Thanet RNLI Community Safety

Anglers – do you plan your fishing trips with safety in mind?

Angling is one of the most popular hobbies and sports enjoyed by a wide cross section of the community and at all age ranges.  Between 2011-2015, 50 anglers tragically lost their lives while fishing around the UK coastline*.

RNLICommunitysafety RNLIseasafety RNLIwatersafety watersafety respectthewater Thanetlifeguards margatelifeboat ramsgatelifeboat
Professor Mike Tipton – Portsmouth University

Sadly, expert evidence from Professor Mike Tipton of Portsmouth University (2012) suggests that many of those lives might have been saved if the anglers had been wearing lifejackets.

If you are ill prepared and don’t know what to do things if things go wrong a nice day out can very easily turn into a nightmare.  Colm Plunkett was wearing a lifejacket and had a plan when he got into difficulty whilst out angling. Check out the video below:

Here is some top safety tips to help you keep safe:

  1.  Should I let someone know where I am going and what time I will be back? Always let someone know where you will be fishing and what time you will be back. This will assist search and rescue teams with an area to start searching should you not return on time.

 

2.  Carry a calling for help device such as a VHF radio or mobile phone in a waterproof case so that  you can call for help if you get into difficulty.

3.  Always wear a lifejacket no matter what type of weather/conditions or locations you are angling from.  If you end up in the water and you are wearing a lifejacket, you are four times more likely to survive (Professor Mike Tipton Portsmouth University) More information on which lifejacket to wear – RNLI 

4.  Do you know what to do if someone ends up in the water or gets into difficulty? More information on what to do.

5.  What is ‘Float to Live’ – If you end up in the water, the RNLI recommend that you float on your back until you get your breath back. More information on Float to Live

6.  Who Do I call in a coastal emergency at the coast? If you see an animal or person who you think is in difficulty in the water or at the coast phone ‘999’ or ‘112’ straightaway and ask for the Coastguard. Getting the right equipment and the correct rescue teams mobilised to the scene will have a significant impact on the outcome of the incident.

7. What is SafeTrx? Many anglers, divers, kayakers, open water swimmers and sailors are downloading the free SafeTrx mobile phone app which charts your passage and alerts an emergency contact if you fail to report in at an allocated time.  Open water swimmers and divers are registering themselves as the ‘craft’ and will also notify the HM Coasguard if someone is late reporting in.

8. What clothing and kit should I pack for a fishing trip.  Wearing a lifejacket will improve your chances by up four times if you end up in the water.  Wearing crotch straps will also have a significant impact on the effectiveness of your lifejacket if you end up in the water.  Why not check out the Henry Gilbey video below:

  9.   Is it better to take a mate along when I go fishing? There is always someone to share those great angling stories with over a cuppa or a bite to eat afterwards.  Having a mate with you also ensures that there is someone to call for help if you get into difficulty.

10. Should I check tides and weather before I go fishing.  It may seem obvious to check the tide times and weather forecast, but a recent lifeboat launch rescued two anglers who had been caught out by the tide. There are plenty of mobile device app’s which are free to download and use to show tide times and weather forecasts.

11. I have heard of Personal Locator Beacons, but what do they do? A PLB will increase the chances of search and rescue teams locating you quickly if you end up in the water in difficulty.  There are plenty of examples of where sailors, kayakers and fishermen who have ended up in the water and have activated their PLB which has saved their life.  They need to be registered with your details with the HM Coastguard.

 

12.  What COVID-19 Safety Precautions should I take when I go fishing?

Check out the latest government COVID-19 safety precautions wherever you decide to visit.

 

How can I find out more information?

When was the last time that you checked your lifejacket

Top 10 lifejacket checks which could help save your life

Drop us a DM on Facebook or Instagram if you would like your lifejackets checked for free or an ‘Advice on Board’ session (free check of your boat or craft to help you with safety). Please be aware that due to COVID-19 safety protocols we have had to suspend our lifejacket and Advice on Board sessions until further notice.  However, we are happy to provide one-to-one advice over a virtual conference call.

 

Acknowledgments:

RNLI

Colm Plunkett

HM Coastguard

Henry Gilbey

Statistics

*RNLI analysis of WAID UK fatalities accidental and natural causes only 2011-15 coastal data set

How Do I Call For Help By Phone At The Coast?

