Thanet RNLI Community Safety

Lifejackets – Which One Should You Buy?

The RNLI indicates “Each year around 200 people drown in coastal waters around UK and Southern Ireland, some of which happen to people who are carrying out water based activity.

Research suggests that wearing a lifejacket can increase your chances of survival by up to four times if you’re immersed in cold water.* Whatever your activity, wearing a well-fitted, well-maintained and suitable lifejacket or buoyancy aid could save your life”.

Source* Professor Mike Tipton 2012.

 

We are often asked at shows and events “which lifejacket could you recommend?” Our reply is always, “we don’t recommend any particular lifejacket as we don’t know what the type of water activity that you will use it for eg yachting, power boating, kayacking, dingy sailing etc,  everyone is individual and one size definitely doesn’t fit all!”. One of our pieces of advice is that you must be comfortable wearing it.

Our team runs lifejacket clinics throughout the year at local yacht clubs, marina’s and harbours.  If you would like us to run one for you or your club please drop us an email : Andrew_Mills@RNLI.org.uk

lifejacketclinic lifejacket RNLICommunitysafety RNLIwatersafety RNLIseasafety Yatching sailing motorboating kayacking powerwatercraft Personalfloataiondevice PFD

Here are some of the top tips that you could carry out to ensure your lifejacket is fit for purpose (please note: these checks are not a substitute for a proper service at a service agent or recognised manufacturer)

 

  1. Inspect the outside of the jacket for wear and tear. Take a detailed look at the cover for any damage, webbing, harnesses, crotch straps, sizing and fit
  2. Even if it is a jacket with an inspection window, undoe the lifejacket at the point next to the inflator.
  3. Check the gas cylinder is hand tight, or if it’s a bayonet type, is it firmly locked in position.
  4. If the lifejacket is new to you, remove the cylinder and check it has not been fired.
  5. Replace the cylinder if required.
  6. Look for the green coloured indicators on the trigger and if fitted, on the automatic firing system.
  7. Keep spare cyclinders and replacement parts for the automatic firing system on hand. So, that the jacket can be re-armed. Or, keep a spare jacket for each person onboard. The replacement parts are relatively inexpensive to purchase. Don’t forget jackets for your dog(s) if you take them on a voyage!
  8. Get the jacket serviced at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals.  This is highly recommended.
  9. Undertake a thorough inspection of each and every lifejacket at least once a year – more often if the lifejacket is used frequently.
  10. Conduct an inflation test of the bladder annually. Inflate the bladder through the oral inflation tube via a low pressure air pump or simply blowing into the tube. Leave inflated for at least 24 hours in a termperature stable environment to check the bladders integrity.

Useful links :

The RNLI’s complete guide to lifejackets

How to choose a lifejacket and maintain it – RNLI

Andling and fishing safety Advice – RNLI

Lifejackets Useless Unless Worn – Thanet RNLI CS

Lifejacket Clinic Sends Out Massive Safety Message

How to book a free RNLI lifejacket clinic

 

A look behind the scenes – Margate Community Safety Team

I thought it was high time that I let you into a few secrets of what goes on behind the scenes of our RNLI Community Safety Team, here in Thanet out of season.

Even though the season hasn’t started yet, we are still busy getting our plans and projects in place for Summer. One such project which we have been working on for some time now, is the training up of groups and businesses inorder to be able to deploy throw bags (RNLI community responder scheme) along our coastlines and harbours should the need arise.  A previous blog post describes how important and useful the throw bags are in the hands of trained members of the local community in key risk locations.  If you are a business, group or individual that is located close to the sea, river, or coast then why not contact us to see if you could come on board?

Swim Safe

Swim Safe

Another awesome project sees for the very first time ‘Swim Safe’ is beng run on Margate main sands. This is the delivery of free sea swim coaching for the age group 7-14 years in collaboration with Swim England RNLI and Thanet District Council. We know that it’s going to be busy, so follow our website for the booking page ‘go live’ date. Schools will be notified too when more information is available.

Respect the Water being launched 23rd May

The RNLI’s national launch of it’s ‘Respect the Water’ campaign is taking place on 23rd May which will help spread our safety mesages prior to the start of the busy Summer. We are currently working on some really exciting plans for this launch in Thanet, so stay tuned and we will be up-dating our social media channels as soon as plans have been confirmed. We will also be working with a local taxi firm, Central Cars in Broadstairs to spread our key safety messages out to customers via their drivers.  Keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter or blog posts to find out how you can learn and share these important safety messages.

Community engagement is key in spreading the safety messages

On-going local engagement

Inadditon to the above projects, the team continues to deliver safety briefings to local community groups, undertake ‘Incident Prevention Engagement’ (IPE) at beaches or coastal areas where an incident has recently taken place reminding and educating people concerning tides, calling for help and cold water shock.  Examples of recent IPE deployments have been seen at Kingsgate Bay and Dumpton Gap. These are inaddition to seeking fresh and new engagement opportunties with other local coastal activity and comunity groups.

The Team will also be supporting the National Fire Chiefs Council – Drowning Prevention and Water Safety week 23rd-29th April, where we will be sharing on social media material to highlight that drowning is of the UK’s leading causes of accidental death. Kent Fire and Rescue Service also have a useful section on their website highlighting water safety, it’s definitely worth a read!

Anyway, until next time thanks for reading.

Recent Coastal walking activity talk to Past Rotarians Margate

Other key website links:

UK Coastguard

Download your very own tides ap

Respect the Water – Float to live advert