There is nothing better than enjoying a lovely walk with your dog at the coast taking in sea air, grabbing some exercise and enjoying time with your friends and family. However, lifeboat crews and Coastguard Rescue Teams (CRT) are frequently called out to rescue dogs that have entered the water for one reason or another or fallen over the edge of a cliff. Sometimes their owners will enter the water to try and rescue them too. In 2019 RNLI crews were launched 157 times to incidents involving dogs.
The Isle of Thanet coast has some of the most beautiful beaches and coastline in the UK which draws visitors at all times of the year (nineteen miles of coastline in fact). Exploring the coastline on foot is an excellent way of enjoying valuable time with family and friends, whilst grabbing fresh air, exercise and at the same time relaxing. Holiday times are great occasions to get out and enjoy the coast.
Our Community Safety Team held a mobile stand at Dumpton Gap, near Broadstairs on March 1st aimed at giving safety advice to dog walkers. Weather for the event marked a complete turnaround to previous weekends where the country had faced several major storms. So a combination of a beautiful sunny morning and lower winds that many dog walkers took advantage of the conditions and the stunning coastline that Thanet has to offer.
Our stand was carried out by Thanet RNLI Community Safety Advisers, John Homer and Ian Lockyer. They had good in-depth conversations with just over 300 people, mainly concentrating on dog walkers. This number also included walkers and runners. Advice included what to do if an owner was cut off from their dog along the coast as well as advice on local tidal cut off points.
One of the things that the team noticed was that nearly all the local dog walkers were aware of the local cut off points and also used tidal apps and almanacs.
Every member of the public that the team spoke to were very positive about the advice given and favourable to everything the RNLI does. Even the stand proved popular with the dogs with several marking their territory on the panels.
Overall a fantastic, positive morning with some good advice given.
Members of the Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team deployed to Dumpton Gap on Sunday (12th January 2020) to chat to dog walkers and beach users about coastal safety as part of their proactive Incident Prevention Engagement (IPE) tactic.
As the team were enjoying chatting to beach visitors at Dumpton Gap they became aware of four people who were embarking on a walk around the headland towards Ramsgate. With an incoming high tide, a strong wind and rough sea state the people were rapidly approached by team members and advised them against walking this route and to take a safe one along the cliff top. All four people heeded the advice and took the alternative route to Ramsgate. Andy Mills – Thanet RNLI Community Safety Officer said “it was a significantly high tide on Sunday morning at Dumpton Gap. Fortunately these beach visitors took on board our advice. We would urge everyone to check the weather and tides before heading out for a coastal walk and to carry a fully charged ‘calling for help’ device such as a mobile phone”.
We would like to thank all the dog walkers, runners and beach visitors who stopped by to chat and learn how to have an enjoyable, but safe time at the coast.
If you hear or see an animal or person in difficulty in the water call ‘999’ and ask for the Coastguard straight away every second counts!
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