Our Coastguard colleagues have in the past carried out a public survey and they report that half of the people they questioned did not know that they should dial ‘999’ and ask for the Coastguard for a coastal emergency.  Here are just some of the incidents which the Coastguard should get called to (The list is not exhaustive):

▪️Person in the water

▪️Someone shouting/waving for help from a boat,

▪️Someone stuck on/fallen from a Coastal cliff,

▪️Someone stuck in Coastal mud or quicksand,

▪️Boat sinking or on fire

▪️Persons floating out to sea on a lilo

▪️Distress flare sighted

▪️Persons jumping from quay walls and putting themselves in danger

▪️Persons “Wave Dodging” and putting themselves in danger

▪️Someone gone kayaking at the Coast and not back at the time they said they would be

▪️Boat aground

▪️Someone injured on a beach

▪️Someone cut off by the tide

▪️Child(ren) lost on the beach

▪️Marine Pyrotechnics (flares) or suspected Military Ordnance found on a beach

Coastguard RNLI ThanetRNLICommunitysafety NMOC

Here is the procedure in the event of spotting a coastal emergency:

 1.  Dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ (European Emergency Number) and ask for the Coastguard

2.   Describe your location, if you don’t know exactly where you are use a clear description, landmarks or try and find someone who knows the area.   On some smart phones the compass app will also display the position as latitude and longitude. Alternatively, use an app such as OS locate or What3words

3.  Describe the number of people, animal and or craft that is involved

4.   Describe the problem = what you can see and or hear

5.  Give any further information such as closet access point for emergency services and any further updates on injuries to casualties

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Useful references

Have you downloaded the What3Words App yet?

What exactly is SafeTrx and how can it keep me safe?

Do you know who to call for a coastal emergency?

coastguard watersafety seasaafety communitysafetyrnli

Acknowledgements

Greenock Coastguard Team

RNLI

HM Coastguard

Is It a Legal Requirement To Wear Lifejackets?

In the UK there isn’t a legal requirement for leisure boaters wear a lifejacket.  However, in Ireland the law requires that appropriate personal floatation devices (PFD’s) are carried on all leisure craft for each member of the crew/passengers; when a vessel is under 7 metres PFD’s must be worn; and people under 16 years of age must wear a PFD’s when on an open vessel or on deck, no matter what size the vessel is.  As of 2019, the law states that it is mandatory for all UK and Irish commercial fishermen to wear a PFD on an open deck (unless there is a risk assessment in force that shows they cannot fall overboard).

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Our team run lifejacket clinic’s from time to time at yacht clubs, lifeboat stations and harbours. If you are interested in getting your lifejacket checked by a qualified member of our team please drop us an email: Andrew_Mills@RNLI.org.uk (Please note: An inspection by an RNLI Community Safety Adviser is not the equivalent of a lifejacket service. Lifejackets should be serviced by an approved service agent).

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Want to find out more information on lifejackets?

Lifejackets – useless unless worn

Anglers and lifejackets

When was the last time you checked your lifejacket?

RNLI – lifejackets

Acknowledgements

RNLI

Anglers – time spent in preparation will help save your life!

Angling is a seriously popular activity, which is growing yearly.  The RNLI estimate that around 1 million people participate in angling around the coast.  Unfortunately, between 2011 and 2015, 50 anglers lost their lives whilst fishing around the UK coast*. Sadly, expert evidence suggests that many of those lives might have been saved if the anglers had been wearing lifejackets.  You are four times more likely to survive if you are wearing a lifejacket (source Prof Mark Tipton University of Portsmouth)

Check out the video below to see what the the famous fishing guru Henry Gilbey found out about lifejackets when he visited the RNLI College at Poole.

 

Our top tips to follow when out angling at the coast:

  1.  Wear a properly maintained lifejacket at all times
  2.  Always carry a means of calling for help such as a VHF radio or fully charged mobile phone in a waterproof case
  3.  Tell someone on land your plans eg what will the latest time you will be back and where you are going
  4.  Consider downloading and using the RYA SafeTrx App
  5.  Check the weather and tides before you go out
  6.  Have a plan if things should go wrong – this angler did and it saved his life
  7.  If you get into difficulty or see someone else that you think is in difficulty call ‘999’ or 112′ ask for the Coastguard straight away – every second counts.

