Thanet RNLI Community Safety

As The Clocks Go Back This Weekend And Darker Nights Are Once Again Upon Us- Are You Winter Water Aware?

We hope that you are looking forward to making the most of that extra hour in bed after the clocks went back marking the end of BST (British Summer Time) and reverting to GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).   Of course that extra hour in bed in the morning results in the evenings getting darker earlier.

lockdown covid19 margatelifeboat ramsgatelifeboat margatecoastguard broadstairs walking running clocksgoback GMT

Walking, running or cycling home in the dark after a night out or a long shift you may decide to take a short cut to get home quicker which takes you close to open water.

Winterwatersafety RLSS NFCC Walkersandrunners watersafety RNLIWatersafety RNLICommunitysafety Margatelifeboat Ramsgatelifeboat Thanetlifeguards

Make sure you take care when walking past open water as what appears to be straight forward in the light can be totally confusing in the dark.  Walkers and runners have the highest incidence of accidental drowning year on year.

COVID19 Coronavirus Respectthewater communitysafety tidetimes

The RLSS (Royal Lifesaving Society) indicate that from 2012-2016, 300 people unnecessarily lost their lives to drowning in the UK whilst running or walking by the water – that’s an average of 60 lives lost per year.   An additional 35 people per year drowned while walking home intoxicated.  Thirty nine percent of those accidental drownings took place at the coast, twenty five percent at a river and eleven percent at a canal.

 

Here are some top tips to help keep you safe whilst out walking or running during the winter months:

watersafetyrespectthewater RNLI lifeboats drowningprevention

  • Be aware of your surroundings and take notice of any warning signs when out and about
  • When running or walking next to open water, stay well clear of bank edges and keep to paths
  • Always try and walk or run with a friend
  • Let someone know where you are going and what time you will be back
  • Carry a means of ‘calling for help’ such as a fully charged mobile phone in a waterproof case.
  • If you are at the coast check out the tide times and weather before you head out of the door
  • If you end up in the water float on your back rather than trying to swim
  • If you hear or see an animal or person in difficulty in the water, don’t enter the water dial ‘999’ ask for the Coastguard at the coast or on the River Thames; and for all other inland waterways ask for the Fire Service

 

matesmatter RNLI dontdrinkandddrown RLSS Avonfireandrescueservice

Mates Matter

Avon Fire and Rescue Service have highlighted the Stay Safe Around Water message by using the social media #MatesMatter and encouraging the sports team mantra of looking after the team.  Our advice is to always check your mates have got home safely by messaging or phoning them. Your phone call could just save their life.

 

John Homer RNLI Community Safety Adviser says “winter time is still a great time to visit the coast, we have 19 miles of coastline in Thanet to explore, but taking a few precautions can really help prevent putting yourself and others in danger. Stay safe”.

accidentaldrowning RLSS drowning pools reserviors rivers streams lakes quarries

Other useful links

Runners and Walkers identified as high risk of accidental drowning year on year in UK

Sea Safety During Stormy Weather Conditions

Sign-up to our e-newsletter

 

Acknowledgements

Avon Fire and Rescue Service

National Fire Chief’s Council

RLSS

RNLI

Thanet businesses and organisations asked to help spread important water safety messages during school Summer holidays

As a result of COVID-19 safety protocols our RNLI Community Safety Team is currently unable to deploy to deliver face2face water safety messaging and drowning prevention advice sessions.  We have recently witnessed a significant increase in the number of visitors to UK beaches and coastline coupled with a reduced number of beaches that are able to be covered by lifeguards it is even more important to get water safety messaging out to as wide an audience as possible.

RNLIwatersafety RNLICommunitysafety Bewateraware Respectthewater Bebeachsafe Thanetlifeguards RNLI Lifeboat Margatelifeboat Ramsgatelifeboat Broadstairs Ramsgate Margate

Our team is asking whether B&B’s, hotels, cafes, restaurants, councils, shops, pubs, bars and businesses selling beach goods across Thanet which are located alongside or close to coastal and beach areas can help us share the Beach Safety message – “Beach lifeguards Can’t Everywhere This Summer” by printing and displaying the poster (downloadable poster contained here and below); and having conversations with their customers and members of the public about knowing to call the Coastguard via ‘999’ should they see or hear someone in difficulty in the water.

