Thanet RNLI Community Safety

How Do I Prevent Being Cut-Off By The Tide?

Getting cut-off by the tide is pretty easy to do unless you take some sensible precautions and plan ahead before you set off.  All around the UK and Ireland there are areas that get cut-off by the tide very easily. Each year Ramsgate and Margate lifeboat crews are called to rescue people cut-off by the tide majority of the time around the Botany Bay, Kingsgate Bay, Stone Bay and Dumpton Gap areas.

Over half of the people we speak to when out and about don’t know to call ‘999’ or ‘112’ and ask for the Coastguard in any coastal emergency.


Here are our top 10 tips to help you from being cut-off from the tide

  1. Always check the tide times before venturing out via ‘tides near me’ or the BBC Weather page
  2. Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back
  3. Carry a means of calling for help such as a fully charged mobile phone or VHF radio
  4. Consider downloading the free RYA ap called SafeTrx that helps let people know your route
  5. Wear the right clothing and equipment for the activity
  6. Check and be mindful of local hazard warning signs
  7. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, eg when the tide is due in and dangerous cliff edges
  8. If you see or hear someone or an animal in danger at the coast dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ straight away  and ask for the Coastguard giving an accurate location
  9. Do not enter the water if you get cut-off by the tide
  10. If you do end up in the water unexpectedly, float on your back rather than panicking
tidalcutoff thanetrnlicommunitysafety RNLI Lifeboats drowningprevention RLSS ROSPA watersafety
Kingsgate Bay, Broadstairs – Tidal Cut-Off High Risk area

More useful links

Ramsgate Lifeboat Station

How To Float To Live – Evan’s Story

HM Coastguard Beach Safety

Where Can I Find The Nearest Lifeguard Beach

Why inflatables are not for use at the Beach – Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team

Helping to deter tidal cut-off’s in Thanet


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