On Saturday lunchtime, just as the sunny weekend weather and high temperatures was attracting a multitude of visitors onto the lovely Thanet sandy beaches, Margate Lifeboat crews pagers were activated by the UK Coastguard. Requesting them to launch their Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) to three people cut off by the tide at Kingsgate Bay. Quickly arriving on scene the crew carried out the rescue of a London couple who were celebrating their 1st wedding anniversary, along with a photographer who was busy capturing the moment. After successfully completing the rescue, with the couple and photographer only having wet feet to show and being handed over to the care of the Coastguard Rescue Team, the Lifeboat crew then resumed back towards Margate.
Two women were then spotted in a similar area by the Inshore Lifeboat Crew and had walked down a nearby track and were attempting to wade through the water back towards the beach. The Lifeboat Crew advised the two women to return back the way they had walked, they heeded the advice and turned back.
A further two more persons were seen cut-off by the tide, they were taken off the rocks at which point two more adults and two children were also seen. They too were rescued off the rocks by the ILB crew. The casualties were then taken to Botany Bay where the casualties were handed over into the care of the RNLI Lifeguards and HM Coastguard Rescue Team.
Ian Lowe Deputy Luanching Authority Margate Lifeboat said; “To assist nine persons in such a short time in one area shows how easy it is to get into trouble by the water. It was a lovely day to be at the seaside, but not knowing what the tide will do leading to, an unintended spell in the water can spell disaster. The water is still cold, cold water shock can kill the unprepared long before or bring on drowning. Please seek advice before visiting the seaside from the RNLI website and use a lifeguarded beach. Lifeguards know the dangers in the area and will always give advice if asked.”
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.
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”.
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:
Never turn your back on the sea
Wear a lifejacket
Wear appropriate clothing & footwear
Check the weather, tides aand sea state
Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back
Carry an appropriate means of calling for help
Plus, 6 top tips for boat Anglers to stay safe:
Wear a lifejacket
Check the weather, tides and sea state
Tell someone where you are going
Carry an appropriate means of calling for help – VHF radio, handheld flare
Wear appropriate clothing and footwear
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.
Saturday (3rd February 2017), whilst the majority of Margate’s residents were sat down for lunch, out with their families, or contemplating a packed weekend of sport in front of the TV. The little grey box attached to the town’s RNLI crews trouser belts (electronic pager) sounded summoning them urgently to launch their inshore boat. The launch was at the request of the UK Coastguard to persons cut off by the tide at Kingsgate Bay.
Three crew assembled at the station, one of whom was one of the station’s highly trained helmsmen (who commands the boat). Inaddition to the boat crew, three further crew were required to act as tractor driver and two launchers.
On this occasion the crew quickly launched and successfully carried out the rescue of two persons. A link to the Margate Lifeboat Press Officers report is included here.
Please spread our ‘staying safe top tips’ for visiting the coast amongst your family, friends and work colleages 1). Check and double check the tides and weather forecast; 2). Tell someone where you are going and when you are going to return; 3). Take a fully charged mobile phone pr other ‘calling for help’ device with you and have it to close at hand to use in a waterproof case 4) Wear the correct kit for the activity. 5) If you see someone or an animal in difficulty in the sea dial ‘999’ and ask for the Coastguard For further advice check out the RNLI’s website.
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