Also, if you have a social media account (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn) then please see if you can share some of the messaging, which again is included in a link below using the #BeBeachSafe

RNLI Beach Safety Printable Resources  

RNLI Social Media Resources

coastguard watersafety seasaafety communitysafetyrnli

Andy Mills from Thanet’s RNLI Community Safety Team said “we readily appreciate that this is a very busy time of the year for all coastal businesses who have also had extra challenges to cope with due to COVID-19, but we are asking them to do what they can to help us spread the safety message “Beach lifeguards can’t be everywhere this Summer – Protect Your Family, Follow Safety Advice, Save Lives – In An Emergency Dial ‘999’ for the Coastguard”.

 

Obviously, we don’t want to put anyone at risk and only pass on the message where it is safe to do so complying with the latest Government guidelines.  We want everyone to have a fun time at the coast, but taking on board some safety advice before you visit could help you from getting into difficulty and putting yourselves and others in danger.

Volunteer lifeboat crews and HM Coastguard Rescue Teams have tirelessly remained available 24/7 to respond to emergency calls from members of the public throughout COVID-19″.

 

Thank you for your help in sharing the safety messaging which is much appreciated.

 

Other useful links

It’s Hot Out There – Where To Do If You Get Into Difficulty

Do You Know What To Do If You Saw Someone Drowning?

RNLI Water Safety

Six things to do at the East Kent coast

OUR TOP SIX THINGS TO DO THIS AUTUMN IN EAST KENT

Autumn time at the East Kent coast is such a wonderous time to visit, what with the lovely Turner skies, dramatic sea conditions and fabulous scenery.  Enjoy the deserted beaches, avoid the queues and congestion usually associated with the Summer months allowing you to wonder around the harbours and towns with ease.

Our team have come up with their top 6 things to do in East Kent during the autumnal months…

thanet beaches communitysafety seasafety 10thingstodoatthecoast kent thanet

1. Visit the Beach – No trip to East Kent is complete without a trip to the beach. East Kent has so many lovely sandy beaches to choose from sixteen in fact!  Even if the tide is in Margate Main Sands is a great beach to visit being only a few minutes from the Old Town where there is plenty to keep you occupied.  Viking Bay, Broadstairs still has that quintessential British seaside town feel, whilst Ramsgate beach is a short walk from the picturesque harbour.

communitysafety rnli thanet kent beaches autumnwalks coastguard safety water

2.  Sample the fine food – Thanet has a plentiful array of restaurants and eateries to suit every taste and budget. Whether it’s something convenient overlooking the harbours of Broadstairs, Margate or Ramsgate, a venue tucked away up a side street or off the main drag.  There is definitely something for everyone and one of our teams favourite’s is Bachelor’s Patissere on Northdown Road who are a big supporter of the RNLI and emergency services.

Coastalwalks communitysafety seasafety lifeboats visitkent visittthanet

3.  Walk the Thanet coastal trial – the Thanet coastal trial starting at Reculver and finishing at Pegwell Bay is a fabulous walking route which makes it way across sandy beaches, sweeping bay and chalk cliff’s. More information on Thanet Coastal Trial

lifeboatshops RNLI visitthanet visitkent visitEngland Ramsgate communitysafety

4.  Visit a Lifeboat Station Shop – each lifeboat station has it’s very own souvenir shop helping to raise much needed funds enabling the RNLI to maintain it’s lfesaving work. Margate RNLI station’s shop is attached to their station Tel 01843-221-613, whilst Ramsgate’s is situated in The Custom House, Harbour Parade Tel 01843-598-754 (what3words ///skills.pets.dices) Particularly, during the winter month’s it is advisable to phone inadvance to check the opening times as they can vary.

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5.  Cycling – If you want to explore the great coastal paths and grab some exercise at the same time, why not get on your bike for that unforgettable experience.  The 32 mile (51.4 km) coastal trial can be broken up with pit stops at the numerous eateries, cafes and restaurants dotted across the coast.

