Thanet RNLI Community Safety

Thanet businesses and organisations asked to help spread important water safety messages during school Summer holidays

As a result of COVID-19 safety protocols our RNLI Community Safety Team is currently unable to deploy to deliver face2face water safety messaging and drowning prevention advice sessions.  We have recently witnessed a significant increase in the number of visitors to UK beaches and coastline coupled with a reduced number of beaches that are able to be covered by lifeguards it is even more important to get water safety messaging out to as wide an audience as possible.

RNLIwatersafety RNLICommunitysafety Bewateraware Respectthewater Bebeachsafe Thanetlifeguards RNLI Lifeboat Margatelifeboat Ramsgatelifeboat Broadstairs Ramsgate Margate

Our team is asking whether B&B’s, hotels, cafes, restaurants, councils, shops, pubs, bars and businesses selling beach goods across Thanet which are located alongside or close to coastal and beach areas can help us share the Beach Safety message – “Beach lifeguards Can’t Everywhere This Summer” by printing and displaying the poster (downloadable poster contained here and below); and having conversations with their customers and members of the public about knowing to call the Coastguard via ‘999’ should they see or hear someone in difficulty in the water.

Also, if you have a social media account (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn) then please see if you can share some of the messaging, which again is included in a link below using the #BeBeachSafe

RNLI Beach Safety Printable Resources  

RNLI Social Media Resources

coastguard watersafety seasaafety communitysafetyrnli

Andy Mills from Thanet’s RNLI Community Safety Team said “we readily appreciate that this is a very busy time of the year for all coastal businesses who have also had extra challenges to cope with due to COVID-19, but we are asking them to do what they can to help us spread the safety message “Beach lifeguards can’t be everywhere this Summer – Protect Your Family, Follow Safety Advice, Save Lives – In An Emergency Dial ‘999’ for the Coastguard”.

 

Obviously, we don’t want to put anyone at risk and only pass on the message where it is safe to do so complying with the latest Government guidelines.  We want everyone to have a fun time at the coast, but taking on board some safety advice before you visit could help you from getting into difficulty and putting yourselves and others in danger.

Volunteer lifeboat crews and HM Coastguard Rescue Teams have tirelessly remained available 24/7 to respond to emergency calls from members of the public throughout COVID-19″.

 

Thank you for your help in sharing the safety messaging which is much appreciated.

 

Other useful links

It’s Hot Out There – Where To Do If You Get Into Difficulty

Do You Know What To Do If You Saw Someone Drowning?

RNLI Water Safety

How Should You Treat A Weever Fish Sting?

Picture credit : RNLI Lifeguards

Weever fish are plain looking fish and are very common during the Summer months around the UK shore line. Often they nestle in the sand and in water just a few centimetres deep.  A weever fish will raise a sharp spine on it’s back in self defence if it is trodden upon.  Here are some top tips from our Lifeguard colleagues:

  • Place the effected area in water as hot as you can stand it for around 30 minutes. This will destroy the protein based venom and will allow you to continue your day at the beach. Test the water first so as not to scald the person who has been stung.
  • Whilst the stings are painful they are generally nothing to worry about and will not cause any significant damage

There are far greater risks and hazards associated with the coastal environments: the tides, water movement and the effects of cold water shock.

It is always recommended to visit a lifeguarded beach where trained lifeguards are available for advice for all things beach safety and first aid incase you are stung by a weever fish.

More useful information:

Where can I find my nearest lifeguarded beach?

Our blog about Cold Water Shock

How the RNLI keeps beaches safe

Discover more information about waves

Acknowledgements

RNLI Lifeguards

Swim Safe- Free Swimming Lessons for children aged 7-14 years old

We are stoked that Swim Safe in Margate is starting on 22nd July. ➡️Still a few spaces available to book.⬅️ Once they’ve gone they gone😀 A fantastic opportunity for children aged 7-14 years to receive FREE swimming lessons in the sea by some fantastic swimming teachers with years of experience and stacks of knowledge. Make sure you book yours before it’s too late. Please share amongst family, friends and work colleagues. 🏊‍♀️🏊‍♂️

Useful Links

Book your swimming spaces

Find your nearest lifeguarded beach

Find out about last years Swim Safe

How to survive cold water shock

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

 

 

Armed Forces Day in Ramsgate

 

Members of the team at the Respect the Water stand Ramsgate Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day was founded to enable people to show their support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families, veterans and cadets. There are a multitude of ways for people, communities and organisations across the country to show their support and get involved, from attending an event or joining us online to throwing a party or local event.  Our team did just that on Saturday by attending the Ramsgate parade and drum head service to show their support and share safety messaging especially important due to the large numbers of people flocking to the beaches due to the lovely weather.

