Thanet RNLI Community Safety

Open Water Safety – What Are The Risks?

 

According to the Royal Lifesaving Society (RLSS) 85% of accidental drowings occur at open water sites such as lakes, rivers, loch’s and man made open water such as quarries and reservoirs . A significant number occur due to lack of knowledge around the dangers and risks involved. In 2018 73 people drowned in rivers (source National Water Safety Forum). You are more likely to die from drowning than you are being hit by a car or in being in a fire.  One in 10 people admit nearly drowning.

Here are some handy tips to help keep you safe at Open Water:

 

1.  Check out local hazard signs which will inform you about local risk
2.  Swim parralell to the shore – even water which appears calm and flat can change with weather and seasons
3.  Don’t enter fast flowing rivers or swim close to weirs or locks – read about the dangers at Yalding Weir, Kent
4.  Don’t consume alcohol before or during a swimming session. It impedes judgement and reduces inhabitions resulting in people taking risks.
5.  Always take a friend so that they can call for help if something goes wrong.
6.  Wear a correctly maintained lifejacket or buoyancy aid if you are taking part in sailing, fishing or other water activity.
7.  If you or another person gets into difficulty shout for help – call ‘999’ or ‘112’ ask for the Fire Service straight away (for all coastal emergencies always ask for the Coastguard).

 

8.  If someone gets into difficulty and if you can do so safely throw them an object which will float such as a lifebuoy or similar. At some locations rescue equipment such as a throw bag or reach pole maybe available.
9. Be aware that under water hazards can exist which are hidden such as rocks, discarded shopping trolley’s, bicycles or rubbish.

Further top advice concerning open water safety from the RLSS can be found via this link

More useful links

Do’s and Don’ts around open water activity

How Our Team Are Supporting The Drowning Prevention Week

Open Water Swimming – Advice From The Fire Service

Doing It For Dylan  – Discover Becky Ramsey’s pioneering water safety campaign

Lifejacket checks

 

 

Drowning Prevention Week 14th – 24th June
One of our Water Safety Stand’s at Gravesend Gurdwara

Friday (14th June) marks the start of Drowning Prevention Week.  This has been created by the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) will see a deluge of water safety activity flood the UK and Ireland from 14 – 24 June, 2019.

The national campaign aims to ensure everyone knows how to have fun and stay safe near water, and a host of free resources have been produced to help supporters promote water safety.

In 2018 two hundred and sixty three people died from accidental drowning, males make up two hundred and thirty fatalities.  Source : National Water Safety Forum

One of our team addressing a coach party on water safety at Margate main sands

Our team are hugely proud to play it’s part in trying to reduce this figure and will be holding a Pop-Up Water Safety stand on Saturday 15th June at Viking Bay, Broadstairs from 10:00am onwards.

Andy Mills one of the Thanet Community Safety Volunteers said “It is so important to remind people to stay safe near water, especially at this high-risk time of year. We are only only to happy to be involved with Drowning Prevention Week”.

RLSS UK’s Director of Education, Mike Dunn, said: “Most people are surprised to learn that you are more likely to die from drowning than you are from being hit by a car or in a fire. We urge as many people as possible to take advantage of the pop-up stand run by the local Community Safety Team and learn what could be potentially lifesaving skills. We thank the Thanet Team for getting involved with the campaign, and for helping people learn the skills they need to stay safe and enjoy the water”.

More information on the Drowning Prevention Week

HM Coastguard beach and water safety

RNLI Respect the Water

Find out where are RNLI lifeguarded beaches

Sign up to the awesome Thanet RNLI Newsletter

Don’t Drink and Drown campaign in Thanet

 

National Fire Chief’s Drowning Prevention Week

It’s the start of the National Fire Chief’s Annual Drowning Prevention week today (Monday 29th April). The campaign week is designed to highlight the risk of accidental drowning. Drowning is unfortunately amongst the leading causes of accidental death in the UK. As part of our on-going water safety and drowning preventative role we are teaming up with Fire and Rescue Service’s across the UK to help share key safety messages and advice to help make people aware of the risks and dangers when around water, what to do if they fall into water; and how to help someone who is in difficulty in the water.