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Dreamland at night – photo credit : Visit Thanet

6.  Discover some top family atttractions – Whether your bringing your children or just fancy a day out Thanet has got some top attractions that are open all year round.  Dreamland is an amusement park and entertainment centre based on a traditional English seaside funfair.  The newly opened Margate caves is also a very worthwhile place to visit, originally dug as a chalk mine in the 18th century.

 

Other useful links

How do I prevent being cut-off by the tide?

Do you know how to check the tide times?

Coastal walking is such a fabulous hobby – know how to stay safe

Visit Thanet – tourist information

Ramsgate RNLI

Margate RNLI

 

Acknowledgements

RNLI

HM Coastguard

Visit Thanet

Sea Safety Talk To Ramsgate Probus Club Makes a Big Hit

On 3rd April our team really enjoyed chatting to the great Ramsgate Probus Club at the fabulous RTYC Ramsgate . Covering our key safety messages, the Thanet coastal patrol concept, Swim Safe and the RNLI’s wider drowning preventative/search & rescue work both in the UK, Republic of Ireland and world wide.  We were really interested in a press cutting hung on the wall in the RTYC from the ‘London illustrated News’ dated April 10th, 1864. Entitled ‘Ramsgate Lifeboat Morning After A Heavy Gale – Weather Moderating’. A fabulous example of the RNLI’s heroic work in highly dangerous and challenging sea conditions with very little protection.

Thank you very much to the President for the very kind donation and for hosting our team’s talk which Is hugely appreciated.

The Water Savvy Day – Water Safety At Bewl Water

The Water Savvy Day is held yearly at Bewl Water, Lamberhurst, Kent. It is organised jointly by Kent Fire and Rescue Service; and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service. The aim of this free fun day is to learn about how to stay safe around water.  Our team thoroughly enjoyed working with the Gravesend Community Safety team on the day to share key safety messages about how to stay safe at the beach and coast.  Some these will be mentioned later on.

Leanne McMahon, Group Manager for Community Safety at Kent Fire and Rescue Service, says about the day: “Our Water Savvy Fun Day is a fun day out for all the family, providing a rare glimpse into the fire services’ water rescue capabilities, and an opportunity to learn really important lifesaving skills.  “Water safety is really important to us, and we are working hard to educate residents and visitors to the area about the dangers and how to stay safe while still enjoying being in and around water.”

 

One of our Gravesend colleagues chatting to children during the Water Savvy Day

The day was jam packed with plenty of activities and demonstrations including: the inter Fire and Rescue Service water rescue competition which this year was won narrowly by East Sussex; and Kent Police’s drone was put through it’s operational paces. Crowds were also treated to a display by the Police’s Marine and Diving Unit,  as well as the fabulous Newfoundland Rescue Dogs, hands-on practical CPR skills with the Royal Lifesaving Soiety, further demonstrations from the Kent Lowland Search and Rescue team, Seaford Lifeguards and Sussex Flood Unit.

 

Fire & Rescue Service water rescue competition

Our RNLI Community Safety stand proved very popular with children and adults like.  Some of the key messages we highlighted included:

Follow the Water Safety Code 

  • Stop & Think (Look for dangers and always read the signs)
  • Stay together – never swim alone, always go with friends or family
  • Call ‘999’ or ‘112’ ask for the Coastguard (at the coast) Fire Service (rivers, canals & inland waterways) and shout for help
  • If you do fall into the water unexpectedly ‘Float on your back and try to hold onto something that floats,

 

The Water Savvy Day is such a great day to learn more about water safety, but also enjoy the wonderful Bewl Water. Keep an eye out for future Water Savvy Day events as they are great fun for all the family.

One of the fabulous Newfoundland dogs enjoying a rest after a rescue demo

More useful links:

Royal Lifesaving Society – top tips on drowning prevention

Learn how to Float to Live

Find the nearest lifeguarded beach

Learn more about free swim lessons

Book free swimming lessons in the sea – Swim Safe

Bewl Water

HM Coastguard – Beach Safety

Don’t Paddle After Your Dog!

