Getting out in the fresh air either enjoying a leisurely stroll, a longer hike or maybe a run is a fantastic way to get some exercise particularly during the lockdown period, to improve your mindfulness and spend time with friends or family. This blog is designed to raise awareness that 93 people who accidentally drowned during 2018 weren’t even taking part in water-based activity and were simply running or walking near water (this is the largest grouping of people who lost their lives).
The Park Run community is without doubt one of the friendliest and vibrant community running groups that helps people of all abilities to get out out on a Saturday morning to enjoy some fitness. On Saturday (2nd November) our team were very lucky to be able to pop down to The Pegwell Bay Park Run and hold a Water Safety Pop-Up stand.
The overall objective of the Pop-Up stand was to help support and share the Royal Lifesaving Societies (RLSS) ‘Runners and Walkers’ Water Safety campaign week which starts on Monday 4th November and runs through until 8th November.
RLSS indicate that tragically over 300 people unnecessarily lost their lives to drowning in the UK whilst running or walking by the water between 2012–2016. Each year on average over 60 people a year lose their life to drowning as a result of Running or Walking near water. Taking a few safety precautions and having a plan should things go wrong is definitely worthwhile. Just taking your mobile phone with you and telling someone your route could help in an emergency.
It was fabulous to chat to the Park Runners who were all very engaging and interested in improving their water safety and overall drowning prevention knowledge. We would like to thank the Pegwell Bay Park Run Team for allowing us to attend their fabulous Saturday morning event and chat to runners, supporters and volunteers. Well done to all the runners for such a great effort on this blustery morning. We were very fortunate with the weather and that the rain held off until we had packed away.
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:
Consider signing up for some training before undertaking any form of activity on the water from a recognised training provider
I can’t believe we are coming to the end of November already! We have been blessed with some really good weather recently and not too much rain. This month’s blog is all about knowing who to call in a coastal emergency. Surprisingly, over half the people we talk to when we are out and about at community events, on beaches and coastal areas do not know that in the event of seeing or hearing an animal or a person in difficulty in the water that they should dial ‘999’ they should ask for the Coastguard straight away. Many people opt to call the Police or Fire Service which wastes several vital minutes.
The Coastguard have Operations Centre’s (CGOC’s) dotted across the UK, at Aberdeen, Belfast, Dover, Falmouth, Holyhead, Humber, London, Milford Haven, Shetland, Stornaway and the National Maritime Operations Centre at Fareham. Each is staffed 24/7 and answers ‘999’ calls from members of the public and Mayday distress calls via radio. In the event of an emergency at the coast, they will co-ordinate the tasking of search and rescue assets eg RNLI boats, independent lifeboats, Coastguard Rescue teams who are trained in mud and cliff rescue, advanced first aid, advanced missing person search techniques; and of course search and rescue helicopters.
Lifeboats and Coastguard are regularly called out to dogs who have either ventured or fallen down a cliff; or gone for an extended swim (often the owner may have also been cut-off by the tide). If this should happen then the Coastguard should be called without delay via ‘999’ who will then task the lifeboat or Coastguard rescue team. Our Team enjoyed a recent visit to the Dover CGOC where we learned alot about how the Coastguard operates. Remember don’t delay if you think anyone or an animal is in trouble in the water call ‘999’ and ask for the Coastguard.
On Monday afternoon I ventured out into the beautiful half-term sunshine (did someone say sunshine?) onto Kingsgate and Botany Bay to deliver safety messages to dog walkers and other coastal users. We are particularly lucky in Thanet to have a multitude of great beaches. This was particularly important as the seaside naturally sees an influx of visitors during half-term and that two people had been rescued a week previously by the Margate Inshore Lifeboat after being cut-off by the tide on Kinsgate Bay.
During the session I met with some great doggie’s, dog walkers and other coastal users; handing out free doggie treats and advice leaflets. The key safety messages that I spoke about were: 1) check the weather and tide times before you head out; 2) take a means of calling for help with you; 3) don’t enter the water if you see someone or an animal in trouble, instead call the Coastguard via the ‘999’ emrgency system. 4) if you do enter the water unexpectedly, fight the urge to swim, ‘float not swim’. 5) cold water shock.
From time-to-time we run dog walker & coastal user engagement events on Thanet beaches, if you see us out and about pop over and say hello.
For more information on RNLI safety advice check out their great website
Find out about Thanet’s great beaches and attractions by following Visit Thanet
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