Lifeboat Community Safety Team Help Beach Goers Avoid Tidal Cut-Off’s In Thanet

On Saturday (19th September) our Lifeboat Community Safety Team deployed using their Incident Prevention Engagement tactic to Thanet’s beaches due to the unusually high ‘spring’ tides over the weekend.  These tides are caused by lunar activity, such tides ‘spring’ forth with the greatest difference between their high and low points – meaning it’s easier to get caught out and cut off.   Coupled with the forecast of high winds and a relatively warm day there was a significant chance of people getting cut off by the tide.

 

Arriving on Botany Bay it was apparent that the beach was proving a popular Saturday retreat with a large number of people enjoying the mild late September temperatures.   Whilst chatting (socially distanced of course) with some of the visitors to the beach it was apparent that they weren’t aware of the dangers of the incoming high ‘spring’ tide, the tidal cut-off ‘hotspots’ ie Botany Bay, Kingsgate, Stone bay and environs; and Dumpton Gap. As well as the need to move around further up the beach to safety.

Whilst chatting to the lovely beach visitors our team covered the following safety advice:

  • Check the tide times and weather before setting out
  • Carry a ‘calling for help’ device ie fully charged mobile phone or VHF radio in a water proof case if possible so you can call for help if you get into difficulty
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times
  • Read and follow local safety advice displayed at the entrance to beaches
  • If you are going to take a swim always take a friend or family member follow the Water Safety Code
  • Not to enter the water if you are cut-off by the tide, but to shout for help
  • If you do end up in the water, float on your back until you get your breath back
  • In all coastal emergencies dial ‘999’ ask for the Coastguard

The team spoke to 55 people in total who were all very appreciative of the advice and guidance.  A group who were using an inflatable in the poor sea conditions were also spoken with and advised strongly against using the inflatable, who took onboard the advice and removed it to the safety of the beach.

Our team learnt later on in the afternoon that Margate Coastguard Rescue Team, Rescue Helicopter and Margate Lifeboat were tasked to a person possibly in difficulty in the water at Botany Bay.  Thankfully the person had come out of the water and was ok.

coastguard watersafety seasaafety communitysafetyrnli

John Homer (RNLI Community Safety Advisor) said “If you are visiting the coastline this weekend our advice is always to check out the tide times and weather before you set out.  We want you to have a great time, but taking onboard some advice could help save your life and help stop you getting into difficulty. We would like to thank everyone who spared a few minutes to speak with our team on Saturday and we hope you enjoyed your time at the coast”.

Useful links

How to check the tide times

Sign-up up to our newsletter to keep you updated on our water safety and drowning prevention activity

Can I suffer from cold water shock?

Find out how a 10-year old boy called Ravi used ‘Float to Live’ to save his life at Skegness

 

Acknowledgements

Royal National Lifeboat Institution

HM Coastguard

Margate RNLI LPO