 

On Friday morning (14th June) Margate Inshore Lifeboat was requested to launch by the UK Coastguard to a person reported in the water at Botany Bay, after entering to try and rescue their dog who had got into difficulty in the sea.  The lifeboat launch was cancelled when the UK Coastguard received a further report that the person, along with a second person who also entered the water to assist together with the dog had made their way back to shore safely.

Members of the Thanet Community Safety Team using the ‘dog selfie’ frame at Dumpton Gap during a Coastal Dog Safety Pop-Up Stand

Friday’s call comes after another dog rescue near Minnis Bay on Thursday 6th June, when three friends rescued an 83-year old man who had jumped into the water to rescue his dog who unfortunately didn’t survive.  Fortunately, the rescued man didn’t require hospital treatment but was treated at the scene by South East Coast Ambulance Service.

RNLI Lifeboat Dog rescue compilation video

Andy Mills, RNLI Community Safety Volunteer gives this advice “if your dog does get into difficulty in the water or has fallen down a cliff, please do not enter the water or put yourself in danger, dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ ask for the Coastguard straight away. They will then task the appropriate rescue assets such as a lifeboat, Coastguard Rescue Team who are trained in cliff, mud and water rescue; or a Coastguard helicopter. The Coastguard or RNLI will not charge you for using their services and they won’t mind if you have made the call in good faith.

More information on RNLI dog walking advice

HM Coastguard Dog safety

Previous Thanet Community Safety Team blogspot on dog safety

Five things that you shouldn’t ignore about dog rescues!

Full acknowledgements to the RNLI for the use of the Youtube video

 

Volunteers’ Week has landed

(Pictured above) Neil – RNLI Community Safety Advisor

Welcome to the start of Volunteers’ Week which is a chance to celebrate and say thank you for the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK.  It takes place 1-7 June every year and is an opportunity to celebrate volunteering in all its diversity.

During the week we will be introducing you to some members of our team. Today, we would like to introduce you to Neil.  Neil is our throw bag trainer (Community Responder Scheme) who is responsible for training members of staff from bars, cafes and restaurants in how to use throw bags as part of the RNLI scheme to make water rescue equipment available at key venues to rescue a person should they end up in the water for whatever reason. Inaddition to this traning Neil can also be seen at events helping to share key safety messages on how to stay safe whilst enjoying time at the coast.  He is also a long serving member of the Ramsgate All Weather Lifeboat crew, available 24/7 on a pager to answer emergency calls saving lives at sea.  Neil also helps run the fantastic Thanet Lifeguard Club which is a hugely successful lifesaving club affliated to the Royal Lifesaving Society.

RNLI Community Safety Volunteer’ Week

Don’t Drink and Drown initiative around Ramsgate and Margate

RNLI Volunteers Vacancies Page

Find out how to volunteer for the HM Coastguard Team

Visiting the coast whilst on holiday? Know what to do in a coastal emergency.

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

Visiting the coast whilst on holiday, a short break or just for the day is always a great opportunity to unwind and spend quality time with friends and or the family. Maybe you will take in a bracing coastal walk, take part in some form of water activity or out on the water? Sometimes whilst on holiday people will take risks around water which they wouldn’t normally do. Follow our top 10 tips to enable you to have a safe, but enjoyable time:

  1. Consider signing up for some training before undertaking any form of activity on the water from a recognised training provider
  2. Wear a buoyancy aid or properly serviced lifejacket
  3. Always carry a means of ‘calling for help’ eg mobile phone even if you walking along the coast or a VHF radio in a waterproof case if you are out on the water with flares and a Personal Locator Beacon
  4. Check the weather and tide times before you venture out
  5. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and heed local hazard warning signs
  6. If you should see or hear an animal or person in difficulty at the coast or in the water call ‘999’ and ask for the Coastguard giving an accurate location
  7. Download the SafeTrx App and use it to keep safe whilst swimming, kayacking, sailing or diving
  8. Always supervise your children when they are in the water
  9. Use a lifeguarded beach where possible
  10. If you do find yourself in the water unexpectedly always float to live

This blog is part of our commitment to supporting the National Fire Chief’s Drowning Prevention campaign week. Always check out all the #BeWaterAware social media postings for more safety advice.

Always be aware of your surroundings and local hazard warning signs
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.