Thanet RNLI Community Safety

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Unfortunately, due to safety restrictions placed upon us due to the COVID-19 pandemic we have had to postpone many of our drowning prevention initiatives and lifesaving activity. However, we are still busy sharing key safety messages via social media and are permitted to carry out some ‘social distanced’ activity although on a limited basis.  We are continuing to keep subscribers up to date with all the latest news with an e-newsletter which is delivered straight to your inbox.

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Celebrating International Volunteers Day – Thanet RNLI Community Safety

On Saturday (5th December 2020) our team are helping to celebrate International Volunteers day.  International Volunteers Day is an international observance that was mandated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1985.  The day is an opportunity for us all to promote volunteerism, encourage everyone to support volunteer efforts and recognise volunteer contributions.  After all, this year has been very challenging for all of us in a multitude of ways.  Thousands of volunteers across the UK have been at the forefront of medical, community and societal responses to the pandemic.  They should be applauded at every opportunity, giving up their valuable time to help others.

 

So, why do people volunteer?   There are many reasons, but here are a few:

  • Give something back to the community
  • Make a difference to the people around us
  • Learn new skills
  • Meet new people and build friendships
  • Build on existing knowledge and experience
  • Become part of a team and feel valued
  • Gain confidence and increase self-esteem
  • Spend time away from a busy lifestyle or the working environment
  • Opportunity to socialise
  • Find new employment by enhancing employment prospects eg improving CV’s

The RNLI relies on 35,000 dedicated volunteers (making up 95% of their total strength) and the HM Coastguard indicate that they have 3,500 Coastguard Rescue Officers who are highly trained in missing person searching, first aid, water, mud and cliff rescue.

RNLI and HM Coastguard Teams have been busier than ever during 2020

RNLI and HM Coastguard Rescue Teams have been on-call throughout the pandemic providing round-the-clock search and rescue cover with an increasing number of call-outs to persons needing help and assistance due largely to an increase in people enjoying ‘staycations’ and days out at the coast.  The RNLI have described the 2020 season as one like no other.

Thank you

So, let’s get behind all those volunteers out there who freely volunteer their time and say a big thank you for everything they do and continue to do.   Whenever you next meet a volunteer just say ‘thank you’.  If you are a volunteer yourself, thank your colleagues and the team it will make all the difference!

Stay safe out there and thank you for reading.

 

How to stay safe during the pandemic

If you are out and about in your communities please help to stay safe by heeding the government advice for the particular tier or country which you are residing, visiting or working in.

 

Acknowledgements

Royal National Lifeboat Institution

HM Coastguard

National Council for Voluntary Organisations

United Nations

 

Further useful references

RNLI Volunteering Vacancies

HM Coastguard Volunteer Vacancies

Government advice on volunteering during COVID-19

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As The Clocks Go Back This Weekend And Darker Nights Are Once Again Upon Us- Are You Winter Water Aware?

We hope that you are looking forward to making the most of that extra hour in bed after the clocks went back marking the end of BST (British Summer Time) and reverting to GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).   Of course that extra hour in bed in the morning results in the evenings getting darker earlier.

lockdown covid19 margatelifeboat ramsgatelifeboat margatecoastguard broadstairs walking running clocksgoback GMT

Walking, running or cycling home in the dark after a night out or a long shift you may decide to take a short cut to get home quicker which takes you close to open water.

Winterwatersafety RLSS NFCC Walkersandrunners watersafety RNLIWatersafety RNLICommunitysafety Margatelifeboat Ramsgatelifeboat Thanetlifeguards

Make sure you take care when walking past open water as what appears to be straight forward in the light can be totally confusing in the dark.  Walkers and runners have the highest incidence of accidental drowning year on year.

COVID19 Coronavirus Respectthewater communitysafety tidetimes

The RLSS (Royal Lifesaving Society) indicate that from 2012-2016, 300 people unnecessarily lost their lives to drowning in the UK whilst running or walking by the water – that’s an average of 60 lives lost per year.   An additional 35 people per year drowned while walking home intoxicated.  Thirty nine percent of those accidental drownings took place at the coast, twenty five percent at a river and eleven percent at a canal.

