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*.

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

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.

NMOC Coastguard RNLICommunitySafety respectthewater RNLIcommunitysafety RNLIWatersafety RNLIseasafety RNLI
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

PLB respectthewater RNLICommunitysafetyteam RNLISeasafety RNLIWatersafety Lifeboats callingforhelp AIS automaticidentificationsystem 406day coastguard

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

RNLILifejacketclinic

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

lifejacketsuselessunlessworn

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!

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

 

Why Wearing a Lifejacket or Buoyancy Aid Is So Important

 

It’s Maritime Safety Week and we are joining forces with other agencies and organisations in sharing top tips to help keep you safe whilst you are out on the water.  It was announced by the Casualty Review Panel (1) that eleven people who drowned in 2018 may have been alive today if they had worn a lifejacket or personal floation device (PFD).

The Panel reviewed 22 fatalities from 2018 and agreed that 11 lives could have been saved if they had been wearing a lifejacket.  This figure is slightly lower than last year’s figure of 13 lives (out of 27 fatalities).  In the twelve years that the Panel has been meeting, is has recorded that 200 lives could have been saved by wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid.

The majority of incidents in 2018 the Panel discovered  involved commercial fishermen (including accidents at fish farms) and anglers, many of which happened in Scottish Sea Lochs.

 

The Panel’s overriding advice was to wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid appropriate to your activity which is proven to greatly improve your chances of surviving the shock of entering cold water. 

The Panel also recommended an additional package of measures to keep you safe for your activity:

  • Carrying a VHF DSC radio and knowing how to use it to contact the Coastguard or other vessels
  • Carrying a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB will help rescuers to locate you and even if you’re unconscious the alarm will be raised.
  • Downloading the RYA SafeTrx app on your phone and using it in an emergency could make all the difference.
  • Wearing appropriate clothing and carrying the right safety equipment for your sport, particularly rock anglers and sport fishermen wading in slippery rivers.
  • Making sure your equipment is properly fitted, for example wearing a lifejacket with a crotch strap attached. This advice comes after the panel looked at a case where a yachtsman died because he was wearing a lifejacket that was not properly fitted, had ridden up and was not keeping his head above water.

 

(1) The Casualty Review Panel is made up of representatives from: Angling Trust, RNLI, Royal Yachting Association, Marine Accident Investigation Branch, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, National Water Safety Forum, British Canoe Union, the lifejacket industry, Scottish Fishermen’s Federation and University of Portsmouth. The panel uses data supplied from HM Coastguard and MAIB databases and therefore covers mostly coastal incidents. Other inland fatal angling incidents, where a lifejacket might have saved a life may have occurred during 2018 but these are not included for this exercise.

More useful lifesaving links

Lifejackets – how to choose one

Lifejackets – which one should I buy?

Calling for help at the coast – which device should I get?

RYA SafeTrx

Find out more about Maritime Safety Week 2019

Acknowledgements

To all the agencies involved in the Casualty Review Panel and in particular HM Coastguard for the infographic and stats

 

 

Lifejacket Clinic At Walmer Lifeboat Station Open Day

 

Our team are excited to be attending Walmer Lifeboat Station Open Day on Saturday 22nd June to undertake a lifejacket clinic. This is part of our support for the Royal Lifesaving Society Drowning Prevention Week 14th-24th June.

More information on how to look after your lifejacket and to ensure that it works when it is needed

Drowning Prevention Week

How to get to Walmer RNLI Station

 

 

 

Coastal Safety stand at Mayday Coffee Morning

Saturday saw the fabulous Ramsgate RNLI Fundraisers Mayday Coffee Morning raising funds for new lifeboat crew kit. The coffee morning included free tours around the lifeboats, bric a brac stands, the super RNLI shop, lovely cake and coffee; and of course our Community Safety team sharing key safety messages. It was lovely to see Councillor Raushan Ara (Thanet District Councillor for Ramgsate) pop by and have a chat with our team. Raushan is hugely supportive of our team’s drowning prevention work and that of the RNLI and it was fabulous to have the opportunity to chat with her. Our team hugely enjoyed the morning chatting to visitors about water safety.

Councillor Raushan Ara visiting the Mayday Coffee Morning

One of the most important safety messages we talked about was the recent tidal cut-off’s in and around Kingsgate Bay. Our top tips when visiting the coast are:

  1. Check the tide times and weather before you set out
  2. Wear the right kit for the activity & grab some training if you are taking up a new activity from an approved provider
  3. Always carry a means of ‘calling for help’ eg fully charged mobile phone
  4. Tell someone your plans eg when is the latest time that you will be back home
  5. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and heed local safety warnings
  6. If the event of hearing or seeing a person or animal in difficulty at the coast or in the water always dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ ask for the Coastguard without delay every second counts
  7. If you do end up in the water unexpectedly float on your back and float to live.

