Thanet RNLI Community Safety

Why Should You Carry A VHF Radio If You Are A Kayaker, Sailor, Personal Water Craft user or Fishermen

Regularly at community events our team are asked why should you carry a VHF radio if you are a kayaker, dingy sailor, paddle boarder, personal water craft user, or off-shore fishermen when they could use their mobile phone instead if they get into difficulty?  Even if you are not going far offshore you might not be able to get a mobile phone signal.  Wet mobile phones don’t work very well and who knows what sea or weather conditions you may experience.

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

Getting out in the fresh air either enjoying a leisurely stroll, a longer hike or maybe a run is a fantastic way to get some exercise particularly during the lockdown period, to improve your mindfulness and spend time with friends or family. This blog is designed to raise awareness that 93 people who accidentally drowned during 2018 weren’t even taking part in water-based activity and were simply running or walking near water (this is the largest grouping of people who lost their lives).

Read More

International Men’s Day UK 19th November – Let’s Get Talking About Mental Health!

Welcome to International Men’s Day UK.  International Men’s Day (IMD) is celebrated each year on 19th November (this year on a Thursday), world wide in at least 60 countries.  An increasing number of organisations and individuals are now supporting IMD making it more inclusive than ever. It is important to celebrate this day as it helps raise awareness towards making a positive difference to the wellbeing of lives of men and boys; and also raising awareness for charities supporting men and boys’ wellbeing.

Search and Rescue Service Call-Outs At the Coast

Lifeboat crews and Coastguard Rescue Teams are called from time to time to help people who may be suffering from a mental health episode at the coast.  According to Mental Health First Aid England men are more likely to take their own lives with 16.8 per 100,000 doing so in 2014 compared to 5.2 women per 100,000.

Men Make Up The Highest Rate of Suicide

The highest suicide rate in the UK in 2014 were men aged 45 to 59 years, at 23.9 death’s per 100,000.  For comparison in 2014, in Great Britain 1,775 people were killed in road traffic accidents this means that over three times as many people died from suicide in 2014 as road accidents.

RNLIWaterSafety RNLICommunitySafety RNLIVOlunteers Margatelifeboat Margatecoastguard Thanetlifeguards Ramsgatelifeboat Suicide menslives lockdown covid19 internationalmenshealth

In 2018 4,903 men sadly took their own lives (13 per day) Men make up three in every four suicides*.

Getting More Men Talking About Their Mental Health

Our Team are keen to help support the campaign of getting more men talking about their own mental health, suicide prevention and raising mental health awareness as a whole.  There is a whole host of organisations and charities with excellent innovative campaigns across the UK that are all helping to get more men talking about this serious issue and helping to sign-post them to support networks, self-help initiatives; and or professional help/interventions.  I am sure you will be aware of some of the fabulous work that is being undertaken via social media and the national press.

Barbers Spotting The Signs of Depression

One particular initiative which caught my eye was the excellent ‘Barber Talk’, a bespoke mental health awareness and suicide prevention training programme for barbers. It helps barbers to spot the signs of depression and distress in their clients and then sign-post them to places where they can get help.

More information about the Barber Talk initiative can be found here

It’s Good To Talk 

How often do we actually listen properly to a family member, friend or work colleague speaking.  The next time someone is chatting away why not put down whatever you are doing and actively listen to what they are saying.  It could make all the difference.  We appreciate that due to COVID-19 you can’t meet up with friends and or family as you did previously. Why not go ‘old skool’ and pick up the phone  give them a ring and have a good old fashioned chat.  Zoom and Microsoft Team platforms have also revolutionised family/friends contact during lockdown.

 

“I’ve Got Their Back”

Alternatively, if you haven’t heard from someone in a while why not give them an email, text or whatsapp message to see how they are.  Research shows that blokes always have to have a reason to phone another bloke.  Why not find a reason, like “I’ve got their back, I am going to find out how my mate is just because I care”.

 

In Need of Help?

Whatever you are going through, there is always someone to turn to in the event of a crisis. The old adage ‘A a problem shared is a problem is a problem halved’ is still true today.  You can call the Samaritans 24/7 for free on 116 123 and they are non-judgemental, they won’t pressure you and they are there for anyone who needs help.  Help is also available through your GP and the NHS.  Family and friend(s) networks can also play a vital role in providing help and support when you need to talk.

Thank you for reading this blog and we hope that you found it useful. Please help support International Men’s Day and Mental Health issues by sharing posts via your social media channels where appropriate. Stay safe!

