Thanet RNLI Community Safety

Why Should You Carry A VHF Radio If You Are A Kayaker, Sailor, Personal Water Craft user or Fishermen

Regularly at community events our team are asked why should you carry a VHF radio if you are a kayaker, dingy sailor, paddle boarder, personal water craft user, or off-shore fishermen when they could use their mobile phone instead if they get into difficulty?  Even if you are not going far offshore you might not be able to get a mobile phone signal.  Wet mobile phones don’t work very well and who knows what sea or weather conditions you may experience.

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International Men’s Day UK 19th November – Let’s Get Talking About Mental Health!

Welcome to International Men’s Day UK.  International Men’s Day (IMD) is celebrated each year on 19th November (this year on a Thursday), world wide in at least 60 countries.  An increasing number of organisations and individuals are now supporting IMD making it more inclusive than ever. It is important to celebrate this day as it helps raise awareness towards making a positive difference to the wellbeing of lives of men and boys; and also raising awareness for charities supporting men and boys’ wellbeing.

Search and Rescue Service Call-Outs At the Coast

Lifeboat crews and Coastguard Rescue Teams are called from time to time to help people who may be suffering from a mental health episode at the coast.  According to Mental Health First Aid England men are more likely to take their own lives with 16.8 per 100,000 doing so in 2014 compared to 5.2 women per 100,000.

Men Make Up The Highest Rate of Suicide

The highest suicide rate in the UK in 2014 were men aged 45 to 59 years, at 23.9 death’s per 100,000.  For comparison in 2014, in Great Britain 1,775 people were killed in road traffic accidents this means that over three times as many people died from suicide in 2014 as road accidents.

RNLIWaterSafety RNLICommunitySafety RNLIVOlunteers Margatelifeboat Margatecoastguard Thanetlifeguards Ramsgatelifeboat Suicide menslives lockdown covid19 internationalmenshealth

In 2018 4,903 men sadly took their own lives (13 per day) Men make up three in every four suicides*.

Getting More Men Talking About Their Mental Health

Our Team are keen to help support the campaign of getting more men talking about their own mental health, suicide prevention and raising mental health awareness as a whole.  There is a whole host of organisations and charities with excellent innovative campaigns across the UK that are all helping to get more men talking about this serious issue and helping to sign-post them to support networks, self-help initiatives; and or professional help/interventions.  I am sure you will be aware of some of the fabulous work that is being undertaken via social media and the national press.

Barbers Spotting The Signs of Depression

One particular initiative which caught my eye was the excellent ‘Barber Talk’, a bespoke mental health awareness and suicide prevention training programme for barbers. It helps barbers to spot the signs of depression and distress in their clients and then sign-post them to places where they can get help.

More information about the Barber Talk initiative can be found here

It’s Good To Talk 

How often do we actually listen properly to a family member, friend or work colleague speaking.  The next time someone is chatting away why not put down whatever you are doing and actively listen to what they are saying.  It could make all the difference.  We appreciate that due to COVID-19 you can’t meet up with friends and or family as you did previously. Why not go ‘old skool’ and pick up the phone  give them a ring and have a good old fashioned chat.  Zoom and Microsoft Team platforms have also revolutionised family/friends contact during lockdown.

 

“I’ve Got Their Back”

Alternatively, if you haven’t heard from someone in a while why not give them an email, text or whatsapp message to see how they are.  Research shows that blokes always have to have a reason to phone another bloke.  Why not find a reason, like “I’ve got their back, I am going to find out how my mate is just because I care”.

 

In Need of Help?

Whatever you are going through, there is always someone to turn to in the event of a crisis. The old adage ‘A a problem shared is a problem is a problem halved’ is still true today.  You can call the Samaritans 24/7 for free on 116 123 and they are non-judgemental, they won’t pressure you and they are there for anyone who needs help.  Help is also available through your GP and the NHS.  Family and friend(s) networks can also play a vital role in providing help and support when you need to talk.

Thank you for reading this blog and we hope that you found it useful. Please help support International Men’s Day and Mental Health issues by sharing posts via your social media channels where appropriate. Stay safe!

