Thanet RNLI Community Safety

Do You Know How To Check the Tide Times?

Regularly at events we are asked what is the best way to check the tide times?  There are a variety of websites and smart device app’s available which are free to download and use to check the tides.  Shops, cafe’s and other harbour/marina establishments regularly stock paper copies of tide tables which are available for a nominal fee or a donation to the local lifeboat station.  A special mention should be made of ‘Spring Tides’ at this point in the blog. Spring Tides can result in people getting easily cut-off by the incoming tide including places where there normally isn’t an issue.  For more information go to our blog on different tides.

Some lifeboat station’s also display the tide times on their external notice board’s. Many lifeboat station’s, Coastguard teams and National Coastwatch station’s publish tide times and safety advice on a regular basis on their social media channels. Both Ramsgate and Margate lifeboat station’s publish tide times.

We have included anumber of websites and ap’s below to give you an idea which ones are available.

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BBC Weather Tide Tables

Tide Times

Met Office Beach forecast and tide times


Tide Times App – iOS device

Tide Times App – Android

You maybe visiting the coast to enjoy a lovely walk with your friends or family, partake in some bird watching, go climbing, kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing, swimming, surfing or just take in the sea from a cafe or coffee shop.  Whatever activity you are taking part in why not remind yourself about some safety tips which could help save your life below:

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  • Always carry a ‘calling for help device’ such as a fully charged mobile phone or VHF radio

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  • If you are going out on your own tell someone where you are going and what time you will be back

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  • Wear the right clothing for the activity. If you are enjoying time on the water always wear a fully serviced lifejacket.

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  • Check the weather forecast

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  • If you get into difficulty dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ and ask for the Coastguard


  • Don’t enter the water if you get cut-off by the tide, call for help

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  • Heed any warning signs that are displayed at the coast or on beaches

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  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times as conditions can change quickly without warning

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  • If you end up in the water Float On Your Back until you get your breath back – Float To Live

Ian Lockyer (RNLI Community Safety Advisor) says “we want everyone to enjoy the coast and get as much out of your visit as possible. But, making a few preparations and having a plan should things go wrong will help save your life”.

Other useful links

Do you know who to call in a coastal emergency?

Float to live – Evan’s Story

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

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One of our Coastal Dog Safety sessions at Dumpton Gap (prior to Lockdown)



HM Coastguard

National Coastwatch Institution

National Ocean Service

Water Safety Advice During Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

(Please note that this blog was published before the government lock-down was announced and our advice is to stay home to save lives, not to use the sea for recreation or exercise and not travel to the coast exercise locally).

You will all be aware of the requirement stipulated by the government about keeping more than 2 metres from other people when out and about; and avoiding non-essential contact with others particularly if you are from one of the vulnerable or at risk groups.


As you will know the lovely coastal areas and beaches can present their own risks and dangers. Lifeboat crews and Coastguard Rescue Teams are regularly called to people who have put themselves in danger.  Even during the COVID-19 outbreak RNLI Lifeboat crews, Lifeboat Maintenance Engineers and HM Coastguard Rescue Teams remain on-call and operational for call-outs 24/7.

You maybe a sailor, motor boater, off-shore angler, commercial fishermen, paddle boarder, dog walker, kayaker or canoeist, surfer, open water swimmer or just enjoy a stroll along the beach.

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The RNLI and HM Coastguard instructions are not to use the sea to exercise or recreation during the lock-down. Using the sea during this time would mean you taking unncessary risks to yourself and others which could put pressure unnecessarily on front line search and rescue services.


Here is a guide to some of the RNLI’s safety tips if you live at the coast and are going to stretch your legs.

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1.  Take care when walking near to cliff edges  – know your route and don’t take short cuts when the day light starts to dwindle

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2.  Check tide times and weather conditions before you set out

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3.  Tell someone where you are going (route plan) and the latest time that you are expected to return. This will give Search and Rescue Services a start if they need to initiate a search plan.  Why not download the free SafeTrx App or What3Words?

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4.  Wear the correct clothing for a coastal stroll as weather can change quickly

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5.  Carry a means of ‘calling for help’ such as a fully charged mobile phone in a water proof case.

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6.  Be aware of the conditions, check via a weather app.

respectthewater RLSS coldwatershock RNLI7.  If you hear or see an animal or person in the water in difficulty, don’t enter the water dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ and ask for the Coastguard straight away.  Try to throw something that floats to the person in the water, but not to put yourself at risk in doing so. Some coastal areas and rivers have lifebouys or throw line bags for use in the emergency.  For any inland water rescue ask for the Fire Service.

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8.   If you do find yourself in the water in difficulty follow the RNLI’s ‘float to Live’ safety drill and float on your back until you can get your breath back and call for help. Over half the people that drown never intended to end up in the water.

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9.  Always pay attention to local safety advice signs and heed the advice at all times.  Tides can easily creep up on your particularly when you are engrossed in something else.

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Thank you everyone and from all of our Community Safety Team stay safe!

Other useful references

Five things that you shouldn’t ignore about RNLI dog rescue’s

The top 10 lifejacket checks that could help save your life

Have you downloaded the ‘What3Words’ app yet?

RNLI Safety

Coastguard RNLI ThanetRNLICommunitysafety NMOC
National Maritime Operation’s Centre (NMOC)



HM Coastguard

How Should You Treat A Weever Fish Sting?

Picture credit : RNLI Lifeguards

Weever fish are plain looking fish and are very common during the Summer months around the UK shore line. Often they nestle in the sand and in water just a few centimetres deep.  A weever fish will raise a sharp spine on it’s back in self defence if it is trodden upon.  Here are some top tips from our Lifeguard colleagues:

  • Place the effected area in water as hot as you can stand it for around 30 minutes. This will destroy the protein based venom and will allow you to continue your day at the beach. Test the water first so as not to scald the person who has been stung.
  • Whilst the stings are painful they are generally nothing to worry about and will not cause any significant damage

There are far greater risks and hazards associated with the coastal environments: the tides, water movement and the effects of cold water shock.

It is always recommended to visit a lifeguarded beach where trained lifeguards are available for advice for all things beach safety and first aid incase you are stung by a weever fish.

More useful information:

Where can I find my nearest lifeguarded beach?

Our blog about Cold Water Shock

How the RNLI keeps beaches safe

Discover more information about waves


RNLI Lifeguards