In the UK there isn’t a legal requirement for leisure boaters wear a lifejacket. However, in Ireland the law requires that appropriate personal floatation devices (PFD’s) are carried on all leisure craft for each member of the crew/passengers; when a vessel is under 7 metres PFD’s must be worn; and people under 16 years of age must wear a PFD’s when on an open vessel or on deck, no matter what size the vessel is. As of 2019, the law states that it is mandatory for all UK and Irish commercial fishermen to wear a PFD on an open deck (unless there is a risk assessment in force that shows they cannot fall overboard).
Our team run lifejacket clinic’s from time to time at yacht clubs, lifeboat stations and harbours. If you are interested in getting your lifejacket checked by a qualified member of our team please drop us an email: Andrew_Mills@RNLI.org.uk (Please note: An inspection by an RNLI Community Safety Adviser is not the equivalent of a lifejacket service. Lifejackets should be serviced by an approved service agent).
Angling is a seriously popular activity, which is growing yearly. The RNLI estimate that around 1 million people participate in angling around the coast. Unfortunately, between 2011 and 2015, 50 anglers lost their lives whilst fishing around the UK coast*. Sadly, expert evidence suggests that many of those lives might have been saved if the anglers had been wearing lifejackets. You are four times more likely to survive if you are wearing a lifejacket (source Prof Mark Tipton University of Portsmouth)
Check out the video below to see what the the famous fishing guru Henry Gilbey found out about lifejackets when he visited the RNLI College at Poole.
Our top tips to follow when out angling at the coast:
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.
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.
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.
Check out our top 5 useful links for beach, water and coastal safety:
This blog post is all about urging all water activity users to wear lifejackets or personal bouyancy aids. You may have read about the rescue recently undertaken by Whitstable’s Inshore Lifeboat, with the help of Margate’s All Weather Lifeboat. The full report of the rescue can be found by visiting Whitstable Station’s website page.
The two gentlemen who were rescued by the Inshore Lifeboat crew had been in the water for two and a half hours, hanging onto their up-turned craft. Luckily, the position of the dingy was easily found thanks to a passing yacht. It is imperative to wear a lifejacket whenever you go out onto the water and carry a means of calling for help. You can find out all sorts of top-tips on how to look after your lifejacket by checking out one of our previous blog posts or going to the RNLI website. RNLI Community Safety teams around the coast run lifejacket clinics, to check over jackets and to advise sailers/yatchtsmen/anglers on whether they need attention or maintenance.
If you are wondering whether your lifejacket is ok to use, then why not have a look at this top tips blog. If you are still unsure then pop our team a quick message and we will be happy to advise. In the case of the two gentlemen rescued recently, they were very lucky. On another day, with no passing craft and more severe weather conditions the outcome could have been a whole lot worse. So, if you are an angler, yachtsmen/women, sailer, kaycker, canoeist or fishermen please wear your lifejacket when you are on the water and carry a means of calling for help. You should be checking your lifejacket at least once a year, by following our top tips check list. If you are unsure there are a whole host of companies that will service your lifejacket for you.
I was saddened, to hear over the weekend of the death of the angler who had been out fishing off rocks, as part of a group, at Barras Nose, Tintagel. Pirate FM reported that the gentlemen had been in the sea for 40 minutes before he was rescued by the Port Issac RNLI crew and taken to Derriford hospital where unfortunately he could not be saved. My heartfell condolescences to the man’s family and friends. Absolutely, devastating for all those rescue crews involved too. The full report from Pirate FM is available here.
As the CoastSafe campaign led by Devon and Cornwall Police tweeted at the time: anglers need to change their mindset and start wearing personal floation devices (lifejackets) all the time when they are fishing. This is regardless of whether they are fishing out at sea from a boat or off the rocks. The lifejacket poem below, which I am sure you will agree is absolutely spot on with the key message “Please Put Me On”.
The video below is made by the RNLI featuring Colm Plunkett, who incidentally is now an RNLI Community Safety Volunteer. It is a really powerful video which hits home the lifejacket message and the need to have a plan. The RNLI display stand at the recent ‘Ireland Angling exhibition’, carried the slogan ‘Expect The Unexpected’ – it’s definitely worth seriously considering!
Grab these 6 top tips for Shore Anglers to stay safe:
Never turn your back on the sea
Wear a lifejacket
Wear appropriate clothing & footwear
Check the weather, tides aand sea state
Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back
Carry an appropriate means of calling for help
Plus, 6 top tips for boat Anglers to stay safe:
Wear a lifejacket
Check the weather, tides and sea state
Tell someone where you are going
Carry an appropriate means of calling for help – VHF radio, handheld flare
Wear appropriate clothing and footwear
Keep your boats, engines and equipment well maintained.
Whichever angling you like to get involved in, please heed the safety advice. Thank you for reading my blog. More advice on how to stay safe whilst angling can be found here.
Full acknowledgements to Pirate FM, RNLI, Colm Plunkett, CoastSafe Campaign & Pam Brothy.
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