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

RLSS Don’t Drink and Drown – Drowning Prevention Campaign 2nd-8th December

Once again this year our team are supporting the Royal Life Saving Society UK’s national Don’t Drink and Drown campaign, this year running from 2-8 December.

On Thursday 5th and Friday 6th December, we along with teams from RLSS UK, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Kent Police, HM Coastguard Margate and the Community Pastors will be out and about talking to bar staff, venue security, taxi drivers and members of the public about keeping people safe whilst under the influence.  Kent was ranked in the top three counties for drink and drug related drownings.

We will also be sharing water safety advice via our social media channels daily as well as the RLSS UK’s brand-new film via social media which shows how easily a fun night out can turn into tragedy, and how staying with your friends can make all the difference.

RLSS Respectthewater bewateraware Margate Broadstairs Ramsgate
Don’t Drink & Drown 2018 – HM Coastguard Margate visiting  Coco Latino’s Ramsgate Harbour

Statisics

Latest statistics revealed 53 people have accidentally drowned in Kent over the last five years and 32% of these (17) were found to have had alcohol and/or drugs in their system, making it the 2nd highest county for drownings linked to intoxication.

Nationally there were 1,4581 accidental drowning deaths in the UK between 2014-2018 and more than 30% of the victims had alcohol and/or drugs in their bloodstream*. Many of them drowned because they walked home alone and fell in the water.

RLSS – Don’t Drink and Drown campaign

Hannah Wiggins-Bettles, RLSS UK Community Drowning Prevention Coordinator for the Kent area, said: “It’s a sad truth that the number of drownings increase in the winter period, more often than not because of intoxication.

“Families, friends and whole communities are left devastated every year because someone walks home alone whilst under the influence and falls into the water.

We’re urging people to stay together on a night out. Make sure their friends get home safe and don’t let them walk anywhere, especially near water, alone.”

London watersafety drowningprevention RNLI RLSS NFCC respectthewater coastguard floattolive

Kent Fire and Rescue Service Area Manager for Customer Safety, Colin King, said: “It only takes a small amount of alcohol to impact your ability to save yourself in water. Even strong swimmers with no alcohol in their system could struggle if they fell into a river, due to underwater currents and the effects of cold water shock, which includes involuntary inhalation and can result in drowning. So if you fall in after just a drink or two, you’re likely to drown because your reaction times are reduced, instincts are skewed and coordination is impacted. Have fun this Christmas, but please take care and think before you drink near water.”

drowningprevention watersafety respectthewater bewateraware lifeboats RNLI coastalsafety seasafety

Thanet RNLI Community Safety Officer Andy Mills said: “We are happy to support this critically important campaign and hope that everyone stays safe.”

The Don’t Drink and Drown campaign, this year running from 2 to 8 December, was launched in 2014 following a string of tragic drownings of young people. RLSS UK was keen to prevent more tragedies, by targeting at risk groups in hot spot areas, at particular points in the year where alcohol related drowning incidences increase – September (at the start of the new university term) and December (during the festive period).

As part of the campaign, organisations up and down the country promote water safety messaging and run awareness activities urging revellers to take care near water whilst under the influence of alcohol and/or.

Stay Safe this Christmas:

  • Don’t walk home near water, you might fall in
  • Look out for your friends, make sure they get home safely
  • Don’t enter the water if you have been drinking
  • Alcohol seriously affects your ability to get yourself out of trouble

For more information on RLSS UK’s Don’t Drink and Drown campaign visit www.rlss.org.uk, follow the campaign on #DontDrinkandDrown, or call 0300 3230 096

Stats taken from National Water Safety Forum Water Incident Database (WAID) of which RLSS UK is a member. Data is used from 2014-2018, including accidental and natural cause records only. Adults aged 18 years+. Alcohol records are suspected or confirmed deceased, based upon Coroners and emergency service records, court records.

Acknowledgements

RLSS

HM Coastguard

Kent Fire and Rescue Service

RNLI

Water Savvy Day – Bewl Water

Last years Water Savvy Day

Our team along with our Gravesend RNLI Community Safety colleagues are super excited to be supporting the Annual Water Savvy Day this year at Bewl Water.  Incase you haven’t heard of it this is a fun day for all the family dedicated to water safety at Bewl Water near to Lamberhurst, Kent. There are lots of things to see and do: including the awesome Fire Service Animal Rescue Unit, the wonderful Newfoundlands Rescue Dogs and throw bag demonstrations. This is organised jointly by Kent Fire and Rescue Service and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service with partner agencies : Kent Search and Rescue Service, Kent Police, Royal Lifesaving Society, Splashpals.

Fire and Rescue Service Swift Water Rescue competition at the ready

Want to find out more? Check our blog entry from 2018

How to get to Bewl Water

Find out how to Float to Live if you fall into the water unexpectedly

National Fire Chief’s Be Water Aware Week