Thanet RNLI Community Safety

Lifeboat Community Safety Team Returns Back To Saving Lives At Sea At Dumpton Gap

On Thursday evening (13th August 2020) our RNLI Community Safety Team were back out in action at Dumpton Gap after gaining permission from the RNLI to re-commence operational duties once again.

Following the suspension of all water safety and drowning prevention operational activity imposed due to COVID-19 the team have been unable to deploy to help save lives at sea by holding water safety engagement stands, deliver talks to schools and community groups; undertake Advice on Board sessions; and carry out lifejacket clinic’s.

 

However, after gaining permission on Thursday morning from RNLI HQ, the team quickly took the initiative and formulated a plan to deploy operationally during the early evening at Dumpton Gap which is a tidal cut-off point and very popular with dog walkers and other beach users.

John Homer (Thanet RNLI Community Safety Advisor) said “It was great to get out and about at Dumpton Gap to talk to beach users about water safety on Thursday evening.  The number of calls that the RNLI and Coastguard have received has significantly increased this Summer due to more people taking ‘Stay vacations’ and we are very pleased that we are now able to help share the key safety messages again to beach users to help save lives at sea. Our plea is to keep inflatable toys for the pool and not bring them to the seaside as they can be extremely dangerous as we have seen recently along the coast”.

inflatables DPW Royallifesavingsociety Respectthewater RNLICommunitysafety RNLIwatersafety RNLIseasafety Thanetlifeguards beachsafety margatelifeboat Ramsgatelifeboat

If you do decide to bring an inflatable to the coast please follow this advice:

  • children should be supervised at all times by an adult
  • inflatables should be kept close to the shoreline
  • inflatables should only be used on a lifeguarded beach between the yellow and red flags
  • never use an inflatable in big waves
  • never use an inflatable when the orange windsock is flying as this indicates and off-shore wind that will blow the inflatable out to sea
  • always follow the advice of a lifeguard
  • whenever you take to the sea we recommend that you and your children wear a suitable buoyancy aid or lifejacket.  This will provide the necessary floation should the inflatable suffer a puncture or similar
dogsonice Royallifesavingsociety Fireandrescueservice bewateraware
One of the lovely doggie’s that stopped by to say hello to the team!

During the Beach Safety Deployment the team spoke with thirty members of the public about a wide range of water safety advice including using inflatables at the seaside, how to ‘Float to Live’, Coastal Dog Safe, Paddle Boarding, lifejackets and Tidal Cut-Off’s.

 

We would like to thank everyone who stopped by to chat to us at Dumpton Gap on Thursday evening.

Our team now looks forward to deploying again to help share the water safety messages to the Thanet Community and visitors to the coast.

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Other useful links

How to Float to Live

Inflatables aren’t designed for the beach

Find out where your nearest lifeguarded beach is?

HM Coastguard Advice on Inflatables

How to enjoy a fabulous and safe time at the coast our ultimate guide

Organisations Join Together in Ramsgate To Share Don’t Drink & Drown Water Safety Message

 

On Thursday evening (5th December) our team along with Kent Fire and Rescue Service (Ramsgate), Thanet Lifeguard Club, RLSS, HM Coastguard Margate and the Thanet Street Pastor team came together in Ramsgate to help share the Don’t Drink and Drown water safety message.

This year the campaign is running from 2-8 December, which was launched in 2014 following a string of tragic drownings of young people. Research indicated that around a quarter of all adult drowning victims have alcohol in their bloodstream and RLSS UK are keen to prevent more tragedies by providing a strategic approach in hot spot areas.  Kent has been ranked in the top 3 counties in the UK for drink and drug releated drownings. This years campaign centre’s around looking after your mates on a night out using the social media #BeAMate.  If you haven’t already seen the new video to accompany this years campaign why not take a look (above).

This is the second year running that the Don’t Drink and Drown campaign has been run in Thanet and this year we were very fortunate to be joined by the wholetime crew from Ramsgate Fire Station (Kent Fire and Rescue Service) and by Alex from Heart FM radio station.  We also welcomed Deborah Hunt the RLSS Vice President and her officials from the Kent branch.

The evening comprised of all the respective teams and agencies meeting at Ramsgate Lifeboat Station for a briefing. Then heading to the Royal Victoria Pavillion (Wetherspoons) on Ramsgate Harbour where a multi-agency photograph was captured and then teams split up, with one team basing themselves in the foyer at Whetherspoons to chat to people entering and leaving the venue.

Two further teams deployed on foot into Ramsgate town visiting bars, clubs, restaurants and fast foot outlets chatting to customers, bar staff, door security teams and taxi drivers about how to stay safe on a night out handing out florescent wrist bands, beer mats and the very attractive bar runners all carrying the #DontDrinkAndDrown message.  Taxi drivers, bar staff and venue security teams are all key in passing on the drowning prevention message as they have interactions with customers at the start and end of their evenings.

We are very grateful to all the people we spoke with on the night and we are particularly indebted to the businesses who gave up their time to chat and those who displayed the Don’t Drink and Drown merchandise in their venues:

Ramsgate Tandoori, Crown pub, Port and Anchor, Harbour Street Bar, The Goose, Horse and Groom, Queens Head, Mariners Bar, The Royal, Little Ship, Green Tara, Harbour Fish Bar, Thai Village restaurant and Rokka.  We are particularly grateful to Peter’s Fish Factory on the Harbour for looking after the teams with hot drinks and their fab bags of chips.  As well as Wetherspoons for the teams use of their foyer to engage with their customers.

 

A huge thank you to all the agencies and groups who freely gave up their Thursday evening to support this crucially important campaign. Thanks also go to the Ramsgate Lifeboat Coxswain Ian Cannon and the Operation’s Manager Tony Wylie for allowing us to use their crew room to hold the briefing.

The Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team along with the Street Pastors and Thanet Lifeguard Club will be out again on Friday evening in Margate helping to share the Don’t Drink and Drown message. If you are out and about in Margate then why not pop over and say hello to our friendly teams.

 

Useful links

Don’t Drink and Drown

Be Water Aware – National Fire Chief’s Drowning Prevention Campaign

RNLI – Respect the Water

Canals and River Trust – water safety

HM Coastguard – Dont Drink and Drown

 

Acknowledgements

HM Coastguard – Margate

Thanet Lifeguard Club –  RLSS

Kent Fire and Rescue Service

Street Pastors

RLSS