 

 

VIP’s, Fire Service and Senior Military officers waiting to join the Ramsgate Armed Forces Day

The parade amassed serving members of the Royal Air Force from the Defence Fire Training and Development Centre at Manston, the Royal Navy Reserve, Soldiers and Non Commissioned Officers from the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, Cadets from the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, members of the British Legion; and local Scout and Cub groups.

One of our key messages that we chatted to the lovely visitors to the parade was ‘Cold Water Shock.  Here is a video which describes what it is and how to survive it. Please share on-line amongst your friends and family it just could help someone’s life!

Further safety links

Evan’s Story – Learn how Evan survived using the Float to Live drill

Armed Forces Day

Respect the Water

Visit Ramsgate tourist information

Ramsgate Lifeboat Station page

Margate Lifeboat RNLI Station page

Check Out The Thanet RNLI Community Safety Blog

The Thanet RNLI Community Safety Blog is the place where we post the latest news about all community events and activities and also share our thoughts and safety advice.

You can visit our blog by clicking on :

Visit and bookmark https://thanetrnlicommunitysafety.org.uk and connect with us on social media (Facebook, TwitterLinkedIn and Instagram) to stay up to date with all our community safety news.  
As a region, the Thanet RNLI Community Safety team are incredibly proactive, and there are regular updates. 
And if you want to get involved with our community initiatives, or provide some local support in any way possible, you can contact Andy Mills (Community Safety Officer) on  andrew_mills@rnli.org.uk

 

Respect The Water Talk – St George’s School Community Week

 

Two of the fantastic St George’s students seen here with one of our team – photo credit St George’s School

When our team were invited to deliver anumber of drowning prevention and Respect the Water presentations to school assemblies as part of ‘Community Week’ we really welcomed the opportunity. Especially as it was at the fantastic St George’s Church of England School in Broadstairs which is a really innovative local secondary school.  The Community Week is a really exciting week of activity which includes litter picking, hosting an afternoon tea for members of the elderly, bag packing at a nearby supermarket and helping to tidy gardens at Maurice House (a nearby Royal British Legion residential care home).

As the school Summer holidays are only round the corner the numbers of young people visiting the beach and coast increase dramatically, unfortunately so does the number of people taking risks or getting into trouble.

The assemblies provided a fantastic forum to chat to the students who were all very engaging and enthusiastic to learn how to keep safe at the seaside. We were particularly impressed by the year 4 students who scored 100% in the water safety quiz!

 

The beach flags

Some of the topics that we covered during the assemblies included:

  • Liam Halls’ very tragic story
  • How to float on your back if you unexpectedly fall into the water
  • What is cold water shock
  • The Water Safety Code
  • To call the Coastguard via ‘999’ for all coastal emergencies
  • The dangers of tombstoning – to year 7 & 8
  • Don’t enter the water if you see someone else or an animal in difficulty
  • Beach flags
  • How to access free swimming lessons at Margate this year
  • Spot the dangers at the coast
  • Lifeguarded beaches
  • Tide cut-off’s

 

We thoroughly enjoyed visiting the school and delivering the presentations to the students who we wish well for the remainder of their Community Week.  Thank you for inviting us to your fantastic school.

More useful links:

How to find your nearest lifeguarded beach

How to Float to Live

St George’s School, Broadstairs

Educational resources – RNLI

Swim Safe – free children’s swmming lessons

Picture credits: St George’s School

 

 

How Do I Prevent Being Cut-Off By The Tide?

Getting cut-off by the tide is pretty easy to do unless you take some sensible precautions and plan ahead before you set off.  All around the UK and Ireland there are areas that get cut-off by the tide very easily. Each year Ramsgate and Margate lifeboat crews are called to rescue people cut-off by the tide majority of the time around the Botany Bay, Kingsgate Bay, Stone Bay and Dumpton Gap areas.

Over half of the people we speak to when out and about don’t know to call ‘999’ or ‘112’ and ask for the Coastguard in any coastal emergency.

