Thanet RNLI Community Safety

How To Make The Most Of the Last Weekend of Beach Lifeguard Cover In Thanet

This Sunday (6th September) marks the end of RNLI lifeguard cover across Thanet beaches. But, there are more than 100 beaches which will still have patrols, some for longer than during a ‘normal’ year.

 

Our Community Safety Team want everyone to enjoy the beach and coast, but here’s a quick reminder of those safety tips which could help save you and your family/friends from getting into trouble in the water:

  1.   Whenever possible swim at a lifeguarded beach
  2.   Always read and pay attention to the advice displayed at the entrance to the beach
  3.   When visiting a lifeguarded beach locate the yellow and red flags and swim between them
  4.   Always swim with a friend
  5.   If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help. Float on your back until you get your breath back.  Find more out about the RNLI’s Float to Live technique
  6.   If you see someone in difficulty, don’t attempt a rescue. Tell a lifeguard, or, if you can’t see a  lifeguard, call ‘999’ or ‘112’ and ask for the coastguard.
  7. Please adhere to your government’s safety guidelines regarding COVID-19 and respect social distancing at all times. Please consider whether you should travel to a beach and remember to follow guidelines regarding travelling only with your household.
  8. Leave inflatables at home and keep them for the swimming pool.  Lifeboat and HM Coastguard call-outs this year have significantly risen due to people taking inflatables into the sea and getting into difficulty.
Covid-19 Lockdown Margatemainsands Margate Lifeboat In shorelifeboat Lifeguards Thanet EastKent Sandybeaches RNLI RNLICommunitysafetyteam RNLIWatersafety Bebeachsafe Respectthewater
Margate Main Sands – lifeguarded beach

Here is a list of the beaches that will be covered in Thanet until Sunday (6th September)(taken from the RNLI website):

Botany Bay

10:00-1800hrs

Post Code: CT10 3LG

OS Grid Ref: TR 3915 7117

Joss Bay

10:00-1800hrs

PostCode: CT10 3PG

OS Grid Ref: TR 3992 7017

Stone Bay

10:00-1800hrs

Postcode: CT10 1ED

OS Grid Ref: TR 3992 6869

Broadstairs (Viking Bay)

10:00-1800hrs

Postcode: CT10 1NB

OS Grid Ref: TR 3990 6768

 

Ramsgate Main Beach

10:00-1800hrs

Post Code: CT11 8JD

OS Grid Ref: TR 3875 6490

RNLIcommunitysafety RNLIwatersafety RNLIseasafety Respectthewater Thanetlifeguards RLSS margatelifeboat ramsgatelifeboat

Margate Main Beach

10:00-1800hrs

Postcode: CT9 1XP

OS Grid Ref: TR 3506 7079

Minnis Bay

10:00-1800hrs

Postcode: CT7 9QR

OS Grid Ref: TR 2871 6971

Have a safe and enjoyable time at the beach! If you are into your social media please share #BeBeachSafe to help spread our safety messages as wide as possible. Thanks for reading!

Further useful references:

Margate Lifeboat Station

Ramsgate Lifeboat Station

How to become an RNLI Ambassador

Sign up to our newsletter? 

Be Beach Safe

Our Top 7 Yacht Sailing and Motorboating Safety Tips

I am sure that you will agree that there is nothing quite like white sails billowing against a lovely blue sky, the breeze and spray on your face. It can be exciting, challenging and relaxing.  Although, no matter where or what type of boat you sail there is one factor that you must take into account before embarking on a voyage SAFETY.  In this blog we will consider 7 Safety Tips which will help you minimise the hazards enabling you, your crew and passengers to have a fabulous, but safe time on the water.

 

1.   Lifejackets

You may have read our previous blogs or social media postings about the critical importance of wearing a correctly fitted and maintained lifejacket or personal floation aid (PFD).  When out on the water boating or sailing whatever the weather our advice is always to wear a lifejacket and that goes for each member of your crew and passengers.  Why not check out the excellent RNLI video below which explores how to fit a buoyancy aid correctly.

There is lots of helpful information available on-line about lifejackets and how to fit and maintain them correctly.  Find out more about some essential lifejacket checks

As well as wearing a fully serviced lifejacket we also highly recommend wearing crotch straps.  If you are uncertain why you should wear them check out the video below:

2.  Training

Lifeboat crews are often called out to sailors in difficulty who have over estimated their skill and knowledge level.   Be totally honest with yourself about your skill level. If you are in any doubt why not enrol onto an RYA course.   Courses can help you prepare for anything, whether your a complete novice,  living onboard, enjoying a coastal cruising or venturing further offshore.

RNLICommunitySafety SeaSafety ThanetRNLICommunitySafety respectthewater lifejackets crotchstraps RNLI

3.  Check Your Engine

Nearly 20% of all Lifeboat call-outs are to sailing and motor cruisers suffering from mechanical failure.  Having a good knowledge of your boat’s engine, carrying spares and being able to fit them could make the difference between having to call for help and being able to help yourself.  The RYA run disel engine courses which are highly popular.  The RNLI produces some free downloadable resources to help you with engine maintenance.

