Thanet RNLI Community Safety

Working together with partner agencies to help reduce drownings

Our team are passionately committed to reducing drowning and sharing water safety messages to all communities far and wide.  Working inconjunction with partner agenices and community groups the spread of the messages is much wider and more powerful.  For example we enjoy working with local businesses, local charities, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Kent Police, Kent Search and Rescue, Community Wardens, Community Pastors and HM Coastguard to promote water safety at events to name a few.

socialmedia drowningprevention watersafety RNLI Communitysafety

If you are a regular follower of our social media channels and preventative work you will have seen that we are actively involved in supporting other water safety organisations campaigns to help prevent and reduce drownings. Here is a run down on the campaigns we get involved in:

 

Respect the water is the RNLI water safety campaign which runs throughout the year, but is relaunched during May to highlight water safety risks, how to avoid them and gives advice on how to stay safe. More information on Respect the Water campaign

 

‘Be Beach Safe’

During Summer 2020, the RNLI in collaboration with the HM Coastguard ran the ‘Be Beach Safe’ campaign, designed to share key beach safety messages.  Due to the travel restrictions imposed during lock-down the coast and beach saw a significant increase in visitor numbers. The ‘Be Beach Safe’ campaign was even more important during this period and continues to be shared far and wide.

 

Also, during the Summer of 2020, the RNLI initiated an Ambassador scheme, where organisations and businesses close to the coastline could sign-up and help share key water safety messages.  This also included calling the Coastguard via ‘999’ for any coastal emergency and displaying posters in their premises or venues.  During the 2020/21 the RNLI partnered with the HM Coastguard to share the Be Coast Safe safety message.  This is increasingly important during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown that this message is shared as widely as possible with an increase in the number of people taking their daily exercise at the coast.

Coastguard Lifeboat RNLI CommunitySafety Thanet saving lives at sea
HM Coastguard and RNLI Community Safety sharing Don’t Drink and Drown safety messages with Margate bars 2018
What is the Don’t Drink and Drown campaign?

The Royal Lifesaving Society’s (RLSS) Don’t Drink and Drown campaign is run during September and December targeting University students and those enjoying their works Christmas parties. The Don’t Drink and Drown campaign highlights the dangers of walking home close to open water after a night out.  More information on the Don’t Drink and Drown campaign

runnersandwalkers rlss

Are Runners and Walkers at risk of drowning?

In 2019, our team were involved in promoting the Royal Lifesaving Society (RLSS) Runners and Walkers water safety campaign at the beginning of November by holding a water safety stand at the fabulous Pegwell Bay Park Run.  You may have come across the NFCC water safety campaigns called ‘Be Water Aware’. More information on this campaign

swim safe margate communitysafety
Swim Safe team pictured with the Margate Mayor Mick Tomlinson and Councillor Liz Hurst
What is Swim Safe?

For the past two years we have helped raise funds and promote the Swim Safe programme which comprises free sea swimming and safety lessons for children aged 7-14 years held on Margate main sands. More information on Swim Safe

 

What is the Know Who To Call campaign?

Throughout the year we help promote the work of the HM Coastguard more specifically the ‘Know Who To call’ in a coastal emergency campaign. This is a vitally important message to get across as over half the people we speak with at events don’t know to call the Coastguard via ‘999’ for any emergency at the coast or on the River Thames.

bewateraware NFCC watersafety

‘Be Water Aware’ – who has pioneered this campaign?

The National Fire Chief’s Drowning Prevention Week campaign is supported annually by the team. This campaign aims to raise awareness of the risk of accidental drowning using Fire and Rescue Services’ across the UK. More information on the ‘Be Water Aware’ campaign.

If you want to get involved in the RNLI Local Ambassador campaign then check out this link for more information. 

Thank you for reading this blog and we stay safe!