 

Here are our top 10 tips to help you from being cut-off from the tide

  1. Always check the tide times before venturing out via ‘tides near me’ or the BBC Weather page
  2. Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back
  3. Carry a means of calling for help such as a fully charged mobile phone or VHF radio
  4. Consider downloading the free RYA ap called SafeTrx that helps let people know your route
  5. Wear the right clothing and equipment for the activity
  6. Check and be mindful of local hazard warning signs
  7. Be aware of your surroundings at all times, eg when the tide is due in and dangerous cliff edges
  8. If you see or hear someone or an animal in danger at the coast dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ straight away  and ask for the Coastguard giving an accurate location
  9. Do not enter the water if you get cut-off by the tide
  10. If you do end up in the water unexpectedly, float on your back rather than panicking
tidalcutoff thanetrnlicommunitysafety RNLI Lifeboats drowningprevention RLSS ROSPA watersafety
Kingsgate Bay, Broadstairs – Tidal Cut-Off High Risk area

More useful links

Ramsgate Lifeboat Station

How To Float To Live – Evan’s Story

HM Coastguard Beach Safety

Where Can I Find The Nearest Lifeguard Beach

Why inflatables are not for use at the Beach – Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team

Helping to deter tidal cut-off’s in Thanet

 

Don’t Paddle After Your Dog!

 

On Friday morning (14th June) Margate Inshore Lifeboat was requested to launch by the UK Coastguard to a person reported in the water at Botany Bay, after entering to try and rescue their dog who had got into difficulty in the sea.  The lifeboat launch was cancelled when the UK Coastguard received a further report that the person, along with a second person who also entered the water to assist together with the dog had made their way back to shore safely.

Members of the Thanet Community Safety Team using the ‘dog selfie’ frame at Dumpton Gap during a Coastal Dog Safety Pop-Up Stand

Friday’s call comes after another dog rescue near Minnis Bay on Thursday 6th June, when three friends rescued an 83-year old man who had jumped into the water to rescue his dog who unfortunately didn’t survive.  Fortunately, the rescued man didn’t require hospital treatment but was treated at the scene by South East Coast Ambulance Service.

RNLI Lifeboat Dog rescue compilation video

Andy Mills, RNLI Community Safety Volunteer gives this advice “if your dog does get into difficulty in the water or has fallen down a cliff, please do not enter the water or put yourself in danger, dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ ask for the Coastguard straight away. They will then task the appropriate rescue assets such as a lifeboat, Coastguard Rescue Team who are trained in cliff, mud and water rescue; or a Coastguard helicopter. The Coastguard or RNLI will not charge you for using their services and they won’t mind if you have made the call in good faith.

More information on RNLI dog walking advice

HM Coastguard Dog safety

Previous Thanet Community Safety Team blogspot on dog safety

Five things that you shouldn’t ignore about dog rescues!

Full acknowledgements to the RNLI for the use of the Youtube video

 

Drowning Prevention Week 14th – 24th June
One of our Water Safety Stand’s at Gravesend Gurdwara

Friday (14th June) marks the start of Drowning Prevention Week.  This has been created by the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) will see a deluge of water safety activity flood the UK and Ireland from 14 – 24 June, 2019.

The national campaign aims to ensure everyone knows how to have fun and stay safe near water, and a host of free resources have been produced to help supporters promote water safety.

In 2018 two hundred and sixty three people died from accidental drowning, males make up two hundred and thirty fatalities.  Source : National Water Safety Forum

One of our team addressing a coach party on water safety at Margate main sands

Our team are hugely proud to play it’s part in trying to reduce this figure and will be holding a Pop-Up Water Safety stand on Saturday 15th June at Viking Bay, Broadstairs from 10:00am onwards.

Andy Mills one of the Thanet Community Safety Volunteers said “It is so important to remind people to stay safe near water, especially at this high-risk time of year. We are only only to happy to be involved with Drowning Prevention Week”.

RLSS UK’s Director of Education, Mike Dunn, said: “Most people are surprised to learn that you are more likely to die from drowning than you are from being hit by a car or in a fire. We urge as many people as possible to take advantage of the pop-up stand run by the local Community Safety Team and learn what could be potentially lifesaving skills. We thank the Thanet Team for getting involved with the campaign, and for helping people learn the skills they need to stay safe and enjoy the water”.

