Thanet RNLI Community Safety

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*.

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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

What Is The Difference Between a Personal Locator Beacon and an Automatic Identification System

Our team undertake lifejacket clinic’s at lifeboat station’s, yacht clubs and harbours from time to time and enjoy chatting to yachtsmen and women about all aspects of maritime safety.  One question which crops up regularly relates to….. “what is the difference between a personal locator beacon and an automatic identification system”…… So, we have put together this blog to simply explain the differences.

 

Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)

A PLB is a manually activated device that’s transmit’s a radio signal on the 406 MHz frequency to specific Cospas-Sarsat (international, humanitarian search and rescue system) low-earth orbiting and GPS satellites which detect and locate aviators, mariner’s and land-based users such as climbers, hikers or mountain bikers in remote locations in distress. The satellites then relay information, via ground tracking stations and Mission Control Centre’s (MCC), and then onto a rescue co-ordination centre.

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National Maritime Operation’s Centre – Fareham

Where is the UK’s Mission Control Centre?

The designated UK Mission Control Centre (MCC) is the National Maritime Operation’s Centre (NMOC) based at Fareham in Hampshire.  Wherever in the world a UK registered PLB is activated, the Mission Control Centre in the respective country which it is operated will then pass the details to the NMOC for further action and investigation.  This may involve the NMOC tasking search and rescue assets eg lifeboat, helicopter, Coastguard Rescue Team etc to the last location transmitted if in the UK.

How do PLB’s work?

Most PLB’s are also equipped with GPS receivers, thus being able to calculate and send an accurate location embedded within the beacon’s 406 MHz message. Other PLB’s without GPS rely solely upon the less accurate Doppler principle to establish the beacon’s position. The beacon also transmits a homing signal on VHF, to which Search and Rescue helicopters; and lifeboats can home in on.

The signal transmitted by the distress radio beacon includes a digital message which allows the transmission of encoded data such as the unique identifier for the beacon that transmitted the alert and if the beacon has an integral GPS, the beacon’s position.  Otherwise the beacon’s signal may need to be detected by two or three satellites before its position can be sufficiently estimated, therefore it may take longer for Search and Rescue assets to locate the PLB and it’s owner.

Return Link Service PLB’s

Return Link Service PLB’s are being activated during 2020, which is a re-assurance signal back to a new generation of SAR beacons to inform the user that their distress signal and location have been detected. This new capability is unique to the Galileo satellites. A detailed blog explaining this new concept will be posted soon.

 

What happens when you have purchased a PLB?

Once a PLB unit is purchased, there are no subscription fees and the battery should last, if not used, for 5-6 years.  You must register the PLB with the Marine Coastguard Agency and maintain accurate registration details, including the 24-hour Emergency Point of Contact details. UK Beacon Registry contact details: ukbeacons@mcga.gov.uk Tel: 01326 211569

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PLB’s are Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS) approved. The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System is the technical, operational and administrative structure for maritime distress and safety communications worldwide.

 

How does the Automatic Identification System (AIS) work?

Automatic Identification System (AIS) Man-overboard (MOB) is a personal locator device that works electronically exchanging data with multiple ships and base station’s via VHF.  It is not GMDSS approved or monitored in the UK by the HM Coastguard. It is also limited in range (around 5 miles in open water). An AIS MOB device can be rigged into a lifejacket to activate automically with the inflation of a lifejacket.

AIS is also a requirement for larger pleasure vessels on some European inland waterways.  This varies by country and regionally by waterway.

 

Further useful references

Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Communications

What are the advantages of an EPIRB (Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon)

RNLI – PLB’s and EPIRB’s

 

Acknowledgements

HM Coastguard

RNLI

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Lifejacket Clinic at Margate helps make Sailors Safe whilst Out On The Water

lifejacket clinic Community Safety Thanet

It was our pleasure to attend Margate Lifeboat Station on Saturday (12th October) to conduct a lifejacket clinic at the invitation of the Lifeboat Operation’s Manager (LOM) Mr Paul Hodson.  Our team are always keen to undertake lifejacket clinic’s and this was no exception.  As this is an invaluable way of helping sailors keep safe by carrying out a series of checks on their lifejackets and also passing on other maritime safey advice.

lifejacket clinic, Community Safety, Thanet, Sea safety. RNLI

Amongst the lifejackets checked one revealed a loose cannister. For a lifejacket to effectively operate the cannister/cylinder must be hand tight and this jacket would not have operated correctly if the wearer had ended up in the water and needed it in an emergency situation.   We also say to all people who attend our clinic’s that a strobe light is highly recommended, as well as a spray hood.  A recent example of how effective a strobe light can be in an emergency was during a rescue off  the Dover coast. The full account of this rescue is included here

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You can find out more about how to carry out lifejacket checks by checking out our blog “Top 10 Lifejacket Checks Which Could Save Your Life”.

We would like to pass on our sincere thanks to the Margate Lifeboat Operation’s Manager for inviting us to the station to carry out the clinic and to our team for giving up their time on Saturday.

Lifejacket inspections can be undertaken during an advice on board session, at a lifejacket clinic or on an ad-hoc basis when chatting at events. If you are interested in our team visiting you to check your lifejackets why not drop us an email: Andrew_Mills@RNLI.org.uk

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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

When was the last time that you checked your lifejacket?

Anglers and lifejackets

Why wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid is so important!

Advice on Board? How can you get a free RNLI ‘safety’ Advice on Board session

Boating should be fun. Every year the RNLI launches their lifeboats to thousands of incidents, many of which could have been prevented by following simple safety precautions or having a plan in the event of something going wrong.  The RNLI Community Safety Teams can help you make your boat as safe as possible.

Advice on Board

The RNLI provides a wide range of safety advice to participants of all types of water based activity.  One of the specialist areas that our Community Safety Team can provide is an ‘Advice on Board’ session. This can be at a marina or harbour where your boat is moored; at your home or work address or other location where your vessel is stored. It can include any almost any type of leisure craft and be tailored to a time and date that suits you.

The aim of the ‘Advice on Board’ session is a confidential one-to-one discussion with you about onboard safety and equipment.  The session is not a ‘pass or fail’ inspection.  It is not a safety check or an MoT like a garage would provide for your car, but a useful way of you thinking about: ‘what am I already doing about safety and how can I improve it’.

Here are just some of the discussional items that we will include during an ‘Advice on Board’ session:

  • Do you and your crew practise regularly a MOB drill (‘man overboard’ drill)?
  • How often do you get your lifejackets checked and serviced?
  • What ‘calling for help’ devices do you carry and do all your crew know how to use them?
  • What spares do you carry to undertake basic repairs to your vessel?
  • What navigational aids do you carry?

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Newcomer or Experienced boater?

Whether you are a newcomer or an experienced boater, our unique one-to-one service will give you an opportunity to ask those niggling questions on equipment or emergency procedures that you have always wanted to ask.

Is Advice on Board definitely FREE?

Absolutely, the RNLI believe that prevention is better than cure and we want make sure that everyone receives the right advice. So, the whole Advice on Board session including any phone calls or email is totally free!

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Useful links:

How to book an RNLI Advice on Board session

How to book an RNLI Lifejacket clinic

Man over Board (MOB) drills

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Contact our RNLI Community Safety team today for a no obligation chat about an ‘Advice on Board’ via email : Andrew_Mills@RNLI.org.uk