Members of the Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team pictured with one of the duty fire crews at Ramsgate Fire Station recently on a water safety collaborative visit.

In 2017, 255 people accidentally drowned in UK; 100 people were found to have drugs or alcohol in their system.  In 50% of these accidental deaths people weren’t even taking part in water-based activities Figures also reveal that 106 people drowned whilst out walking or running (source National Water Safety Forum). Men also account for the greatest number of deaths from accidental drowning. 

Each day this week we will be sharing key drowning prevention advice. So, stay tuned for further posts on our social media channels using the #BeWaterAware. If you should hear or see a person or animal in difficulty in the water at the coast call ‘999’ ask for the Coastguard; if you are inland at a lake, river, canal or other area of water call ‘999’ ask for the Fire Service.


National Fire Chief’s Drowning Prevention & Water Safety week

Pictured with the Margate Fire Station Duty Watch

Drowning Prevention Week

This week I have been actively supporting the National Fire Chief’s Drowning Prevention and Water Safety campaign. This campaign has seen a huge amount of innovative engagement activity, including talks to community groups, water safety equipment ‘show and tell’, stands at reservoirs and throw bag training amongst others. This activity has been widespread across the UK involving the respective Fire & and Rescue Services’, Coastguard Volunteer Rescue Teams, RNLI, water companies, water safety campaigners, Search and Rescue Teams, Police Services’ and water safety groups all collaboratively spreading and sharing the water safety and drowning prevention messages. On social media the twitter #BewaterAware has been shared extensively to ensure the message is spread as far as possible and even ‘trended’ 5th on Monday 23rd, although the birth of the Royal baby was ‘trending’ as number one! This campaign has been spreadheaded by the Chief Fire Officers Association Drowning Prevention Lead and East Sussex Chief Fire Officer, Dawn Whittacker

National Fire Chiefs – Be Water Aware Campaign

Different Focus

Each day of the campaign, has seen a focus on a different activity, namely Monday – exploring the waterside equipment aka life rings and throw bags that are now standard around our rivers, canals, coasts and waterways, Tuesday – runners and walkers safety, Wednesday – ‘Away From Home’ (holidays in the UK and abroad and the emphasis on being safe whilst swimming), Thursday – Away From Home, Friday and Saturday will be alcohol related themes (due to the weekend potential for higher rates of socialising).

More young children die in pools abroad on holiday than do overall in the UK!

Kent’s Community Responder Programme

Kent Fire and Rescue Service have teamed up to work collaboratively with the RNLI to roll-out the Community Responder programme. The Community Safety team are delivering the training on behalf of the RNLI to train businesses (at selected locations around Maidstone, close to the River Medway) in water safety and how to deploy the throw-bags and will receive a free throw-line bag to retain on their premises inreadiness for an incident in the river. If this is well received by businesses, it may be rolled out to other areas in the county where water poses a risk in built-up localities.  If you are an organisation or business in Kent and want to find out more then email the Community Safety Team.

 

Effectively deploying a throw bag to a water casualty

Thanks for reading about this vitally important campaign. Please share far and wide, it just could save someone’s life.

Here are just some of the very useful drowning prevention groups, organisations and individuals, so check them out for more advice:

Doing It For Dylan

Kent Fire and Rescue Service Drowning Prevention

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service Water Safety

Coast Safe – Devon and Cornwall Police Water Safety

West Mercia Search and Rescue ‘Home and Dry’ campaign

RLSS – Don’t Drink and Drown

RoSPA – Water Safety Advice whilst on holiday

RNLI – Dog Walking Safety Advice

National Chief Fire Officers Drowning Prevention campaign

Safe and Dry – No More River Deaths (Kent Search and Rescue)

National Water Safety Forum

Durham City Council – Don’t Drink and Drown campaign

Carmanthenshire Water Safety Partnership