 

Here are some top tips to help keep you safe whilst out walking or running during the winter months:

watersafetyrespectthewater RNLI lifeboats drowningprevention

  • Be aware of your surroundings and take notice of any warning signs when out and about
  • When running or walking next to open water, stay well clear of bank edges and keep to paths
  • Always try and walk or run with a friend
  • Let someone know where you are going and what time you will be back
  • Carry a means of ‘calling for help’ such as a fully charged mobile phone in a waterproof case.
  • If you are at the coast check out the tide times and weather before you head out of the door
  • If you end up in the water float on your back rather than trying to swim
  • If you hear or see an animal or person in difficulty in the water, don’t enter the water dial ‘999’ ask for the Coastguard at the coast or on the River Thames; and for all other inland waterways ask for the Fire Service

 

matesmatter RNLI dontdrinkandddrown RLSS Avonfireandrescueservice

Mates Matter

Avon Fire and Rescue Service have highlighted the Stay Safe Around Water message by using the social media #MatesMatter and encouraging the sports team mantra of looking after the team.  Our advice is to always check your mates have got home safely by messaging or phoning them. Your phone call could just save their life.

 

John Homer RNLI Community Safety Adviser says “winter time is still a great time to visit the coast, we have 19 miles of coastline in Thanet to explore, but taking a few precautions can really help prevent putting yourself and others in danger. Stay safe”.

accidentaldrowning RLSS drowning pools reserviors rivers streams lakes quarries

Other useful links

Runners and Walkers identified as high risk of accidental drowning year on year in UK

Sea Safety During Stormy Weather Conditions

Sign-up to our e-newsletter

 

Acknowledgements

Avon Fire and Rescue Service

National Fire Chief’s Council

RLSS

RNLI

Going Away To University or College – Are You ‘Don’t Drink and Drown Aware?

University Freshers – Are you ‘Don’t Drink and Drown Aware?’

Going away to University or College can be one of the most exciting and challenging milestone’s in one’s lifetime.  What with the experience of meeting lots of new people, getting to grips with studying at a higher level, coping with living away from home for the first time, exploring a new city or town, organising your own worklife balance without help from a parent or guardian and looking after yourself.  All of these can bring there own challenges to overcome.

dontdrinkanddrown lockdown covid-19 thanetlifeguards margatelifeboat margatecoastguard RLSS

Many freshers will be initially unfamilar with their surroundings and will enjoy socialising with their new group of friends, often drinking alcohol during nights out or at social functions.  Unfortunately, there have been anumber of fatalities over recent years including Charlie Pope a student in Manchester who very tragically died after falling into a Rochdale canal after a night out in 2017.

The RLSS (Royal Lifesaving Society) initiated a campaign called ‘Don’t Drink and Drown’ as a result of students deaths around the country.  The RLSS video below ‘Beneath the Surface’ – the familties stories helps publicise this vital campaign:

The following safety advice will help get you home safely:

  • Don’t walk home alone past open water after a night out
  • Make sure your mates get home safely after a night out, don’t let them walk by open water
  • Plan your journey home before you go out, book a cab inadvance
  • Paths beside open water are not safe when you are drunk, find a better route home
  • If you do end up in the water unexpectedly ‘float on your back’ until you get your breath
  • If you see or hear someone in difficulty in the water DON’T ENTER THE WATER dial ‘999’ immediately ask for the Fire Service (if inland canal, river, lake, canal, quarry) or at the Coast – Coastguard
  • If it is safe to do so throw the casualty a lifebuoy keeping observation on them at all or use other safety equipment eg emergency throw line or use a reach rescue pole which maybe stored in a secure container on the shoreside.   If you cannot locate any of this equipment anything that will float

 

Research indicates that a quarter of all adult drowning victims had alcohol in their bloodstream.  There were 451 accidental drownings alcohol and or drugs in the UK between 2013-2017, with an average of 90 per year.  This represents 29% of all drownings that occurred in the UK during this period.

RLSS Respectthewater bewateraware Margate Broadstairs Ramsgate
The Thanet multi-agency Don’t Drink & Drown campaign team 2018 – Coco Latino’s Ramsgate Harbour

What affect does alcohol have on your body?

  • Alcohol lowers inhabitions, leading to impaired judgement which means that you are more likely to take risks and get into trouble
  • Alcohol limits muscle ability making simple movements much harder
  • Alcohol slows down your reactions making it more difficult to get out of trouble
  • Alcohol numbs the senses particularly sight, sound and touch, making swimming very difficult

Mixing swimming and alcohol is definitely a bad idea!