More information on the Drowning Prevention Week

HM Coastguard beach and water safety

RNLI Respect the Water

Find out where are RNLI lifeguarded beaches

Sign up to the awesome Thanet RNLI Newsletter

Don’t Drink and Drown campaign in Thanet

 

Know who to call!

I can’t believe we are coming to the end of November already! We have been blessed with some really good weather recently and not too much rain. This month’s blog is all about knowing who to call in a coastal emergency.  Surprisingly, over half the people we talk to when we are out and about at community events, on beaches and coastal areas do not know that in the event of seeing or hearing an animal or a person in difficulty in the water that they should dial ‘999’ they should ask for the Coastguard straight away. Many people opt to call the Police or Fire Service which wastes several vital  minutes.

Coastguard Rescue Team Vehicles

The Coastguard have Operations Centre’s (CGOC’s) dotted across the UK, at Aberdeen, Belfast, Dover,  Falmouth, Holyhead, Humber, London, Milford Haven, Shetland, Stornaway and the National Maritime Operations Centre at Fareham. Each is staffed 24/7 and answers ‘999’ calls from members of the public and Mayday distress calls via radio. In the event of an emergency at the coast, they will co-ordinate the tasking of search and rescue assets eg RNLI boats, independent lifeboats, Coastguard Rescue teams who are trained in mud  and cliff rescue, advanced first aid, advanced missing person search techniques; and of course search and rescue helicopters.

Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team’s recent visit to Dover CGOC

Lifeboats and Coastguard are regularly called out to dogs who have either ventured or fallen down a cliff; or gone for an extended swim (often the owner may have also been cut-off by the tide).  If this should happen then the Coastguard should be called without delay via ‘999’ who will then task the lifeboat or Coastguard rescue team. Our Team enjoyed a recent visit to the Dover CGOC where we learned alot about how the Coastguard operates. Remember don’t delay if you think anyone or an animal is in trouble in the water call ‘999’ and ask for the Coastguard.

Other useful references:

Maritime and Coastguard Agency Terms of Reference

Search and Rescue Information

Keeping Safe At The Coast – Don’t Drink and Drown

Coastal Safety

 

 

Safety In Action & Lifeboat Call-out

 

Kent RNLI Education Team at Dreamland

This past week, I have been at Dreamland Margate, assisting the RNLI Kent Educational Team, at the Safety In Action event. Safety In Action is part of an interactive learning experience for over 700 Year 6 children from Thanet, to help them gain vital safety lessons before their move to secondary school. This is organised and run by a company called Salus and involves a whole host of different agencies.

Lifeboat Call-Out

On the Monday, whilst I was helping the team to set up the stand, my RNLI pager suddenly sprang into life, singing out its distintive high pitched tone, summoning me to the Lifeboat Station for a ‘service call’.. The message displayed on the pager screen indicated ‘ALB Immediate Readiness’. This means that the All-Weather Boat was required to be launched.  I pedallled quickly to the station on my bike, which I had strategically positioned close to our stand for a quick getaway. I arrived at the Lifeboat station in good time, quickly changing into my yellow wellies, hardhat with ear protection, lifejacket and grabbing the tractor key. Whilst I was doing this, I learnt from the Coxswain’s briefing that the All Weather Boat (ALB) was launching to a large buoy that was drifting into a shipping lane. The full Lifeboat Press Officer’s Report can be read here.

After carrying out my essential safety checks and liaising with the Headlauncher and Coxswain, I manoeuvred the tractor carefully pushing the Mersey class lifeboat out of the boathouse and down the slipway, launching her into the sea. After returning to the boathouse, I got myself back to help the crew at the Safety In Action event.

Organisations involved in Safety In Action

The organisations involved included:

Kent Police, British Transport Police, Kent Fire & Rescue Service, Kent County Council, Kenward Trust, NHS (School Nurse Team), Hopkins, Headstart Kent, Margate Task Force and Kent County Council Early Help.

 

Spot the dangers banner

The RNLI Education Team have 10 minutes to talk with a small group of children about safety around the coast and beach. After the 10 minutes is up, the group of children move onto another stand where they receive a different topic of interest eg railway safety or fire safety etc. The young people we met with were really interested and enthusiastic in learning about sea safety.  We wish you the best of luck in your transition to your new schools in September and thank you for visiting our stand.