Thanet RNLI Community Safety

What’s The Difference Between The Coastguard and the RNLI?

Our team is often asked what’s the difference between the Coastguard and the RNLI?  Her Majesty’s Coastguard (HMCG) – commonly known as the Coastguard – is part of the UK Government’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and are in charge of all maritime and rescue operation’s in the UK.

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Coastguard Officers pictured at Herne Bay’s Community Safety Take Over Day 2019

The Irish Coastguard (IRCG) covers the Republic of Ireland. When you dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ or make an emergency call from a VHF radio and ask for the Coastguard you will be put through to one of the operations centres which are dotted across the UK.  They will co-ordinate the response and task the appropriate assets such as lifeboats, Coastguard Rescue Team’s, helicopter and or other blue light services Police, Fire and Rescue; or Ambulance.

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National Maritime Operation Centre (NMOC) HM Coastguard

Coastguard’s in the operation’s centre can call upon Coastguard Rescue Team’s which are made up of volunteers based all around the coast, who are ready to respond 365 days a year.  The teams are highly trained with a specialist skillset in water, mud and cliff rescue; advanced first aid and now trained to search for high risk vulnerable missing persons.

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is an independent UK and Republic of Ireland charity.  It’s a 24/7 volunteer lifeboat service that is a declared asset of the Coastguard to be tasked to an incident. The RNLI is a registered charity that has been saving lives at sea since 1824.  It provides an on-call 24 hour lifeboat search and rescue service and a lifeguard service (available during the Summer months) along with a flood rescue capability.

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Other useful links

HM Coastguard Margate – Facebook page

Margate RNLI

Ramsgate RNLI

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Acknowledgements

HM Coastguard Greenock

HM Coastguard

RNLI

How Do I Prevent Being Cut-Off By The Tide?

Getting cut-off by the tide is pretty easy to do unless you take some sensible precautions and plan ahead before you set off.  All around the UK and Ireland there are areas that get cut-off by the tide very easily. Each year Ramsgate and Margate lifeboat crews are called to rescue people cut-off by the tide majority of the time around the Botany Bay, Kingsgate Bay, Stone Bay and Dumpton Gap areas.

Over half of the people we speak to when out and about don’t know to call ‘999’ or ‘112’ and ask for the Coastguard in any coastal emergency.

 

Here are our top 10 tips to help you from being cut-off from the tide

  1. Always check the tide times before venturing out via ‘tides near me’ or the BBC Weather page
  2. Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back
  3. Carry a means of calling for help such as a fully charged mobile phone or VHF radio
  4. Consider downloading the free RYA ap called SafeTrx that helps let people know your route
  5. Wear the right clothing and equipment for the activity
  6. Check and be mindful of local hazard warning signs
  7. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, eg when the tide is due in and dangerous cliff edges
  8. If you see or hear someone or an animal in danger at the coast dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ straight away  and ask for the Coastguard giving an accurate location
  9. Do not enter the water if you get cut-off by the tide
  10. If you do end up in the water unexpectedly, float on your back rather than panicking
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Kingsgate Bay, Broadstairs – Tidal Cut-Off High Risk area

More useful links

Ramsgate Lifeboat Station

How To Float To Live – Evan’s Story

HM Coastguard Beach Safety

Where Can I Find The Nearest Lifeguard Beach

Why inflatables are not for use at the Beach – Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team

Helping to deter tidal cut-off’s in Thanet