 

Do you know someone who is going/gone to University or College this year?

If you have a relative, friend or work colleague who will going away to University or College this year please pass on the safety messages which are contained in this blog it just could help save their life! Thank you inadvance for sharing.

matesmatter RNLI dontdrinkandddrown RLSS Avonfireandrescueservice

Other useful links

RLSS (Royal Lifesaving Society) Don’t Drink and Drown campaign

Thanet RNLI Supporting the Don’t Drink and Drown campaign

Sign-up to our newsletter

 

Acknowledgements

RLSS

RNLI

HM Coastguard

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

RLSS Don’t Drink and Drown – Drowning Prevention Campaign 2nd-8th December

Once again this year our team are supporting the Royal Life Saving Society UK’s national Don’t Drink and Drown campaign, this year running from 2-8 December.

On Thursday 5th and Friday 6th December, we along with teams from RLSS UK, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Kent Police, HM Coastguard Margate and the Community Pastors will be out and about talking to bar staff, venue security, taxi drivers and members of the public about keeping people safe whilst under the influence.  Kent was ranked in the top three counties for drink and drug related drownings.

We will also be sharing water safety advice via our social media channels daily as well as the RLSS UK’s brand-new film via social media which shows how easily a fun night out can turn into tragedy, and how staying with your friends can make all the difference.

RLSS Respectthewater bewateraware Margate Broadstairs Ramsgate
Don’t Drink & Drown 2018 – HM Coastguard Margate visiting  Coco Latino’s Ramsgate Harbour

Statisics

Latest statistics revealed 53 people have accidentally drowned in Kent over the last five years and 32% of these (17) were found to have had alcohol and/or drugs in their system, making it the 2nd highest county for drownings linked to intoxication.

Nationally there were 1,4581 accidental drowning deaths in the UK between 2014-2018 and more than 30% of the victims had alcohol and/or drugs in their bloodstream*. Many of them drowned because they walked home alone and fell in the water.

RLSS – Don’t Drink and Drown campaign

Hannah Wiggins-Bettles, RLSS UK Community Drowning Prevention Coordinator for the Kent area, said: “It’s a sad truth that the number of drownings increase in the winter period, more often than not because of intoxication.

“Families, friends and whole communities are left devastated every year because someone walks home alone whilst under the influence and falls into the water.

We’re urging people to stay together on a night out. Make sure their friends get home safe and don’t let them walk anywhere, especially near water, alone.”

London watersafety drowningprevention RNLI RLSS NFCC respectthewater coastguard floattolive

Kent Fire and Rescue Service Area Manager for Customer Safety, Colin King, said: “It only takes a small amount of alcohol to impact your ability to save yourself in water. Even strong swimmers with no alcohol in their system could struggle if they fell into a river, due to underwater currents and the effects of cold water shock, which includes involuntary inhalation and can result in drowning. So if you fall in after just a drink or two, you’re likely to drown because your reaction times are reduced, instincts are skewed and coordination is impacted. Have fun this Christmas, but please take care and think before you drink near water.”

drowningprevention watersafety respectthewater bewateraware lifeboats RNLI coastalsafety seasafety

Thanet RNLI Community Safety Officer Andy Mills said: “We are happy to support this critically important campaign and hope that everyone stays safe.”

The Don’t Drink and Drown campaign, this year running from 2 to 8 December, was launched in 2014 following a string of tragic drownings of young people. RLSS UK was keen to prevent more tragedies, by targeting at risk groups in hot spot areas, at particular points in the year where alcohol related drowning incidences increase – September (at the start of the new university term) and December (during the festive period).

As part of the campaign, organisations up and down the country promote water safety messaging and run awareness activities urging revellers to take care near water whilst under the influence of alcohol and/or.

Stay Safe this Christmas:

  • Don’t walk home near water, you might fall in
  • Look out for your friends, make sure they get home safely
  • Don’t enter the water if you have been drinking
  • Alcohol seriously affects your ability to get yourself out of trouble

For more information on RLSS UK’s Don’t Drink and Drown campaign visit www.rlss.org.uk, follow the campaign on #DontDrinkandDrown, or call 0300 3230 096

Stats taken from National Water Safety Forum Water Incident Database (WAID) of which RLSS UK is a member. Data is used from 2014-2018, including accidental and natural cause records only. Adults aged 18 years+. Alcohol records are suspected or confirmed deceased, based upon Coroners and emergency service records, court records.

