On Friday evening I popped across to one of our lovely neighbour’s, Margate Yacht Club. I had been invited over by the Commodore, Sue to give a talk on some of the RNLI’s key safety messages. I was immediately impressed by the enthusiasm and level of commitment of club members, two of whom had recently passed the massively gruelling RYA Powerboat Instructor course. Top work guys! I was also impressed by the club’s attitude to safety out on the water.
During the evening I covered anumber of topic’s including: ‘calling for help’ devices, lifejacket safety checks, ‘float not swim‘ – techniques you should use if you find yourself in the water unexpectedly; and RNLI launch and recovery. As I was carrying my RNLI pager, anumber of the audience were interested in the procedure when the UK Coastguard requests the services of an RNLI crew for a launch. This will be the subject of another blog post in the near future.
The top 5 ‘calling for help’ devices (some are featured in the photograph above) I covered are detailed below:
PLB (Personal Locator Beacon)
EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon)
AIS device (Automatic Identification System)
VHF/DSC – VHF radio & Digital Selective Calling
Flares – Still recommended by the MCA and the RNLI as one of the preferred calling for help devices compared with the electronic visual distress signals (EVDS) at this time.
One of the questions that was posed during the Q & A session concerned the lifespan of a foam-filled lifejacket and buoyancy aids. The RNLI goodbook indicates that as with inflatible lifejackets, many manufacturers recommend the lifespan of a foam-filled PFD is no more than 10 years. Visual inspection is recommended. Damage to the PFD – eg squashed foam, tears, abrasions, cuts in the cloth and webbing, colour change or damage to the buckles – that would affect the operation of the device can lead to life-threatening reduction in safety offered by the product. They should be repaired or removed from service.
Thank you to the Commodore and the club members for hosting me and listening to the chat. Hope to see you all again soon.
Couple of events to look out for involving Margate Yacht Club :
Push the Boat Out (where you can get out on the water to try sailing and windsailing for free) is taking place during the month of May. Keep up-to-date on what’s on locally by visiting the Push the Boat Out website
Man of Kent Festival being hosted by Margate Yacht Club Saturday 9th June. For more details keep checking the Margate Yacht Club website.