RNLIwatersafety RNLICommunitysafety Lockdown COVID-19 bebeachsafe Margatecoastguard Thanetlifeguards Margatelifeboat Ramsgatelifeboat birders birdwathers

 

Other Useful Resources

Samaritans – suicide facts and figures

Samaritans – Self Help

Why not sign-up to our e-newsletter to find out more about our essential drowning prevention work

Mental Health Support in Thanet

NHS Mental Health and Wellbeing

 

HM Coastguard

Mental Health First Aid England

Mind

National Health Service

Royal National Lifeboat Institution

 

Statistics

Verification checked on 18/11/2020 using Samaritans website and Mental Health for England

Celebrating Headset Hero’s – International Control Room Week 2020 – HM Coastguard Operation Rooms

‘International Control Room Week’ is all about celebrating and thanking those people who are at the end of a ‘999’ call.  From 19th to the 25th October 2020 the week is dedicated to celebrating the achievements of truly remarkable people who are at the end of the phone or radio when we need them, keeping us calm, reassuring us and updating us. They stay strong, supporting us through the most challenging times.

NMOC Coastguard RNLICommunitySafety
National Maritime Operation Centre (NMOC) HM Coastguard

HM Coastguard Operation’s Centre’s around the UK are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Ready to take ‘999’ emergency calls or Mayday radio calls from someone who needs help at the coast, on the River Thames or at sea urgently.  There is no doubt it’s a highly challenging and demanding role.

Coastguard Operation’s room staff ensure that search and rescue assets such as coastguard rescue teams, helicopters, lifeboats and other blue light services are in the right place where they need to be, at the right time – helping and supporting as the emergency situation unfolds.

internationalcontrolroomweek heroswearheadsets coastguards margatecoastguard thanetlifeguards margatelifeboat ramsgatelifeboat bebeachsafe covid-19 lockdown
Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team visit to Dover Coastguard Operation’s Centre (prior to COVID-19) regulations.

This year is even more important than in previous years as the men and women based in the Coastguard Operation’s Room’s have continued to provide emergency capability right through out lock-down and continue to do so through the Corona Virus emergency.

mentalhealth

To mark the celebration, APD Communications have also pledged to donate £1 to Mind the mental health charity every time #UnsungHeroes is used across social media and in the press during the 19th -25th October 2020. Mental Health has such a huge impact on the emergency services. With over 9 in 10 workers experiencing low mood, poor mental health and stress at some point whilst working for the emergency services. The challenging nature of the job, with its unique pressures puts staff at greater risk.

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Kaimes Beasley, controller Dover Coastguard Operations Centre – photo credit HM Coastguard

Please spare a thought for all the staff deployed in all control rooms providing essential communication, support and assistance to members of the public in times of need.   Just some of those control rooms include: Police, Fire and Rescue Service, Ambulance Service, Highways Agency, Maritime Control, Border Agency, Coastguard, RNLI, Prison Service, Public Utilities, Armed Forces, St John’s Ambulance, Red Cross to name a few.

Below is a short video clip showing how the HM Coastguard would take an emergency call and despatch search and rescue resources.  As a reminder if you hear or see an animal or person in difficulty in the water at the coast dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ and ask for the Coastguard.

For more information on the week, visit:  International Control Room Week

 

More useful links

Know who to call in a coastal emergency

What’s the difference between the Coastguard and RNLI?

APD Control Rooms Week

Acknowledgements

HM Coastguard

APD Communications

Going Away To University or College – Are You ‘Don’t Drink and Drown Aware?

University Freshers – Are you ‘Don’t Drink and Drown Aware?’

Going away to University or College can be one of the most exciting and challenging milestone’s in one’s lifetime.  What with the experience of meeting lots of new people, getting to grips with studying at a higher level, coping with living away from home for the first time, exploring a new city or town, organising your own worklife balance without help from a parent or guardian and looking after yourself.  All of these can bring there own challenges to overcome.

dontdrinkanddrown lockdown covid-19 thanetlifeguards margatelifeboat margatecoastguard RLSS

Many freshers will be initially unfamilar with their surroundings and will enjoy socialising with their new group of friends, often drinking alcohol during nights out or at social functions.  Unfortunately, there have been anumber of fatalities over recent years including Charlie Pope a student in Manchester who very tragically died after falling into a Rochdale canal after a night out in 2017.