HM Coastguard’s James Robertson (National Drowning Prevention Officer) advice on Sea Angling

More information on how to prepare for your angling trip at the coast can be found via this link

National Water Safety Forum – HM Coastguard film on cold water shock

Find out more about the free to use  and dowload SafeTrx App

HM Coastguard ‘On the Rocks’ safety advice

How to survive if you call into the water unexpectedly if you float to live

How to get your lifejacket checked by one of the RNLI’s Community Safety Teams

Did you know that the RNLI carry out free ‘Advice on Board’ sessions onboard to help you be safer whilst out on the water

 

 

 

 

 

 

*RNLI analysis of WAID UK fatalities accidental and natural causes only 2011-15 coastal dataset

It’s been a busy Summer so far!

Swim Safe Team at Margate

I hope that have been able to enjoy the marvellous Summer that we have been having! The heatwave brings it’s own problems for our Lifeguards, Lifeboat Crews, HM Coastguard Rescue Teams and Community Safety Teams. They have been kept incredibly busy up and down the country being called out to a high number of people in need of assistance and also spreading the key safety messages. Some of the calls recently attended by our RNLI crews, lifeguards and Coastguard Teams have involved: tidal cut-offs, swimmers and kayackers in difficulty, weaver fish stings, yachts and fishing boats with machinery problems amongst others.  One of the vitally important projects that we have been helping to support is Swim Safe at Margate Main Sands, together with Swim Teachers and lifeguards. You can read more about this fantastic programme by checking out this link.

Reminding and Refreshing Beach visitors on Safety Tips

Our Team has been incredibly busy supporting a wide range of events across the area and also carrying out anumber of ‘pop-up’ engagement events on beaches to help share safety messaging.

L-R Coastguard Rescue Technician, Face2Face team & Community Safety at Broadstairs Water Gala

Margate Pride with the Face2Face Team

One of the incredible events that we were proud to support was Margate Pride. This is the first year that we have been able to attend and we were absolutely bowled over by the number of wonderful people we spoke with and how a large number had heard about our ‘Float Not Swim’ lifesaving technique through cinema and radio advertising. We are already looking forward to next years event!

The next event that we will attending is the National Kitesurfing Championship at Ramsgate on Saturday 18th August on the lower Promenade. So, if you are thinking of coming along to watch this awesome event, then why not pop over and come and say hello.

Future events:

Sunday 2nd September – Addington Street Revival Festival

Check out our Facebook page or Twitter to keep fully up-to-date on our future events.

More safety advice:

HM Coastguard Beach Safety

RNLI How to stay safe at the coast

Swim Safe arrives in Margate!
Swim Safe launched on Margate Main Sands

Some of your may come across Swim Safe before either via social media, the RNLI website perhaps or heard about it by the good old fashioned word of mouth? If not, then it is a really exciting free of charge swimming and water safety lessons delivered at mainly beaches and across the UK and Republic of Ireland by Swim England and the RNLI in partnership. We are so lucky to be holding a Swim Safe programme of lessons on Margate Main Sands this Summer!

 

The Swim Safe Team have delivered two of the sessions so far, both on a Friday and they have been massively popular with local families and also those from some distance away.  To be eligible children must be aged between 7-14 years and be able to swim 25 metres. I have received quite a few enquiries that the on-line booking system shows no slots available for any of the sessions. My advice is if you really want your child to attend, then attend one of the sessions by walking up and asking the staff whether their are any vacancies remaining for the day and whether they can join the session. Definitely worth ago!

 

So, if you are in the Margate area and want your child to learn some essential water safety techniques, then check out Swim Safe. All the feedback that we have so far received has been an overwhelming thumbs up from both children and parents.  Before I go, to enable you to enjoy your time at the coast this Summer even more please search for ‘RNLI Float Not Swim’ and learn this essential technique that actually saved 7 peoples lives last year.  Figures are from the RNLI.

