Thanet RNLI Community Safety

Our Ultimate Packing List – Top 20 Things To Take To The Beach This Summer

As the temperatures rise and the school Summer holidays get into full swing, families flock to the seaside to enjoy the delights of the beach.  Many will enjoy paddling or swimming in the sea, exploring rock pools, building the best sandcastles ever, hurling a frisbee, or playing a fun game of cricket or rounders.  What is there not to like about that I hear you ask?  However, if you don’t plan your day at the beach it could turn out to be not so enjoyable.  We have also included some top safety tips.


To help avoid you having a less than enjoyable day our team have come up with their ‘Ultimate Packing List’ (top 20 things) to pack for the beach this Summer.  The list is by no means exhaustive and you may want to add extra items or take things away depending on families age, your length of stay or space you have available in your transport.

  1.  Sun cream
  2.  Pop-up tent/beach umbrella
  3.  Sun hats
  4.  Bottles of water/cool bags/picnic/snacks
  5.  Bucket and spade (goes without saying)
  6.  Swimming costumes
  7.  Beach towels
  8.  Picnic blanket
  9.  Good sized beach bag/festival trolley
  10.  Buoyancy aids such as water woggles, arm bands, lifejacket etc
  11.  Windbreak – not only to protect you from the wind but to provide some extra privacy
  12.  Fleeces (if it turns out to be alittle breezey)
  13.  Bat, balls, frisbee, beach cricket set
  14.  Spare toilet paper
  15.  Beach chairs
  16.  Good book or E-book reader
  17.  Zip-lock bags to keep clean clothes clean and dry
  18.  Mobile phone for those all important photograph’s
  19.  Hand sanitizer
  20.  Crabbing net

To make your beach trip a super safe one take a look at the top tips we’ve included:

  1.  Visit a lifeguarded beach
  2.   Stop and Think – look for dangers, always read the signs
  3.  STAY TOGETHER – Never swim alone. Always go with friends or family
  4.  In an emergency CALL ‘999’ or ‘112’ ask for the Coastguard – shout for help
  5.  FLOAT – If you fall in, float or swim on your back.

We hope that you have a fun and safe time at the beach.

More useful information:

Schools Out For The Summer – top 10 things that we enjoy about the seaside

Find your nearest lifeguarded beach

Beach Safety – HM Coastguard

What to do if you are stung by a jelly fish

Inflatables are not designed for the beach

Visiting the coast whist on holiday – know what to do in a coastal emergency


Coastguard and Lifeguard Team’s Working Together

On Saturday (29th June), we enjoyed a catch-up with members of the Margate HM Coastguard Team and the RNLI Lifeguards who were attending an induction workshop so that they are operationally ready for the forthcoming season. Which if last Summer was anything to go by could be very ‘high tempo’.    It is essential that both teams understand each others operational capabilities and roles as they regularly work closely together at complex multi-agency incidents at the coast.

The HM Coastguard are widely known for their helicopters and their daring sea rescue missions.  However, one of the lesser known Coastguard roles is that of their Rescue Teams based along the coastline.  The teams are all highly trained women and men who are volunteers available round the clock to answer an emergency call.. The Coastguard Rescue Officers (CRO’s) are highly trained in cliff, mud and water rescue; advanced first aid and increasingly deployed in their capacity as search technicians to search for high risk vulnerable missing persons in a variety of environments.

Coastguard Officers about to undertake a cliff rescue exercise

It was great to learn about the range of incidents that the Margate Coastguard Rescue Team can get called out to and also the level of training that an RNLI Lifeguard has to undergo before they are ‘operationally ready’.

It was fantastic to stand shoulder to shoulder with both teams to support Armed Forces Day by holding aloft the flag as pictured above.

More Useful Links:

Know who to call – article on the role of HM Coastguard

Sign-up to our newsletter

HM Coastguard

How to become a lifeguard

HM Coastguard – blogspot

Lucky Escape for dog that fell 25 metres off a cliff

Respect The Water Talk – St George’s School Community Week


Two of the fantastic St George’s students seen here with one of our team – photo credit St George’s School

When our team were invited to deliver anumber of drowning prevention and Respect the Water presentations to school assemblies as part of ‘Community Week’ we really welcomed the opportunity. Especially as it was at the fantastic St George’s Church of England School in Broadstairs which is a really innovative local secondary school.  The Community Week is a really exciting week of activity which includes litter picking, hosting an afternoon tea for members of the elderly, bag packing at a nearby supermarket and helping to tidy gardens at Maurice House (a nearby Royal British Legion residential care home).

As the school Summer holidays are only round the corner the numbers of young people visiting the beach and coast increase dramatically, unfortunately so does the number of people taking risks or getting into trouble.

The assemblies provided a fantastic forum to chat to the students who were all very engaging and enthusiastic to learn how to keep safe at the seaside. We were particularly impressed by the year 4 students who scored 100% in the water safety quiz!


The beach flags

Some of the topics that we covered during the assemblies included:

  • Liam Halls’ very tragic story
  • How to float on your back if you unexpectedly fall into the water
  • What is cold water shock
  • The Water Safety Code
  • To call the Coastguard via ‘999’ for all coastal emergencies
  • The dangers of tombstoning – to year 7 & 8
  • Don’t enter the water if you see someone else or an animal in difficulty
  • Beach flags
  • How to access free swimming lessons at Margate this year
  • Spot the dangers at the coast
  • Lifeguarded beaches
  • Tide cut-off’s


We thoroughly enjoyed visiting the school and delivering the presentations to the students who we wish well for the remainder of their Community Week.  Thank you for inviting us to your fantastic school.

More useful links:

How to find your nearest lifeguarded beach

How to Float to Live

St George’s School, Broadstairs

Educational resources – RNLI

Swim Safe – free children’s swmming lessons

Picture credits: St George’s School