whilst the ILB was making its way to Stone Bay they received a message that the 6 persons had made their own way out of difficulty.

Monday 10th September 01:13hrs Ramsgate ILB launched at the request of UK Coastguard to a report of a person in the water behind Wetherspoons, in a state of distress. The ILB carried out a shoreline search until stood down by UK Coastguard, when the person was reported to be safely ashore.

Wednesday 5th September 08:33hrs Ramsgate’s AWB launched to a Personal Location Beacon (PLB) with a reported position near the Thanet Offshore Windfarm. AWB made its way to the reported position, but before arriving on scene to carry out a search, a Windfarm vessel that was in the area retrieved the PLB from the water.

Sunday 2nd September 20:37hrs Ramsgate’s ILB was launched to a person in the water behind Wetherspoons. On scene the ILB stood by whilst the person decided was spoken with by Emergency Services. The person eventually decided to make their own way back to shore, where a police officer was waiting.

Sunday 2nd September – Approx 0900hrs – Margate’s AWB was called out to assist with the tow of a yacht with engine failure 7 miles West of Margate and drifting into shallow water off Reculver Towers. The yacht was towed to the safety of Ramsgate harbour.

Saturday 1st September – 22:34hrs Ramsgate’s ILB launched to a report of a person in difficulty at Viking Bay. Whilst making their way to Viking Bay, person was located ashore and ILB stood-down.

Saturday 1st September – Margate’s ILB was launched to an 18’ angling dinghy with engine problems around three miles off Westgate-on-Sea. Vessel was towed to its launching site.

Full acknowledgements to Ramsgate and Margate RNLI stations for use of their Facebook posts. For more information check out the respective RNLI station Facebook pages.

It’s been a busy Summer so far!

Swim Safe Team at Margate

I hope that have been able to enjoy the marvellous Summer that we have been having! The heatwave brings it’s own problems for our Lifeguards, Lifeboat Crews, HM Coastguard Rescue Teams and Community Safety Teams. They have been kept incredibly busy up and down the country being called out to a high number of people in need of assistance and also spreading the key safety messages. Some of the calls recently attended by our RNLI crews, lifeguards and Coastguard Teams have involved: tidal cut-offs, swimmers and kayackers in difficulty, weaver fish stings, yachts and fishing boats with machinery problems amongst others.  One of the vitally important projects that we have been helping to support is Swim Safe at Margate Main Sands, together with Swim Teachers and lifeguards. You can read more about this fantastic programme by checking out this link.

Reminding and Refreshing Beach visitors on Safety Tips

Our Team has been incredibly busy supporting a wide range of events across the area and also carrying out anumber of ‘pop-up’ engagement events on beaches to help share safety messaging.

L-R Coastguard Rescue Technician, Face2Face team & Community Safety at Broadstairs Water Gala

Margate Pride with the Face2Face Team

One of the incredible events that we were proud to support was Margate Pride. This is the first year that we have been able to attend and we were absolutely bowled over by the number of wonderful people we spoke with and how a large number had heard about our ‘Float Not Swim’ lifesaving technique through cinema and radio advertising. We are already looking forward to next years event!

The next event that we will attending is the National Kitesurfing Championship at Ramsgate on Saturday 18th August on the lower Promenade. So, if you are thinking of coming along to watch this awesome event, then why not pop over and come and say hello.

Future events:

Sunday 2nd September – Addington Street Revival Festival

Check out our Facebook page or Twitter to keep fully up-to-date on our future events.

More safety advice:

HM Coastguard Beach Safety

RNLI How to stay safe at the coast

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

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.