Thanet RNLI Community Safety

RNLI Thanet Community Safety Team Attend Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons Charity Award Presentations for Swim Safe Donation

The RNLI Thanet Community Safety Team were invited by the Provincial Grand Master of the Masonic Province of East Kent, Right Worshipful Brother Neil Hamilton Johnston to the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons Charity Award Presentations at the Cathedral Lodge at Canterbury Cathedral on Saturday 16th November. We were among several other worthy charities from around the county who each received generous donations from this charitable organisation. The RNLI Thanet Community Safety team are very grateful as the donation contribute towards the Swim Safe Scheme, which this year allowed 1,008 children to have swimming lessons at Margate Beach.

During the ceremony, 16 charities gave presentations about the good works that they each did. John Homer from our team gave a presentation about Swim Safe, how it was delivered and how important the charitable contribution was to the welfare and confidence of each child taking part. 

 Andy Mills, RNLI Thanet Community Safety Officer said, ‘Swim Safe is a fantastic programme that helps to keep children safe. It gives each child greater awareness of how to enjoy the sea safely. It’s an integral part of our Community Safety plan.’

 He added, ‘Since its inception last year it has grown from 500 children taking part to 1,008 this year. Nationally 22,000 young people took part in a Swim Safe session this Summer. Without the generous support of organisations like the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons Charity, we would not be able to deliver these sessions …so from everyone on our team…thank you so much.’

Picture shows John Homer (Left), Ian Lockyer (right) (RNLI Thanet Community Safety Team) with Provincial Grand Master of the Masonic Province of East Kent, Right Worshipful Brother Neil Hamilton Johnston (Middle)

The Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons Charity website is currently in development, but you can find out contact details for the charity there:

To find out more about Swim Safe

Stay tuned to our website and social media pages about Swim Safe Thanet coming next year.

Thanks to Ian Lockyer for writing this informative blog!

Swim Safe enjoys a penultimate water safety day at Margate plus a visit from local dignitaries

Swim Safe has been taking place at Margate main sands since July every Monday and Friday and has proved highly popular. On Friday (23rd August) our team popped down to support the programme and also to chat to other beach visitors about key water safety messages ahead of the bank holiday weekend.  The Swim Safe programme is run at various sites across the country and children learn about aspects of water safety and how to swim safely in open water for no charge.

Picture credit: Haddon Dene School

Margate main sands is such a lovely beach and is an ideal location for Swim Safe to take place as even at high tide there is still a large expanse of sand available to use and is close to public transport links. Margate Swim Safe is also very lucky to have the highly experienced swim teaching team led by Gail Crompton from the Ocean Swim School leading all classes.

Margate Mayor Mick Tomlinson chatting to Swim Safe participants

It was marvellous to host a visit from Councillor Liz Hurst and the Mayor of Margate Mick Tomlinson. Both of whom are huge Swim Safe supporters enabling the scheme to operate and it was great to talk through the programme and see it in action.

Liz and Mick enjoying the selfie frame

Swim Safe’s very last day of operation is Friday 30th August with the first session of the day starting at 9:30am.  There are still places available throughout the day, so if you haven’t booked your child(ren) onto Swim Safe yet, this is the last opportunity before it closes down for the winter. You can book on-line or walk-up and speak with the Co-ordinator.

Photo Credit: Haddon Dene

The only qualification your child(ren) has to fufill is that they must be able to swim 25 metres unaided in a pool.  Participants are given a wet suit, rash vest and hat to wear during the session free of charge which are returned at the end (apart from the hat which they are welcome to keep).  Teaching is conducted on the sands initially and then progressing into the water. All of the feedback Gail and her team have received throughout the Summer’s programme has been very positive and is an ideal opportunity to learn essential water safety drills such as Float to Live and open water swim techniques.

Chatting to beach visitors

As well as supporting the Swim Safe sessions we were able to chat with other beach visitors about how to stay safe whilst at the coast which was fabulous to do. Passing on information about the different beach flags, who to call should you see someone in the water in difficulty,  the role of the lifeguards and also handing out the hugely popular children’s water proof wrist bands which carry the parent/guardian mobile telephone number should they get separated.

Children’s waterproof wrist bands

It proved a very succesful and enjoyable day spent on the beach helping to keep people safe.  Thank you to everyone we spoke with for their time and to all of whom attended the Swim Safe sessions which we hope you enjoyed.

Other useful links

Book your Swim Safe session

Why inflatables are not designed for the beach

Margate Swim Safe kicks off with a flying start

It’s hot out there – what to do if you get into difficulty

Can I suffer from cold water shock?


Swim England


Margate Swim Safe Co-ordinators and Swim Safe Teachers

Swim Safe dates announced for Thanet


Members of the Swim Safe Team in 2018

Today, we are hugely excited to announce that the public Swim Safe dates have been released for Margate.   Incase you haven’t come across Swim Safe before, these are jointly run swimming lessons by the RNLI and Swim England during the school Summer holidays for children aged 7-14 years at no cost whatsoever.   We are very fortunate that this is the second year that Swim Safe has been delivered in Thanet and we are very appreciative of the financial help and support provided by two local Kent County Councillors, the Margate Mayor and the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons charity, The only condition for a child’s participation is that the child(ren) are able to swim 25 metres unaided in a pool before hand.

Be sure to book up soon as if last year is anything to go by, places go quickly!

Find out more about how Swim Safe ran in 2018 at Margate.

Swim Safe booking platform

More information about Swim England who help co-ordinate the running of Swim Safe

Find my nearest lifeguarded beach

Ever heard of cold water shock? Find out how to survive it

Respect the Water campaign