Thanet RNLI Community Safety

How Do I Call For Help By Phone At The Coast?

Our Coastguard colleagues have in the past carried out a public survey and they report that half of the people they questioned did not know that they should dial ‘999’ and ask for the Coastguard for a coastal emergency.  Here are just some of the incidents which the Coastguard should get called to (The list is not exhaustive):

▪️Person in the water

▪️Someone shouting/waving for help from a boat,

▪️Someone stuck on/fallen from a Coastal cliff,

▪️Someone stuck in Coastal mud or quicksand,

▪️Boat sinking or on fire

▪️Persons floating out to sea on a lilo

▪️Distress flare sighted

▪️Persons jumping from quay walls and putting themselves in danger

▪️Persons “Wave Dodging” and putting themselves in danger

▪️Someone gone kayaking at the Coast and not back at the time they said they would be

▪️Boat aground

▪️Someone injured on a beach

▪️Someone cut off by the tide

▪️Child(ren) lost on the beach

▪️Marine Pyrotechnics (flares) or suspected Military Ordnance found on a beach

Coastguard RNLI ThanetRNLICommunitysafety NMOC

Here is the procedure in the event of spotting a coastal emergency:

 1.  Dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ (European Emergency Number) and ask for the Coastguard

2.   Describe your location, if you don’t know exactly where you are use a clear description, landmarks or try and find someone who knows the area.   On some smart phones the compass app will also display the position as latitude and longitude. Alternatively, use an app such as OS locate or What3words

3.  Describe the number of people, animal and or craft that is involved

4.   Describe the problem = what you can see and or hear

5.  Give any further information such as closet access point for emergency services and any further updates on injuries to casualties

tides cut-off RNLI RNLICommunitysafety thanet Kent RNLICommunitySafety

Useful references

Have you downloaded the What3Words App yet?

What exactly is SafeTrx and how can it keep me safe?

Do you know who to call for a coastal emergency?

coastguard watersafety seasaafety communitysafetyrnli

Acknowledgements

Greenock Coastguard Team

RNLI

HM Coastguard

Is It a Legal Requirement To Wear Lifejackets?

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).

RNLILifejacketclinic communitysafety RNLICommunitySafety Lifeboats, Seasafety WaterSafety

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).

lifejackets communitysafety seasafety watersafety lifeboats RNLI thanet margate ramsgate broadstairs kent coastalsafety lifejacketclinic

Want to find out more information on lifejackets?

Lifejackets – useless unless worn

Anglers and lifejackets

When was the last time you checked your lifejacket?

RNLI – lifejackets

Acknowledgements

RNLI

Free Lifejacket Clinic at Margate Lifeboat Station in October
Members of Thanet CS team pictured during a lifejacket check

When was the last time that you checked your lifejacket? Are you aware that a significant number of lifejackets that we checked recently had out-of-date firing mechanism’s and or corroded gas bottles. Why not pop along to our free Lifejacket Clinic on Saturday 12th October at Margate Lifeboat Station.  Where you can get your jacket checked and at the same time receive safety advice about which ‘calling for help’ device to carry, book your very own free ‘Advice on Board’ session and much more. Lifejacket clinic’s also enjoy support from GJW Direct who is one of the RNLI’s commercial partners.

 

*Please note that an inspection by an RNLI Community Safety Advisor is not the equivalent of a lifejacket service. Lifejackets should be serviced by an approved service agent.

Other useful links:

Lifejackets – which one should I buy?

Lifejackets useless unless worn!

How to book a lifejacket clinic?

RNLI’s complete guide to lifejackets

Calling For Help At the Coast – But which device should I get?

 

Carrying a fully charged mobile phone in a waterproof case can most of the time be sufficient on inland coastal activity

Whatever coastal activity or water sport that you are taking part in it is vitally important to carry a means of calling for help incase you or one of your party gets into difficulty.   This includes going for a walk with your lovely doggie or friends/family along the great coastline.   Everything including sailing off-shore, kackaying, climbing, diving, swimming or motor boating to name a few.  The ability to call for help quickly and get rescue services to you or the person/animal in difficulty can be the difference between living or dying.

If you do find yourself in difficulty, hear or see someone else or an animal in difficulty in the water or at the coast call ‘999’ or ‘112’ straight away and ask for the Coastguard.  If you are inland at a river, loch, canal, reservoir or lake then ring ‘999’ or ‘112’ and ask for the Fire Service again straight away.

To assist you with some of the calling for help devices which are available we have included anumber below (Image credit: RNLI)

The RNLI advises :

  • Smart phones can provide a location, but emergency calls should be made by voice (call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard). Text messages and map locations are often no use to the Coastguard.
  • Even if your phone shows no service, try calling 999 or 112 anyway as in an emergency your phone will be able to use another phone network. Please note that with some devices, repeatedly pressing the power button can activate an emergency call with your location.
  • The RYA SafeTrx ap is available to download for free for use in notifying a specified contact if you are overdue from your trip. The Coastguard can also monitor and be kept informed.

 

Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)

These have recently come right down in price and retail at around £175.00.  They are now being used by all sorts of outdoor enthusiasts including walkers, climbers and mountain bikers.  The PLB needs to be registered to you (shouldn’t be loaned to friends), they will operate world-wide and you can rely on the Coastguard on picking up the signal immediately and your GPS location given to lifeboat and coastguard teams.   The PLB needs to be activated so the casualty will need to be conscious with the aerial pointing out of the water. One of our team carries one on his lifejacket permanently.