Acknowledgements

RLSS

HM Coastguard

Kent Fire and Rescue Service

RNLI

Pegwell Bay Park Runners Enjoy Learning About Water Safety

The Park Run community is without doubt one of the friendliest and vibrant community running groups that helps people of all abilities to get out out on a Saturday morning to enjoy some fitness.  On Saturday (2nd November) our team were very lucky to be able to pop down to The Pegwell Bay Park Run and hold a Water Safety Pop-Up stand.

Parkrun watersafety RLSS Runnersandwalkers Thanet RNLICommunitySafety SeaSafety Pegwellbayparkrun RNLI Respectthewater Watersafety RLSS Tidalcutoff
Pictured: Ian, Andy and John – Thanet CS Team

The overall objective of the Pop-Up stand was to help support and share the Royal Lifesaving Societies (RLSS) ‘Runners and Walkers’ Water Safety campaign week which starts on Monday 4th November and runs through until 8th November.

PegwellBayparkrunners RLSS runnersandwalkers drowningprevention
One of our Community Safey Team – Ian Lockyer ready to take part in the Park Run

RLSS indicate that tragically over 300 people unnecessarily lost their lives to drowning in the UK whilst running or walking by the water between 2012–2016.  Each year on average over 60 people a year lose their life to drowning as a result of Running or Walking near water.  Taking a few safety precautions and having a plan should things go wrong is definitely worthwhile. Just taking your mobile phone with you and telling someone your route could help in an emergency.

https://www.rlss.org.uk/GetImage.aspx?IDMF=2c5b3669-b6c8-4783-bd15-e3c2856953a2&w=600&h=313&src=mc

It was fabulous to chat to the Park Runners who were all very engaging and interested in improving their water safety and overall drowning prevention knowledge.  We would like to thank the Pegwell Bay Park Run Team for allowing us to attend their fabulous Saturday morning event and chat to runners, supporters and volunteers.  Well done to all the runners for such a great effort on this blustery morning.  We were very fortunate with the weather and that the rain held off until we had packed away.

parkrun Runersandwalkers RNLI RLSS PegwelBayparkrun drowningprevention watersafety Thanet
The Awesom Park Run Volunteers

The Runners and Walkers Drowning Prevention and Water Safety campaign begins on Monday 4th November, why not use the #runnersandwalkers on your social media channels and help share these critical safety messages?  For more informtion on downloading Runners and Walkers social media imaginery

pegwelbayparkrun RNLIComunitySafety RNLI Respectthewater RLSS Runnersandwalkers ROSPA

Other useful links

Runners and Walkers Identified As High Risk Of Accidental Drowning Year-on-Year

RLSS – About Runners and Walkers campaign

How to become a Park Run Volunteer

runnersandwalkers RLSS Respectthewater Bewateraware RNLI Lifeboat Coastguard

Acknowledgements

Pegwell Bay Park Runners

RLSS

RNLI

Are you Winter Water Safety Aware?

Enjoying a walk or run with family, friends and or your beloved dog can be such great fun during Winter time.  Having some knowledge on how to stay safe whilst out and about during winter will enable you to have a great time.

accidentaldrowning RLSS drowning pools reserviors rivers streams lakes quarries

Lakes, pools, reservoirs and canals can get frozen over during cold weather, which look very picturesque but all too often people venture out onto the frozen lakes and find themselves in difficulty in the water. Sadly in the past there have been numerous incidents where people have entered the water under ice with the best intentions to either attempt the rescue of another person or a dog and they have tragically become a fatality themselves.

 

The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) has come up with some useful tips on what actions to take in an emergency situation:

London watersafety drowningprevention RNLI RLSS NFCC respectthewater coastguard floattolive

Only use well lit areas

Time your walks to make the most of the daylight; if you need to walk in the evening only use well-lit areas or take a route not alongside water.

watersafetyrespectthewater RNLI lifeboats drowningprevention

Keep back from the edge
When walking alongside water keep back from the edge.

dogs watersafety RLSS drowningprevention RNLI lifeboats coastguard fireservice

Keep dogs on their leads
Keep dogs on their leads when near ice and don’t throw sticks or toys onto the ice.

dogsonice Royallifesavingsociety Fireandrescueservice bewateraware

Don’t go on the ice to rescue a dog
Don’t go onto ice or into the water to rescue a dog, move to somewhere that the dog will be able to climb out and call them towards you.

