Thanet RNLI Community Safety

Sign-Up To Our Lifesaving Newsletter?

Unfortunately, due to safety restrictions placed upon us due to the COVID-19 pandemic we have had to postpone many of our drowning prevention initiatives and lifesaving activity. However, we are still busy sharing key safety messages via social media and are permitted to carry out some ‘social distanced’ activity although on a limited basis.  We are continuing to keep subscribers up to date with all the latest news with an e-newsletter which is delivered straight to your inbox.

Read More

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

tides cut-off RNLI RNLICommunitysafety thanet Kent RNLICommunitySafety

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

Advice on Board – Know How To Keep Yourself & Your Crew Safe Whilst Afloat

Did you know that our team of RNLI Community Safety volunteers can carry out Advice on Board safety advice sessions with you.  We will visit you and provide you with practical suggestions on how to improve the safety on your boat and it’s equipment.

 

When and where will the advice sessions take place?

The session is specifically tailored around your availability and the location to suit you.  It is not like an MoT for a car, but a friendly chat where we can help with suggestions on how to improve safety for you and your crew.  We will provide you with a summary of the main points covered to take away with you at the end of the session.

Do the advice sessions cost anything?

The sessions are totally free of charge.

Are the RNLI Community Safety Team qualified to undertake these sessions?

All the team that conduct the Advice on Board sessions have attended a course run by the RNLI to qualify them to carry out the checks. They also attend refresher sessions to keep their knowledge up-to-date.

 

Can the advice session include checking my lifejackets too?

Yes, we can check your lifejackets as well, we also recommend getting them regularly serviced and by a service agent or local chandlers who may have the facility to send off jackets to a manufacturers.

 

I have a VHF handheld radio and I am unsure whether it is still ok to use, can you check the radio?

Our team are not qualified to service or check VHF handheld or base station radio’s.  We would recommend contacting a local dealer or manufacturer for more advice.

How can I book an Advice on Board session with my local Community Safety Team?

If you have your boat is moored at Ramsgate Harbour please send our team a direct message on either our Facebook or Instagram page and we will reply asap.  If you live in another area then you can contact RNLI HQ at Poole by going to this link

 

What happens during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Our team are permitted to carry out some RNLI Community Safety work using social distancing.  If you would prefer to wait until 2021 then you can still register your interest in having an advice session carried out in the future.

I would like some advice on my engine. Can you help me with this?

Mechanical failure is the single biggest cause of rescue call outs to sailing and motor cruisers, accounting for nearly 20% of all our lifeboat launches. Knowing your boat, carrying spares and being able to fit them could make the difference between having to call for help and being able to help yourself. Our team are not qualified to check over engines.  Our advice is to get your engine checked out by a qualified engineer.

Why not download these free RNLI resources:

check list for inboard and outboard engines

check list for outboard engines

The RYA diesel engine maintenance course is designed to help you with engine problems when out at sea

 

Are you able to take time expired pyrotechnic’s (TEP’s) from me?

We are not permitted to take TEP’s from any members of the public due to the risk involved.  Please contact your supplier where you purchased the flares from initially and ask whether they operate a ‘take back facility’. Alternatively, speak with a life raft manufacturer or council recycling centre.  Our blog on how to dispose of out of date flares may provide some useful reading.

 

What happens if I have some more questions?

If you have any questions on Advice on Board sessions or any aspect of safety on your boat then please do not hesitate in dropping us a private message on our social media pages.  Thank you for reading and stay safe.

 

Further useful links

RYA training courses

Sign-up to your lifesaving newsletter

 

Acknowledgements

RYA

RNLI

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).

RNLILifejacketclinic communitysafety RNLICommunitySafety Lifeboats, Seasafety WaterSafety

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).

lifejackets communitysafety seasafety watersafety lifeboats RNLI thanet margate ramsgate broadstairs kent coastalsafety lifejacketclinic

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

Thanet’s RNLI Community Safety Team Helps Out At Lifejacket Clinic At Erith Yacht Club

One of our team, John Homer travelled up to Erith Yacht Club on Saturday (29th September) to help out Gravesend RNLI Community Safety Team to deliver a lifejacket clinic for club members.

The aim of the lifejacket clinic is to undertake anumber of safety checks that will give the sailor or water activity enthusiast the piece of mind that if they or a member of their crew does find themselves in the water that the jacket will inflate.  So that Community Safety Advisors can undertake lifejacket checks they all attend a qualifying lifejacket clinic course at Poole HQ.

The team checked thirty lifejackets intotal, with nineteen failures and four being condemned.

John Homer commented “a great first clinic for Gravesend.  We really enjoyed talking with Erith Yacht Club members and we hope that they found the session beneficial.  We urge all sailors and boaters to check their lifejackets on a regular basis and to get them serviced by an approved service agent”.

Our next lifejacket clinic is taking place at Margate Lifeboat Station on Sat 12th October.  Why not pop along and get your lifejacket checked for free and plenty of maritime safety advice available.

**Please note that an Inspection by an RNLI Community Safety Advisor is not the equivalent of a lifejacket service by an approved lifejacket service agent**.

John G (Medway CS Team) pictured with John Homer (Thanet CS Team)

Useful links

Top 10 lifejacket checks which could save your life

When was the last time you checked your lifejacket?