The VHF handheld VHF radio’s are now reasonable priced and available widely

The RNLI makes these points with regards VHF radio’s:

  • If possible, buy a DSC-equipped radio (some are not). A DSC distress alert is a recognised emergency signal, and it also transmits your location.
  • Send a distress alert followed by a mayday voice call on Channel 16. This communicates the distress message to all vessels and shore stations in range.
  • Requires an operator’s licence, a ship’s portable radio or ship’s radio licence (free in the UK if requested online) and a Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number, which comes with the radio licence.

More useful links

How to call for help at Sea – RNLI

How to call the Coastgaurd

How to register or update your PLB or other UK 406MHZ beacon device

Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS)

HM Coastguard

Canoeing Safely – Canals and Rivers Trust

Kayacking and Canoeing Safety – RNLI

National Maritime Safety Week 1st – 9th July

 

What is National Maritime Safety Week?

Maritime Safety Week starts on Monday 1st July, but what is it all about?

On 31st May in a letter to the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Nusrat Ghani MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Department for Transport) wrote:

“the aim of Maritime Safety Week is to introduce a specific week targeted at safety issues which brings the industry together and provides a focus to highlight all the fantastic work that is already being done on a daily basis to ensure the safety of our seas and inland waterways”.  She added “All users of the maritime environment, from recreational mariners to casual beach goers, need to understand the risks. We recognise that these groups have very different safety needs and requirements and the scope of Maritime Safety Week is similarly broad”.

Ramsgate All Weather Trent Lifeboat “Esme Anderson” (14-02)

Picture credit: Sarah Hewes

What are we doing to support this week?

We will be sharing good practice throughout the week via social meda, looking at safety equipment such as lifejackets, calling for help devices and top tips to help keep you safe whilst on the water and support the RNLI 50% reduction in drownings by 2024.  Our team are also attending the Dover Marina weekend on Saturday 6th July to undertake a lifejacket clinic. So, stay tuned to find out more.

More useful links:

Maritime Safety Week – Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport

Maritime Safety – HM Coastguard – Keeping safe at the coast: lifejacket wear

Society of Maritime Industries – Maritime Safety Week

RNLI – Choose your activity

RNLI Drowning Prevention Strategy – Educate, Influence, Supervise and Rescue those at risk from drowning.

Drowning Prevention Week 14th – 24th June
One of our Water Safety Stand’s at Gravesend Gurdwara

Friday (14th June) marks the start of Drowning Prevention Week.  This has been created by the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) will see a deluge of water safety activity flood the UK and Ireland from 14 – 24 June, 2019.

The national campaign aims to ensure everyone knows how to have fun and stay safe near water, and a host of free resources have been produced to help supporters promote water safety.

In 2018 two hundred and sixty three people died from accidental drowning, males make up two hundred and thirty fatalities.  Source : National Water Safety Forum

One of our team addressing a coach party on water safety at Margate main sands

Our team are hugely proud to play it’s part in trying to reduce this figure and will be holding a Pop-Up Water Safety stand on Saturday 15th June at Viking Bay, Broadstairs from 10:00am onwards.

Andy Mills one of the Thanet Community Safety Volunteers said “It is so important to remind people to stay safe near water, especially at this high-risk time of year. We are only only to happy to be involved with Drowning Prevention Week”.

RLSS UK’s Director of Education, Mike Dunn, said: “Most people are surprised to learn that you are more likely to die from drowning than you are from being hit by a car or in a fire. We urge as many people as possible to take advantage of the pop-up stand run by the local Community Safety Team and learn what could be potentially lifesaving skills. We thank the Thanet Team for getting involved with the campaign, and for helping people learn the skills they need to stay safe and enjoy the water”.

More information on the Drowning Prevention Week

HM Coastguard beach and water safety

RNLI Respect the Water

Find out where are RNLI lifeguarded beaches

Sign up to the awesome Thanet RNLI Newsletter

Don’t Drink and Drown campaign in Thanet

 

Water Safety Stand at Ramsgate Mayday Coffee Morning

Our team will be supporting the Ramsgate RNLI Fundraisers Mayday Coffee Morning on Saturday 11th May 10:00am-1.00pm at Ramsgate Lifeboat Station. The coffee morning includes tours around the boathouse (subject to operational commitments) an RNLI Shop stand, bric-a-brac and of course tea/coffee and cake for just £2.50 a ticket which is all helping to fund the new lifeboat crew kit. Our team will be on hand to share water safety advice, lifejacket checks, learn the best way of ‘calling for help’ in an emergency and how to ‘float to live‘ plus lots more.

More information on the great work that the Ramsgate Fundraisers get up to can be found via this link to their facebook page.

Yummy cakes and coffee available at the Ramsgate RNLI Mayday Coffee Morning
Lifejacket Clinic – sends out massive safety message

 

On Sunday, myself and one of our Community Safety Advisors ran a lifejacket clinic, hosted by the Royal Temple Yacht Club, Ramsgate. The clinic was set up to check sailors lifejackets prior to the start of the sailing season.  We were kept pretty busy, checking 72 lifejackets in total, unfortunately 41 failed the basic quality checks. The failures ranged from rusty and corroded cannisters, lose or missing cylinders, out of date firing mechanisms to name a few.  Our clinic made the Ramsgate RNLI website and Margate RNLI Facebook page highlighting the need to check your lifejacket and get it properly maintained on a regular basis. Have a look at my previous blog post on lifejacket top tips.

One lifejacket that was found to be totally unusable

The photo above shows one of the lifejackets that failed the checks

Thanks to the Royal Temple Yacht Club Commodore, staff and members for hosting the event and for making us feel very welcome. Thanks also to Keith Friar for sending us the demonstration defunct lifejackets.

Lifejackets are probably the most important piece of lifesaving kit that a sailor, fishermen or sea sports enthusiast could possibly own and or use. They are useless unless worn and also useless unless properly maintained and looked after.

More information on how to choose the right lifejacket and look after it properly can be found via the RNLI website