We would like to pass on our thanks to the Fundraising Team for inviting us along which was appreciated.

The Miss Ramsgate’s visiting the Coffee Morning and were presented with Respect the Water badges which they proudly wore.
Volvo Ocean Race Cardiff

RNLI Safety stand at the Volvo Ocean village, Cardiff Bay

Apologies for not posting last week, but I was over in the lovely city of Cardiff. You may wonder how an RNLI Community Safety Officer covering East Kent ended up in Cardiff?  Well, Cardiff was the venue for Volvo Ocean Race. This race fleet started last October from Alicante in Spain on a race around the world, taking in 12 cities. For the very first time in its history the race stopped off in Cardiff between 27th May to 10th June. This year, Wales is celebrating the Year of the Sea – the RNLI were selected as host city community partners for the Cardiff stopover. That is where I came in, by volunteering to help staff the RNLI stand in the ocean village in Cardiff Bay, to share our key safety messages amongst sailers and other visitors.

Mapfre -Spanish team boat returning to Cardiff Bay

It was great to meet lots of visitors to chat to about the RNLI’s safety tips. Find out more about sailing top tips by visiting this link. It was also fabulous to meet the awesome RNLI volunteers and staff from across the UK, putting faces to names who I had corresponded with via email or chatted to on social media. It was an absolute privilege and I am very proud to be involved in such an event and I can’t wait for the next opportunity to represent the RNLI.

Guests of Helly Hansen being briefed prior to their trip round a Tamar All Weather Lifeboat

My top 6 links about the exciting Ocean Volvo race:

  1.  Volvo Ocean Race Cardiff
  2.  Turn The Tide On Plastic – find out more about Dee Caffari’s race crew and how this veteran world sailer is launching a campaing to Turn the Tide on Plastic.
  3.  Dee Caffari website
  4.  RNLI Magazine article on the Volvo Ocean event
  5.  Follow the latest daily digest on the Ocean Volvo race news
  6.  Keep abreast of the action by following the Ocean Volvo race tracker

Sky Ocean Plastic giant whale

Sky Ocean Plastic #PassOnplastic

 

 

 

 

Anglers & lifejackets

I was saddened, to hear over the weekend of the death of the angler who had been out fishing off rocks, as part of a group, at Barras Nose, Tintagel. Pirate FM reported that the gentlemen had been in the sea for 40 minutes before he was rescued by the Port Issac RNLI crew and taken to Derriford hospital where unfortunately he could not be saved.  My heartfell condolescences to the man’s family and friends. Absolutely, devastating for all those rescue crews involved too. The full report from Pirate FM is available here.

Respectthewater RNLIwatersafety RNLIcommunitysafety margatelifeboat Ramsgatelifeboat Thanetlifeguards RNLicallingforhelp Lifejackets margate broadstairs ramsgate margatelifeguard
The scene at Barras Nose, Tintagel: Pam Brophy

As the CoastSafe campaign led by Devon and Cornwall Police tweeted at the time: anglers need to change their mindset and start wearing personal floation devices (lifejackets) all the time when they are fishing. This is regardless of whether they are fishing out at sea from a boat or off the rocks.  The lifejacket poem below, which I am sure you will agree is absolutely spot on with the key message “Please Put Me On”.

margatelifeboat margatecoastguard thanetlifeguards broadstairssurflifesavingclub RNLIWatersafety RNLIcommunitysafety RNLIlifejackets
Lifejacket poem

The video below is made by the RNLI featuring Colm Plunkett, who incidentally is now an RNLI Community Safety Volunteer. It is a really powerful video which hits home the lifejacket message and the need to have a plan. The RNLI display stand at the recent ‘Ireland Angling exhibition’, carried the slogan ‘Expect The Unexpected’ – it’s definitely worth seriously considering!

Grab these 6 top tips for Shore Anglers to stay safe:

  1.   Never turn your back on the sea
  2.   Wear a lifejacket
  3.   Wear appropriate clothing & footwear
  4.   Check the weather, tides aand sea state
  5.   Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back
  6.   Carry an appropriate means of calling for help

RNLIwatersafety RNLIcommunitysafety Margatelifeboat Ramsgatelifeboat Thanetlifeguards anglers callingfforhelp ICOM margatecoastguard

Plus, 6 top tips for boat Anglers to stay safe:

  1.    Wear a lifejacket
  2.    Check the weather, tides and sea state
  3.    Tell someone where you are going
  4.    Carry an appropriate means of calling for help – VHF radio, handheld flare
  5.    Wear appropriate clothing and footwear
  6.    Keep your boats, engines and equipment well maintained.

Whichever angling you like to get involved in, please heed the safety advice. Thank you for reading my blog.  More advice on how to stay safe whilst angling can be found here.

Full acknowledgements to Pirate FM, RNLI, Colm Plunkett, CoastSafe Campaign & Pam Brothy.