Pictured are some of the awesome Swim Safe Team at Margate Main Sands Lifeguard hut

Check out our top 5 useful links for beach, water and coastal safety:

RNLI Float Not Swim

Coastguard Beach Safety

Royal Lifesaving Society (RLSS) – Water Safety on holiday

RLSS issues warning after temperatures hit 30 degrees

Swim England – Swim Safe website

Fantastic Coastal Safety Engagement Session At Gravesend Gurdwara
Community Safety Stand at Gravesend Gurdwara

On Sunday our team worked in partnership with the great Gravesend RNLI Community Safety Team holding a joint Coastal Safety/Respect The Water stall at the fabulous Guru Nak Darbar Gurdwara Gravesend  (Sikh Temple, Gurdwara means door to a new beginning). One of the objectives of the session was to revise and refresh the communities knowledge on our key safety messages: float not swim, calling for help whilst at the coast, tidal cut-off’s and beach safety amongst others ahead of the start of the school Summer holiday.  Through recent research a significant number of the Gravesend community enjoy days out and holidays down on the Kent coast.

Engagement with our communities is key to helping people get more out of their time at the coast and staying safer

We really enjoyed chatting to the Gurdwara worshippers and visitors, amongst the subjects that cropped up for discussion: the recent tidal cut-off’s at Botany Bay, the safest beach to visit in Thanet, how to avoid getting stuck in the mud on the Gravesend foreshore, becoming a lifeguard, beach safety and how to survive falling into water.

If you haven’t ever visited the Gravesend Gurdwara before then it is definitely worth a visit if you find yourself in the area and have time to spare. More info via the excellent Visit Kent website.

Thank you to our lovely hosts for making our teams feel very welcome!

Our Top 5 weblinks for staying safe whilst at the coast or on the River Thames

Gravesend RNLI Station

Float Not Swim – RNLI website

Beach and coast safety – HM Coastguard

River Thames Safety – Port of London authority

River Thames Conditions – Environmental Agency

 

 

Anglers & lifejackets

I was saddened, to hear over the weekend of the death of the angler who had been out fishing off rocks, as part of a group, at Barras Nose, Tintagel. Pirate FM reported that the gentlemen had been in the sea for 40 minutes before he was rescued by the Port Issac RNLI crew and taken to Derriford hospital where unfortunately he could not be saved.  My heartfell condolescences to the man’s family and friends. Absolutely, devastating for all those rescue crews involved too. The full report from Pirate FM is available here.

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The scene at Barras Nose, Tintagel: Pam Brophy

As the CoastSafe campaign led by Devon and Cornwall Police tweeted at the time: anglers need to change their mindset and start wearing personal floation devices (lifejackets) all the time when they are fishing. This is regardless of whether they are fishing out at sea from a boat or off the rocks.  The lifejacket poem below, which I am sure you will agree is absolutely spot on with the key message “Please Put Me On”.

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Lifejacket poem

The video below is made by the RNLI featuring Colm Plunkett, who incidentally is now an RNLI Community Safety Volunteer. It is a really powerful video which hits home the lifejacket message and the need to have a plan. The RNLI display stand at the recent ‘Ireland Angling exhibition’, carried the slogan ‘Expect The Unexpected’ – it’s definitely worth seriously considering!

Grab these 6 top tips for Shore Anglers to stay safe:

  1.   Never turn your back on the sea
  2.   Wear a lifejacket
  3.   Wear appropriate clothing & footwear
  4.   Check the weather, tides aand sea state
  5.   Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back
  6.   Carry an appropriate means of calling for help

RNLIwatersafety RNLIcommunitysafety Margatelifeboat Ramsgatelifeboat Thanetlifeguards anglers callingfforhelp ICOM margatecoastguard

Plus, 6 top tips for boat Anglers to stay safe:

  1.    Wear a lifejacket
  2.    Check the weather, tides and sea state
  3.    Tell someone where you are going
  4.    Carry an appropriate means of calling for help – VHF radio, handheld flare
  5.    Wear appropriate clothing and footwear
  6.    Keep your boats, engines and equipment well maintained.

Whichever angling you like to get involved in, please heed the safety advice. Thank you for reading my blog.  More advice on how to stay safe whilst angling can be found here.

Full acknowledgements to Pirate FM, RNLI, Colm Plunkett, CoastSafe Campaign & Pam Brothy.