RNLIwatersafety RNLICommunitysafety Lockdown COVID-19 bebeachsafe Margatecoastguard Thanetlifeguards Margatelifeboat Ramsgatelifeboat birders birdwathers

 

Other Useful Resources

Samaritans – suicide facts and figures

Samaritans – Self Help

Why not sign-up to our e-newsletter to find out more about our essential drowning prevention work

Mental Health Support in Thanet

NHS Mental Health and Wellbeing

 

HM Coastguard

Mental Health First Aid England

Mind

National Health Service

Royal National Lifeboat Institution

 

Statistics

Verification checked on 18/11/2020 using Samaritans website and Mental Health for England

How Well Do You Know Your Lifeboats? Part III – The ‘D’ Class Inshore Lifeboat (ILB)

The third blog in our series ‘How well do you know your lifeboats’  focuses on Margate’s ‘D’ class Inshore Lifeboat (ILB).  The ‘D’ class lifeboat has been a workhorse of the RNLI for over 50 years, which was first introduced in 1963 and has saved thousands of lives ever since. The design of the inflatable ‘D’ class lifeboat continues to evolve to meet the changes in operational demand and technology.

The ‘D’ class is a highly manoeuvrable craft and can operate closer to the shoreline than it’s all-weather lifeboat counter parts. The ‘D’ class definitely comes into her own for searches and rescues in surf, shallow water and confined area’s such as up close to cliffs, amongst rocks and even inside caves.

There are 110 lifeboat stations that currently have the very latest IB1 type ‘D’ class lifeboat. With a top speed of 25 knots, ‘D’ class lifeboats can endure up to 3 hours at sea at this speed on search and rescue taskings which is a critical factor when lives are at risk.  Margate’s first ‘D’ class inshore boat came on service in 1966, with the latest D-841 Alfred Alexander Staden going on operational service on 5th October 2019.

Launching

Most ‘D’ class lifeboats are launched from a trolley with the assistance of a launch and recovery vehicle such as a tractor or landrover (Margate’s ILB is launched using a tractor).  Some stations launch their ‘D’ class by lowering it into the sea using a davit system which is a shore-mounted crane.

 

Safety Kit Carried

The ‘D’ class lifeboat carries night vision equipment, a searchlight and parachute illuminating flares to light up a search area, helping to maintain crew safety as well as help locate those in need of help.

Medical equipment is stowed in a pod on the bow which includes oxygen, resuscitation kit, responder bag and ambulance pouch.

margatelifeboat margatecoastguard RNLIWatersafety RNLICommunitysafety
Margate’s Inshore Lifeboat taking part in a mock rescue drill at the Margate Blue Light Community Event 2019

Technical Stuff

Crew:
2–3 (must include a Helmsmen)

Survivor capacity:
5

Maximum speed:
25 knots

Range / endurance:
3 hours at maximum speed

Length:
5m

Beam / width:
2m

Draught / depth:
0.52m

Displacement / weight:
400kg

Fuel capacity:
68 litres

Engines:
1 x Mariner engine at 50hp

Construction:
Hypalon-coated polyester

Identification
All lifeboats have a unique identification number.
The first part indicates the class so ‘D’ class lifeboats start with D.
The numbers after the dash refer to the build number. So the first ‘D’ class built in the current IB1 design was given the number D-600.

Why not find out more about the RNLI’s inshore lifeboats by watching this video

 

While lifeboat stations remain operational and are continuing to launch to those at peril at sea, they are not currently open to visitors. 

 

Useful links

Margate Lifeboat Facebook page

Margate Lifeboat web page

Sign-up to our e-newsletter 

As the clocks go back this weekend, are you Winter Water Aware’?

 

Acknowledgements

Royal National Lifeboat Institution

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

Celebrating Headset Hero’s – International Control Room Week 2020 – HM Coastguard Operation Rooms

‘International Control Room Week’ is all about celebrating and thanking those people who are at the end of a ‘999’ call.  From 19th to the 25th October 2020 the week is dedicated to celebrating the achievements of truly remarkable people who are at the end of the phone or radio when we need them, keeping us calm, reassuring us and updating us. They stay strong, supporting us through the most challenging times.

NMOC Coastguard RNLICommunitySafety
National Maritime Operation Centre (NMOC) HM Coastguard

HM Coastguard Operation’s Centre’s around the UK are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Ready to take ‘999’ emergency calls or Mayday radio calls from someone who needs help at the coast, on the River Thames or at sea urgently.  There is no doubt it’s a highly challenging and demanding role.

Coastguard Operation’s room staff ensure that search and rescue assets such as coastguard rescue teams, helicopters, lifeboats and other blue light services are in the right place where they need to be, at the right time – helping and supporting as the emergency situation unfolds.

internationalcontrolroomweek heroswearheadsets coastguards margatecoastguard thanetlifeguards margatelifeboat ramsgatelifeboat bebeachsafe covid-19 lockdown
Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team visit to Dover Coastguard Operation’s Centre (prior to COVID-19) regulations.