The RLSS (Royal Lifesaving Society) initiated a campaign called ‘Don’t Drink and Drown’ as a result of students deaths around the country.  The RLSS video below ‘Beneath the Surface’ – the familties stories helps publicise this vital campaign:

The following safety advice will help get you home safely:

  • Don’t walk home alone past open water after a night out
  • Make sure your mates get home safely after a night out, don’t let them walk by open water
  • Plan your journey home before you go out, book a cab inadvance
  • Paths beside open water are not safe when you are drunk, find a better route home
  • If you do end up in the water unexpectedly ‘float on your back’ until you get your breath
  • If you see or hear someone in difficulty in the water DON’T ENTER THE WATER dial ‘999’ immediately ask for the Fire Service (if inland canal, river, lake, canal, quarry) or at the Coast – Coastguard
  • If it is safe to do so throw the casualty a lifebuoy keeping observation on them at all or use other safety equipment eg emergency throw line or use a reach rescue pole which maybe stored in a secure container on the shoreside.   If you cannot locate any of this equipment anything that will float

 

Research indicates that a quarter of all adult drowning victims had alcohol in their bloodstream.  There were 451 accidental drownings alcohol and or drugs in the UK between 2013-2017, with an average of 90 per year.  This represents 29% of all drownings that occurred in the UK during this period.

RLSS Respectthewater bewateraware Margate Broadstairs Ramsgate
The Thanet multi-agency Don’t Drink & Drown campaign team 2018 – Coco Latino’s Ramsgate Harbour

What affect does alcohol have on your body?

  • Alcohol lowers inhabitions, leading to impaired judgement which means that you are more likely to take risks and get into trouble
  • Alcohol limits muscle ability making simple movements much harder
  • Alcohol slows down your reactions making it more difficult to get out of trouble
  • Alcohol numbs the senses particularly sight, sound and touch, making swimming very difficult

Mixing swimming and alcohol is definitely a bad idea!

 

Do you know someone who is going/gone to University or College this year?

If you have a relative, friend or work colleague who will going away to University or College this year please pass on the safety messages which are contained in this blog it just could help save their life! Thank you inadvance for sharing.

matesmatter RNLI dontdrinkandddrown RLSS Avonfireandrescueservice

Other useful links

RLSS (Royal Lifesaving Society) Don’t Drink and Drown campaign

Thanet RNLI Supporting the Don’t Drink and Drown campaign

Sign-up to our newsletter

 

Acknowledgements

RLSS

RNLI

HM Coastguard

What Is Tombstoning And Why Is It So Dangerous?

Tombstoning is an activity which has been around for many generations, unfortunately, due to recent incidents whereby three people tragically died in 2020 and many more suffered life changing injuries it has gained notriety.

Tombstoning is defined as the act of jumping in a straight, upright vertical position into the sea, river or other body of water from a high jumping platform such as a cliff top, bridge or harbour edge. The posture of the body, resmbling a tombstone that gives it’s name to the activity.

 

You may have read in the news or seen on social media that three people were seriously injured between 30-31st May at Durdle Door, Dorset.  Here’s a video made by Ladbible in conjunction with the RNLI on a rescue by two beachgoers who saved a man from drowning after jumping off a cliff:

https://www.facebook.com/LADbible/videos/2708211482785707

Tombstoning offers a high-risk, high-impact experience but it can have severe and life-threatening consequences.  Consider these dangers first before you jump in:

  • The depth of water can alter rapidly with the tide – the water may be shallower than it first appears
  • Submerged objects like rocks, shopping trolley’s and broken bottles may not be visible – these can cause serious impact injuries
  • Cold water can make it difficult to swim
  • Getting oneself out of the water is often more challenging than people realise
  • Strong currents can rapidly sweep people away

 

What Should You Do Before Undertaking Tombstoning

  • Check for hazards in the water. Rocks, discarded shopping trolley’s or glass may be submerged in the water and difficult to see
  • Always check the depth of the water. Tides can rise and fall very quickly
  • A jump of ten metres requires a depth of at least five metres
  • Jumping into water under the influence of alcohol or drugs can distort your judgement and make you more suspectible to taking more risks

 

  • Check for access. It may be impossible to get out of the water
  • Consider the risks to yourself and others. Conditions can change rapidly – young people could be watching and may attempt to mimic the activity.If you jump when you feel unsafe or pressured, you probably won’t enjoy the experience.