Why wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid is so important?

Lifejackets – which one should I buy?

Acknowledgements

Gravesend RNLI Community Safety Team

RNLI

Erith Yacht Club

Lifejacket familarisation session keeps volunteers refreshed on their lifesaving skills

Aumber of our team enjoyed a great lifejacket familarisation session this evening (Thursday 27th Sept). Not only is it vital to refresh and revise knowledge about key lifesaving equipment, but there is always new developments to keep abreast of. One of the items which the team discussed was the successful rescue of a casualty off Dover who was wearing a lifejacket and a strobe light which was picked up by the HM Coastguard helicopter. More information on the rescue involving RNLI and HM Coastguard teams

The rescue footage is shown below in the twitter link

Thank you to everyone who attended. Our next free lifejacket clinic is taking place on Sat 12th October at Margate Lifeboat Station.

Useful links

Free lifejacket checks at Margate

Which lifejacket should I buy?

Lifejackets – useless unless worn

Margate Lifeboat Station

Ramsgate Lifeboat Station

Lifejacket poem

Acknowledgements:

HM Coastguard

RNLI

 

Visiting the coast this Autumn? Here’s some top safety tips to help keep you safe

Some may argue that visits to the coast or beach during the Autumn is even more pleasurable than the Summer, what with the cooler temperatures, fabulous sky lines, less crowds and also the opening up of beaches that can be explored without worrying about restrictions on dog walking.   The lifeguard patrols have long since finished for the season, leaving beaches without that extra layer of surveillance and immediate highly trained help in times of need.

To enable you to enjoy the coast during the Autumnal months here is a run down on ten safety tips that you may like to consider. It is worthy to mention at this point that exploring the coast during stormy weather looks like great fun, but big waves and strong wind can easily knock you off your feet and place you in danger. The best place to observe stormy weather is often the inside of a nice coffee or tea shop with a cuppa and a cake.

  1.  Plan Ahead – check the tide times and weather forecast before you head out of the door. There are a variety of mobile device app’s which are free to download for your everyday use.  If you aren’t technically minded some harbour offices and businesses stock paper tide times booklets which are available at a nominal cost.  Local knowledge is always a good way of finding out whether it is safe to be venturing out to the coast.

safetrx RNLICommunitysafety seasafety thanetrnlicommunitysafety

2.  Download the SafeTrx App

Many walkers, open water swimmers, off-rock anglers and divers have downloaded this app and use it regularly, which is absolutely free to down-load and use. More information on SafeTrx

VHFradio mayday callingforhelp RNLI respectthewater bewateraware

3.  Carry a means of calling for help

Such as a fully charged mobile phone or VHF radio.  Having a means of calling for help will enable you to get help to you or anyone else in an emergency quickly. More information on calling for help devices.

4.  Know who to call in a coastal emergency

If you hear or see a person or animal in difficulty in the water or at the coast dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ immediately and ask for the Coastguard. This will allow the correct equipment and trained personnel are mobilised to the scene as soon as possible.

 

5If you end up in the water – what should you do?

RNLI advice is to float on your back until you get your breath back and then you can call for help by waving one arm and shouting towards the shoreline. More information on Float to Live.

6.  Know what to do if you saw someone in difficulty in the water

The RNLI’s advice is  Call for help rather than endanger your own life and the lives of others.  More information on what to do if you saw someone in difficulty in the water

7.  Wear a buoyancy aid or lifejacket

If you are taking part in any form of water activity such as kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, sailing etc always wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid. More information on lifejacket safety

8. Tell someone what your plans are

Before you head out speak with a family member or friend and let them know what will be the latest time you will return and your route.  This will help if you are overdue and HM Coastguard are alerted.  Try downloading the SafeTrx App

9.  Read and follow safety signs

Heed any safety signs that you may across on your coastal or beach trip. The information could help prevent getting involved in an incident which could have been avoided.

 

10.  Wear the right clothing or equipment for the activity

Wearing the correct kit and or equipment for the activity you taking part in will definitely enable you make the day more enjoyable.

More useful links

Half the people that accidentally drown never intended on entering the water

Cliff Edge Selfie’s

How do I prevent being cut-off by the tide?

How to have a fabulous, but safe time at the coast with your dog

Acknowledgements

RNLI

HM Coastguard

Ramsgate Lifeboat Station

Free Lifejacket Clinic at Margate Lifeboat Station in October

Members of Thanet CS team pictured during a lifejacket check

When was the last time that you checked your lifejacket? Are you aware that a significant number of lifejackets that we checked recently had out-of-date firing mechanism’s and or corroded gas bottles. Why not pop along to our free Lifejacket Clinic on Saturday 12th October at Margate Lifeboat Station.  Where you can get your jacket checked and at the same time receive safety advice about which ‘calling for help’ device to carry, book your very own free ‘Advice on Board’ session and much more. Lifejacket clinic’s also enjoy support from GJW Direct who is one of the RNLI’s commercial partners.

 

*Please note that an inspection by an RNLI Community Safety Advisor is not the equivalent of a lifejacket service. Lifejackets should be serviced by an approved service agent.

Other useful links:

Lifejackets – which one should I buy?

Lifejackets useless unless worn!

How to book a lifejacket clinic?

RNLI’s complete guide to lifejackets