This year is even more important than in previous years as the men and women based in the Coastguard Operation’s Room’s have continued to provide emergency capability right through out lock-down and continue to do so through the Corona Virus emergency.

mentalhealth

To mark the celebration, APD Communications have also pledged to donate £1 to Mind the mental health charity every time #UnsungHeroes is used across social media and in the press during the 19th -25th October 2020. Mental Health has such a huge impact on the emergency services. With over 9 in 10 workers experiencing low mood, poor mental health and stress at some point whilst working for the emergency services. The challenging nature of the job, with its unique pressures puts staff at greater risk.

HMCoastguard Internatioalcontrolroomweek
Kaimes Beasley, controller Dover Coastguard Operations Centre – photo credit HM Coastguard

Please spare a thought for all the staff deployed in all control rooms providing essential communication, support and assistance to members of the public in times of need.   Just some of those control rooms include: Police, Fire and Rescue Service, Ambulance Service, Highways Agency, Maritime Control, Border Agency, Coastguard, RNLI, Prison Service, Public Utilities, Armed Forces, St John’s Ambulance, Red Cross to name a few.

Below is a short video clip showing how the HM Coastguard would take an emergency call and despatch search and rescue resources.  As a reminder if you hear or see an animal or person in difficulty in the water at the coast dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ and ask for the Coastguard.

For more information on the week, visit:  International Control Room Week

 

More useful links

Know who to call in a coastal emergency

What’s the difference between the Coastguard and RNLI?

APD Control Rooms Week

Acknowledgements

HM Coastguard

APD Communications

Advice on Board – Know How To Keep Yourself & Your Crew Safe Whilst Afloat

Did you know that our team of RNLI Community Safety volunteers can carry out Advice on Board safety advice sessions with you.  We will visit you and provide you with practical suggestions on how to improve the safety on your boat and it’s equipment.

 

When and where will the advice sessions take place?

The session is specifically tailored around your availability and the location to suit you.  It is not like an MoT for a car, but a friendly chat where we can help with suggestions on how to improve safety for you and your crew.  We will provide you with a summary of the main points covered to take away with you at the end of the session.

Do the advice sessions cost anything?

The sessions are totally free of charge.

Are the RNLI Community Safety Team qualified to undertake these sessions?

All the team that conduct the Advice on Board sessions have attended a course run by the RNLI to qualify them to carry out the checks. They also attend refresher sessions to keep their knowledge up-to-date.

 

Can the advice session include checking my lifejackets too?

Yes, we can check your lifejackets as well, we also recommend getting them regularly serviced and by a service agent or local chandlers who may have the facility to send off jackets to a manufacturers.

 

I have a VHF handheld radio and I am unsure whether it is still ok to use, can you check the radio?

Our team are not qualified to service or check VHF handheld or base station radio’s.  We would recommend contacting a local dealer or manufacturer for more advice.

How can I book an Advice on Board session with my local Community Safety Team?

If you have your boat is moored at Ramsgate Harbour please send our team a direct message on either our Facebook or Instagram page and we will reply asap.  If you live in another area then you can contact RNLI HQ at Poole by going to this link

 

What happens during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Our team are permitted to carry out some RNLI Community Safety work using social distancing.  If you would prefer to wait until 2021 then you can still register your interest in having an advice session carried out in the future.

I would like some advice on my engine. Can you help me with this?

Mechanical failure is the single biggest cause of rescue call outs to sailing and motor cruisers, accounting for nearly 20% of all our lifeboat launches. Knowing your boat, carrying spares and being able to fit them could make the difference between having to call for help and being able to help yourself. Our team are not qualified to check over engines.  Our advice is to get your engine checked out by a qualified engineer.

Why not download these free RNLI resources:

check list for inboard and outboard engines

check list for outboard engines

The RYA diesel engine maintenance course is designed to help you with engine problems when out at sea

 

Are you able to take time expired pyrotechnic’s (TEP’s) from me?

We are not permitted to take TEP’s from any members of the public due to the risk involved.  Please contact your supplier where you purchased the flares from initially and ask whether they operate a ‘take back facility’. Alternatively, speak with a life raft manufacturer or council recycling centre.  Our blog on how to dispose of out of date flares may provide some useful reading.

 

What happens if I have some more questions?

If you have any questions on Advice on Board sessions or any aspect of safety on your boat then please do not hesitate in dropping us a private message on our social media pages.  Thank you for reading and stay safe.

 

Further useful links

RYA training courses

Sign-up to your lifesaving newsletter

 

Acknowledgements

RYA

RNLI