Thanetlifeguards RNLICommunitySafety RNLIWatersafety Respectthewater Margatelifeboat Ramsgatelifeboat Whitstablelifeboat Eastkentebeaches Tombstoning Margatecoastguard 999coastguard Kentpolice BroadstairsBeaches Ramsgateharbour
Pictured: Stuart Cattell Thanet and Swale RNLI Supervisors. Photo Credit : Ian Dent RNLI

Senior RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, Stuart Cattell, said: “We know it can be very tempting during hot weather to jump into the sea from a pier or groyne, especially if you’re on the beach with a group of friends.

 

“Unfortunately it’s impossible to see hidden hazards under the surface, or to tell how deep the water is. Tombstoning means playing Russian roulette with your own safety.

“There have been 20 tombstoning deaths in the UK since 2005 and 70 reported injuries. Several people ahead of you might jump safely, but if you hit the beach – or a piece of wood or concrete on your way down – at the wrong angle, you could end up with life-changing head injuries, broken bones or permanently paralysis. Please stick to enjoying the weather and the sea by swimming  or using kayaks or SUPs safely.”

 

The best way to learn about the risks involved and have a good experience is to try coasteering – a mix of scrambling, climbing, traversing and cliff jumping around the coast with a professional guide.

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Ramsgate’s Atlantic 85 Inshore Lifeboat returning from a service call Photo credit: Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team

Other useful links

Do You Know What To Do If You Saw Someone Drowning – Thanet RNLI Community Safety

Don’t Jump Into The Unknown – RoSPA

National Coasteering Charter – promoting safe coasteering

RNLI Educational Resources ages 14-18 years

COVID19 Coronavirus Respectthewater communitysafety tidetimes

Acknowledgements

HM Coastguard

Royal National Lifeboat Institution

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

Ladbible

How To Make The Most Of the Last Weekend of Beach Lifeguard Cover In Thanet

This Sunday (6th September) marks the end of RNLI lifeguard cover across Thanet beaches. But, there are more than 100 beaches which will still have patrols, some for longer than during a ‘normal’ year.

 

Our Community Safety Team want everyone to enjoy the beach and coast, but here’s a quick reminder of those safety tips which could help save you and your family/friends from getting into trouble in the water:

  1.   Whenever possible swim at a lifeguarded beach
  2.   Always read and pay attention to the advice displayed at the entrance to the beach
  3.   When visiting a lifeguarded beach locate the yellow and red flags and swim between them
  4.   Always swim with a friend
  5.   If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help. Float on your back until you get your breath back.  Find more out about the RNLI’s Float to Live technique
  6.   If you see someone in difficulty, don’t attempt a rescue. Tell a lifeguard, or, if you can’t see a  lifeguard, call ‘999’ or ‘112’ and ask for the coastguard.
  7. Please adhere to your government’s safety guidelines regarding COVID-19 and respect social distancing at all times. Please consider whether you should travel to a beach and remember to follow guidelines regarding travelling only with your household.
  8. Leave inflatables at home and keep them for the swimming pool.  Lifeboat and HM Coastguard call-outs this year have significantly risen due to people taking inflatables into the sea and getting into difficulty.

Covid-19 Lockdown Margatemainsands Margate Lifeboat In shorelifeboat Lifeguards Thanet EastKent Sandybeaches RNLI RNLICommunitysafetyteam RNLIWatersafety Bebeachsafe Respectthewater
Margate Main Sands – lifeguarded beach

Here is a list of the beaches that will be covered in Thanet until Sunday (6th September)(taken from the RNLI website):

Botany Bay

10:00-1800hrs

Post Code: CT10 3LG

OS Grid Ref: TR 3915 7117

Joss Bay

10:00-1800hrs

PostCode: CT10 3PG

OS Grid Ref: TR 3992 7017

Stone Bay

10:00-1800hrs

Postcode: CT10 1ED

OS Grid Ref: TR 3992 6869

Broadstairs (Viking Bay)

10:00-1800hrs

Postcode: CT10 1NB

OS Grid Ref: TR 3990 6768

 

Ramsgate Main Beach

10:00-1800hrs

Post Code: CT11 8JD

OS Grid Ref: TR 3875 6490

RNLIcommunitysafety RNLIwatersafety RNLIseasafety Respectthewater Thanetlifeguards RLSS margatelifeboat ramsgatelifeboat

Margate Main Beach

10:00-1800hrs

Postcode: CT9 1XP

OS Grid Ref: TR 3506 7079

Minnis Bay

10:00-1800hrs

Postcode: CT7 9QR

OS Grid Ref: TR 2871 6971

Have a safe and enjoyable time at the beach! If you are into your social media please share #BeBeachSafe to help spread our safety messages as wide as possible. Thanks for reading!