 

Know who to call in an emergency

If you hear or see an animal or person who has fallen into through the ice or into the water shout for help and call ‘999’ or ‘112’ ask for the Coastguard at the coast or on the River Thames; and Fire and Rescue Service if inland at a lake, pool, river, reservior, quarry or loch.

RLSS Watersafety winter drowningprevention RLSS Fireservice

Do not walk or climb onto the ice to attempt a rescue. Try and reach them from the bank using a rope, pole, tree branch, clothing tied together or anything else which can extend your reach.  If you cannot reach them, slide something which floats, such as a plastic bottle or football, across the ice for them to hold onto to stay afloat whilst help is on the way.

Thank you for reading!

Other useful links

Know who to call in a coastal emergency

RLSS

respectthewater RLSS coldwatershock RNLI

Acknowledgements

RLSS

RNLI

HM Coastguard

Out for a few beers with your mates this weekend? Know how to stay safe?

Out for a few drinks with your mates this meeting? Some of our Community Safety Team really enjoy watching sport on their days off. Andy Mills one of our Team says “we want everyone to enjoy themselves and have a great time whilst out having a few drinks, but think about how to get home before the night has finished and stay away from walking alongside water after a night out”.

Here are some tips to get you and your mates home safely:

  • Don’t walk home alongside water after a night out
  • Make sure your mates get home safely after a night out, don’et let them walk by water
  • Plan your journey home before you start your night out, book a cab inadvance
  • Paths beside water are not safe when you are drunk, find a better route home
  • If you do unexpectedly find yourself in water ‘float on your back’ until you get your breath back

What affect does alcohol have on the body?

  • Alcohol lowers in habitions, leading to impaired judgement which means you are more likely to take risks and get into trouble
  • Alcohol limits muscle ability making simple movements harder
  • Alcohol slows down your reactions making it more difficult to get yourself out of trouble
  • Alcohol numbs the senses particularly sight, sound and touch, making swimming very difficult
HM Coastguard and RNLI Community Safety sharing Don’t Drink and Drown safety messages with the Cinque Port Bar Manager 2018

If you do see someone who you think is in difficulty in the water or at the coast or on the River Thames dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ ask for the Coastguard straight away, giving an accurate location, the number of people involved and what you can see (what is happening).  If you are at an inland location such as a river, lake, loch or canal ask for the Fire and Rescue Service.

Other useful links

Don’t Drink and Drown campaign

Discover more about how Community Safety Teams shared the Don’t Drink and Drown message

Acknowledgements

Royal Lifesaving Society

RNLI

HM Coastguard

NFCC

Don’t Drink and Drown Campaign 12th – 19th September

Don’t Drink and Drown Campaign

Our team are again supporting the Royal Lifesaving Society (RLSS UK) Don’t Drink and Drown Campaign which takes place between 12th – 19th September. This is a national campaign that warns drinkers to steer clear of walking by or entering water when under the influence of alcohol.  The campaign was launched following a string of tragic student drownings around the UK.

The campaign kicks off as first year students start their new University term known as Freshers Week. Many of whom will have never been away from home before, will be initially unfamilar with their surroundings and will enjoy socialising with their new University friends often drinking alcohol during nights out or at social functions. Unfortunately, there have been several fatalities over recent years including Charlie Pope a student in Manchester who very tragically died after falling into a Rochdale canal after a night out in March 2017.

Our RNLI Community Safety sharing the ‘Don’t Drink and Drown’ message at Ramsgate Harbour Christmas 2018

Research indicates that around a quarter of all adult drowning victims had alcohol in their bloodstream.

Our ‘Safety Selfie frame’ being put to good use during our ‘Don’t Drink and Drown’ safety evening by members of Thanet Lifeguard Club

In December 2018, our team undertook ‘Don’t Drink and Drown’ engagement evenings at Ramsgate and Margate harbours working in partnership with the Margate HM Coastguard team, Thanet Lifeguard Club and Thanet Community Pastors.  Whereby we visited numerous bars around each respective harbour sharing the ‘Don’t Drink ad Drown’ safety tips (which can be found below) and handing out free ‘glow in the dark’ wrist bands.