 

More useful links

RLSS – water safety campaigns

National Fire Chief’s – ‘Be Water Aware’

Nationalfirechiefs bewareaware drowning RLSS NFCC

Acknowledgements

RNLI

HM Coastguard

NFCC

RLSS

Celebrating International Volunteers Day – Thanet RNLI Community Safety

On Saturday (5th December 2020) our team are helping to celebrate International Volunteers day.  International Volunteers Day is an international observance that was mandated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985.  The day is an opportunity for us all to promote volunteerism, encourage everyone to support volunteer efforts and recognise volunteer contributions.  After all, this year has been very challenging for all of us in a multitude of ways.  Thousands of volunteers across the UK have been at the forefront of medical, community and societal responses to the pandemic.  They should be applauded at every opportunity, giving up their valuable time to help others.

 

So, why do people volunteer?   There are many reasons, but here are a few:

  • Give something back to the community
  • Make a difference to the people around us
  • Learn new skills
  • Meet new people and build friendships
  • Build on existing knowledge and experience
  • Become part of a team and feel valued
  • Gain confidence and increase self-esteem
  • Spend time away from a busy lifestyle or the working environment
  • Opportunity to socialise
  • Find new employment by enhancing employment prospects eg improving CV’s

The RNLI relies on 35,000 dedicated volunteers (making up 95% of their total strength) and the HM Coastguard indicate that they have 3,500 Coastguard Rescue Officers who are highly trained in missing person searching, first aid, water, mud and cliff rescue.

RNLI and HM Coastguard Teams have been busier than ever during 2020

RNLI and HM Coastguard Rescue Teams have been on-call throughout the pandemic providing round-the-clock search and rescue cover with an increasing number of call-outs to persons needing help and assistance due largely to an increase in people enjoying ‘staycations’ and days out at the coast.  The RNLI have described the 2020 season as one like no other.

Thank you

So, let’s get behind all those volunteers out there who freely volunteer their time and say a big thank you for everything they do and continue to do.   Whenever you next meet a volunteer just say ‘thank you’.  If you are a volunteer yourself, thank your colleagues and the team it will make all the difference!

Stay safe out there and thank you for reading.

 

How to stay safe during the pandemic

If you are out and about in your communities please help to stay safe by heeding the government advice for the particular tier or country which you are residing, visiting or working in.

 

Acknowledgements

Royal National Lifeboat Institution

HM Coastguard

National Council for Voluntary Organisations

United Nations

 

Further useful references

RNLI Volunteering Vacancies

HM Coastguard Volunteer Vacancies

Government advice on volunteering during COVID-19

Sign-up to our water safety e-newsletter

Organisations Join Together in Ramsgate To Share Don’t Drink & Drown Water Safety Message

 

On Thursday evening (5th December) our team along with Kent Fire and Rescue Service (Ramsgate), Thanet Lifeguard Club, RLSS, HM Coastguard Margate and the Thanet Street Pastor team came together in Ramsgate to help share the Don’t Drink and Drown water safety message.

This year the campaign is running from 2-8 December, which was launched in 2014 following a string of tragic drownings of young people. Research indicated that around a quarter of all adult drowning victims have alcohol in their bloodstream and RLSS UK are keen to prevent more tragedies by providing a strategic approach in hot spot areas.  Kent has been ranked in the top 3 counties in the UK for drink and drug releated drownings. This years campaign centre’s around looking after your mates on a night out using the social media #BeAMate.  If you haven’t already seen the new video to accompany this years campaign why not take a look (above).

This is the second year running that the Don’t Drink and Drown campaign has been run in Thanet and this year we were very fortunate to be joined by the wholetime crew from Ramsgate Fire Station (Kent Fire and Rescue Service) and by Alex from Heart FM radio station.  We also welcomed Deborah Hunt the RLSS Vice President and her officials from the Kent branch.