Further useful references:

Margate Lifeboat Station

Ramsgate Lifeboat Station

How to become an RNLI Ambassador

Sign up to our newsletter? 

Be Beach Safe

You Can Help The RNLI Continue To Save Lives At Sea By Visiting One Of Their Local Shops. Do You Know Where They Are Located?

Thanet is fortunate to have two lifeboat station shops located at Margate and Ramsgate respectively .  Due to COVID-19 safety protocols both shops have been shut for six months. However, Ramsgate’s shop re-opened on 29th September and is open

You can find the Ramsgate shop at:

Room 6
The Custom House
Harbour Parade
RAMSGATE
CT11 8LS

Tel: 01843 598754

Lifeboat Community Safety Team Returns Back To Saving Lives At Sea At Dumpton Gap

On Thursday evening (13th August 2020) our RNLI Community Safety Team were back out in action at Dumpton Gap after gaining permission from the RNLI to re-commence operational duties once again.

Following the suspension of all water safety and drowning prevention operational activity imposed due to COVID-19 the team have been unable to deploy to help save lives at sea by holding water safety engagement stands, deliver talks to schools and community groups; undertake Advice on Board sessions; and carry out lifejacket clinic’s.

 

However, after gaining permission on Thursday morning from RNLI HQ, the team quickly took the initiative and formulated a plan to deploy operationally during the early evening at Dumpton Gap which is a tidal cut-off point and very popular with dog walkers and other beach users.

John Homer (Thanet RNLI Community Safety Advisor) said “It was great to get out and about at Dumpton Gap to talk to beach users about water safety on Thursday evening.  The number of calls that the RNLI and Coastguard have received has significantly increased this Summer due to more people taking ‘Stay vacations’ and we are very pleased that we are now able to help share the key safety messages again to beach users to help save lives at sea. Our plea is to keep inflatable toys for the pool and not bring them to the seaside as they can be extremely dangerous as we have seen recently along the coast”.

inflatables DPW Royallifesavingsociety Respectthewater RNLICommunitysafety RNLIwatersafety RNLIseasafety Thanetlifeguards beachsafety margatelifeboat Ramsgatelifeboat

If you do decide to bring an inflatable to the coast please follow this advice:

  • children should be supervised at all times by an adult
  • inflatables should be kept close to the shoreline
  • inflatables should only be used on a lifeguarded beach between the yellow and red flags
  • never use an inflatable in big waves
  • never use an inflatable when the orange windsock is flying as this indicates and off-shore wind that will blow the inflatable out to sea
  • always follow the advice of a lifeguard
  • whenever you take to the sea we recommend that you and your children wear a suitable buoyancy aid or lifejacket.  This will provide the necessary floation should the inflatable suffer a puncture or similar

dogsonice Royallifesavingsociety Fireandrescueservice bewateraware
One of the lovely doggie’s that stopped by to say hello to the team!

During the Beach Safety Deployment the team spoke with thirty members of the public about a wide range of water safety advice including using inflatables at the seaside, how to ‘Float to Live’, Coastal Dog Safe, Paddle Boarding, lifejackets and Tidal Cut-Off’s.

 

We would like to thank everyone who stopped by to chat to us at Dumpton Gap on Thursday evening.

Our team now looks forward to deploying again to help share the water safety messages to the Thanet Community and visitors to the coast.

coastguard watersafety seasaafety communitysafetyrnli

Other useful links

How to Float to Live

Inflatables aren’t designed for the beach

Find out where your nearest lifeguarded beach is?

HM Coastguard Advice on Inflatables

How to enjoy a fabulous and safe time at the coast our ultimate guide