The following top tips will help you get home safely

  • Don’t walk home alongside water after a night out
  • Make sure your mates get home safely after a night out, don’t let them walk by the water
  • Plan your journey home before you go out, book a cab inadvance
  • Paths by the water are not safe when you’re drunk, find a better route home
  • If you do end up in the water unexpectedly ‘float to live’

The RLSS Youtube video ‘Beneath the Surface – Families Stories’

What affect does alcohol have on the body?

  • Alcohol lowers inhibitions, leading to impaired judgment which means you are more likely to take risks and get into trouble
  • Alcohol limits muscle ability making simple movements much harder
  • Alcohol slows down your reactions making it more difficult to get yourself out of trouble
  • Alcohol numbs the senses particularly sight, sound and touch, making swimming very difficult

Mixing swimming and alcohol is definitely a bad idea!

Evidence

There were 451 accidental drownings involving alcohol and/or drugs in the UK from 2013-2017, with an average of 90 per year. This represents 29% of all accidental drownings that occurred in the UK during this period.

Do you know someone who will be going away to University or College this year?

If you know a relative, friend or work colleague who will be going away to University this year please pass on the safety messages which are contained in this blog it just could help save their life.

Social Media & Newsletters

You can stay informed about our lifesaving activity by signing up for free to receive our newsletter.  You my also like to follow our team on social media for updates.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Useful Links:

How to support the ‘Don’t Drink and Drown’ campaign – RLSS

RNLI – Float to Live

National Fire Chief’s ‘Be Water Aware’ campaign

Acknowledgments

RLSS

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

 

 

The Water Savvy Day – Water Safety At Bewl Water

The Water Savvy Day is held yearly at Bewl Water, Lamberhurst, Kent. It is organised jointly by Kent Fire and Rescue Service; and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service. The aim of this free fun day is to learn about how to stay safe around water.  Our team thoroughly enjoyed working with the Gravesend Community Safety team on the day to share key safety messages about how to stay safe at the beach and coast.  Some these will be mentioned later on.

Leanne McMahon, Group Manager for Community Safety at Kent Fire and Rescue Service, says about the day: “Our Water Savvy Fun Day is a fun day out for all the family, providing a rare glimpse into the fire services’ water rescue capabilities, and an opportunity to learn really important lifesaving skills.  “Water safety is really important to us, and we are working hard to educate residents and visitors to the area about the dangers and how to stay safe while still enjoying being in and around water.”

 

One of our Gravesend colleagues chatting to children during the Water Savvy Day

The day was jam packed with plenty of activities and demonstrations including: the inter Fire and Rescue Service water rescue competition which this year was won narrowly by East Sussex; and Kent Police’s drone was put through it’s operational paces. Crowds were also treated to a display by the Police’s Marine and Diving Unit,  as well as the fabulous Newfoundland Rescue Dogs, hands-on practical CPR skills with the Royal Lifesaving Soiety, further demonstrations from the Kent Lowland Search and Rescue team, Seaford Lifeguards and Sussex Flood Unit.

 

Fire & Rescue Service water rescue competition

Our RNLI Community Safety stand proved very popular with children and adults like.  Some of the key messages we highlighted included:

Follow the Water Safety Code 

  • Stop & Think (Look for dangers and always read the signs)
  • Stay together – never swim alone, always go with friends or family
  • Call ‘999’ or ‘112’ ask for the Coastguard (at the coast) Fire Service (rivers, canals & inland waterways) and shout for help
  • If you do fall into the water unexpectedly ‘Float on your back and try to hold onto something that floats,

 

The Water Savvy Day is such a great day to learn more about water safety, but also enjoy the wonderful Bewl Water. Keep an eye out for future Water Savvy Day events as they are great fun for all the family.

One of the fabulous Newfoundland dogs enjoying a rest after a rescue demo

More useful links:

Royal Lifesaving Society – top tips on drowning prevention

Learn how to Float to Live

Find the nearest lifeguarded beach

Learn more about free swim lessons

Book free swimming lessons in the sea – Swim Safe

Bewl Water

HM Coastguard – Beach Safety