The evening comprised of all the respective teams and agencies meeting at Ramsgate Lifeboat Station for a briefing. Then heading to the Royal Victoria Pavillion (Wetherspoons) on Ramsgate Harbour where a multi-agency photograph was captured and then teams split up, with one team basing themselves in the foyer at Whetherspoons to chat to people entering and leaving the venue.

Two further teams deployed on foot into Ramsgate town visiting bars, clubs, restaurants and fast foot outlets chatting to customers, bar staff, door security teams and taxi drivers about how to stay safe on a night out handing out florescent wrist bands, beer mats and the very attractive bar runners all carrying the #DontDrinkAndDrown message.  Taxi drivers, bar staff and venue security teams are all key in passing on the drowning prevention message as they have interactions with customers at the start and end of their evenings.

We are very grateful to all the people we spoke with on the night and we are particularly indebted to the businesses who gave up their time to chat and those who displayed the Don’t Drink and Drown merchandise in their venues:

Ramsgate Tandoori, Crown pub, Port and Anchor, Harbour Street Bar, The Goose, Horse and Groom, Queens Head, Mariners Bar, The Royal, Little Ship, Green Tara, Harbour Fish Bar, Thai Village restaurant and Rokka.  We are particularly grateful to Peter’s Fish Factory on the Harbour for looking after the teams with hot drinks and their fab bags of chips.  As well as Wetherspoons for the teams use of their foyer to engage with their customers.

 

A huge thank you to all the agencies and groups who freely gave up their Thursday evening to support this crucially important campaign. Thanks also go to the Ramsgate Lifeboat Coxswain Ian Cannon and the Operation’s Manager Tony Wylie for allowing us to use their crew room to hold the briefing.

The Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team along with the Street Pastors and Thanet Lifeguard Club will be out again on Friday evening in Margate helping to share the Don’t Drink and Drown message. If you are out and about in Margate then why not pop over and say hello to our friendly teams.

 

Useful links

Don’t Drink and Drown

Be Water Aware – National Fire Chief’s Drowning Prevention Campaign

RNLI – Respect the Water

Canals and River Trust – water safety

HM Coastguard – Dont Drink and Drown

 

Acknowledgements

HM Coastguard – Margate

Thanet Lifeguard Club –  RLSS

Kent Fire and Rescue Service

Street Pastors

RLSS

Out for a few beers with your mates this weekend? Know how to stay safe?

Out for a few drinks with your mates this meeting? Some of our Community Safety Team really enjoy watching sport on their days off. Andy Mills one of our Team says “we want everyone to enjoy themselves and have a great time whilst out having a few drinks, but think about how to get home before the night has finished and stay away from walking alongside water after a night out”.

Here are some tips to get you and your mates home safely:

  • Don’t walk home alongside water after a night out
  • Make sure your mates get home safely after a night out, don’et let them walk by water
  • Plan your journey home before you start your night out, book a cab inadvance
  • Paths beside water are not safe when you are drunk, find a better route home
  • If you do unexpectedly find yourself in water ‘float on your back’ until you get your breath back

What affect does alcohol have on the body?

  • Alcohol lowers in habitions, leading to impaired judgement which means you are more likely to take risks and get into trouble
  • Alcohol limits muscle ability making simple movements harder
  • Alcohol slows down your reactions making it more difficult to get yourself out of trouble
  • Alcohol numbs the senses particularly sight, sound and touch, making swimming very difficult
HM Coastguard and RNLI Community Safety sharing Don’t Drink and Drown safety messages with the Cinque Port Bar Manager 2018

If you do see someone who you think is in difficulty in the water or at the coast or on the River Thames dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ ask for the Coastguard straight away, giving an accurate location, the number of people involved and what you can see (what is happening).  If you are at an inland location such as a river, lake, loch or canal ask for the Fire and Rescue Service.

Other useful links

Don’t Drink and Drown campaign

Discover more about how Community Safety Teams shared the Don’t Drink and Drown message

Acknowledgements

Royal Lifesaving Society

RNLI

HM Coastguard

NFCC