RNLI Ramsgatelifeboat respectthewater RNLICommunitySafetyTeam

4.  Emily’s Code

On 2nd May 2015, 14-year-old Emily Gardner tragically drowned in a boating accident. An ill-fitting buoyancy aid snagged on the cleat of a capsized speedboat. In her memory, her family helped draw up the following mnemonic to highlight key safety messages and they provide a great rule of thumb for any sailor to follow:

 

5.  Check the weather & conditions

The weather can make or break your day. Regularly checking the weather forecast and sea conditions can help you if you planning a lengthy voyage.  Downloading the SafeTrx App provides key Inshore waters weather forecasts, as well as tracking your trip and alerting your emergency contact if you are overdue.

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6.   Calling for Help

Life-threatening incidents can occur at any time without warning and in any weather!  Having a means of ‘calling for help’ and that everyone on your crew/passengers knows how to use them will enable you to get help to you should an incident occur as quickly as possible.  Incidents can go unnoticed even in busy waters close to the coastline.

There is a range of different devices for ‘calling for help on the market. Whichever one you choose and we recommend you use more than one – you must be able to reach it easily in an emergency. Don’t rely on a single method of calling for help as one may not work.  We have included a range of ‘calling for help’ devices below:

VHFradio callingforhelp respectthewater

EPIRB callingforhelp RNLI RNLICommunitySafetyTeam

 

 

 

 

 

mobilephone

RNLICommunitysafetyteam Callingforhelp seasafety bewateraware sailing yachting kitesurfing

7.  Advice on Board (AOB)

Advice Onboard is a totally free of charge service that’s suitable for anyone who goes to sea on a pleasure vessel of less than 13.7m. It’s available in all parts of the UK and Ireland. It’s tailored to your particular vessel and the type of boating you do.

Whether you are highly experienced or a complete novice sailor or boater you’ll benefit from this free and friendly service. The safety advice session takes place onboard your vessel at a time that’s convenient for you.

lifejacket clinic, Community Safety, Thanet, Sea safety. RNLI

This service is provided by experienced and highly trained RNLI volunteers and will provide you with independent advice about your boat’s safety equipment. You’ll also have an opportunity to ask any of those burning questions about safety drills, equipment or emergency procedures that you may have put off asking for some time.

Adviceoboard RNLICommunitysafety seasafety AOB Ramsgate RNLI
Thanet RNLI CS Team undertaking an Advice on Board session

Our team can also check your lifejackets as part of the AOB session. However, we still recommend that you have your lifejackets serviced by a service agent or the manufacturer at the recommended intervals.  Find out more about how our lifejacket clinics are helping to keep sailors safe.

We hope that you have enjoyed this blog. If you would like to book an Advice on Board session or lifejacket check/clinic with our team you can get in touch by emailing Andrew_Mills@RNLI.org.uk

lifejackets RNLICommunitySafetyTeam seasafety

SAFETY CHECK LIST

  • Always wear a properly serviced and fitting lifejacket or personal floatation device
  • Always carry a means of calling for help eg VHF radio, Personal Locator Beacon (PLB), flares, EIRB, mobile phone with SafeTrx app
  • Have an emergency action plan and make sure everyone aboard receives a detailed briefing (covering the location and use of the safety equipment, including the spare kill cord for powerboats. Practising ‘man overboard’ drills is very important).
  • Arrange to attend some training from an approved training provider
  • Always check the weather and tide times before you embark on your voyage
  • Tell someone ashore your voyage plan and who to call if you don’t return on time
  • Always drive your boat at a speed that is appropriate to the weather conditions and to the environment you are operating in

PLB EPIRB RNLICommunitySafety seasafety lifejackets

 

Acknowledgements

RNLI

RYA

HM Coastguard

2019 RoSPA National Water Safety Conference

On Monday (18th November) I was privileged to attend the 2019 Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) National Water Safety Conference in London – ‘Making Every Community Count’.

lifebuoy RNLICommunitySafety Lifeboats RNLI ThanetRNLICommunitySafety RoSPA Bewateraware Respectthewater

The RoSPA conference is where a multitude of influential organisations, charities and government agencies who are all involved in drowning prevention and water safety meet up to examine how they can collectively improve in reducing fatalities around water.  It is three years since the launch of the National Water Safety Strategy which is supported by Government and this wide range of organisations which is making significant efforts to address the five key targets to help improve water safety.

The conference was opened by Mr George Rawlinson who is the National Water Safety Forum Independent Chair.  One of the points which was clear from Mr Rawlinson’s opening address is that “Collaboration is essential if we are to succeed in reducing fatalities around the waters of the UK, inland and coast”.

dontdrinkanddrown RLSS

There are many campaigns up and down the UK that involve collaboration with several different agencies. These include the Royal Life saving Societies (RLSS) ‘Don’t Drink and Drown’ ‘Runners and Walkers’ and Winter Water Safety campaigns, the RNLI’s  Respect the Water, National Fire Chief’s ‘Be Water Aware’ week; and no end of highly successful throw bag ‘community responder’ schemes at canal’s, harbours, marina’s and riverside locations.

RNLICommunitySafetyTeam ThanetRNLICommunitySafetyTeam Lifeboats Thanet Drowningprevention watersafety Broadstairs Kingsgatebeach

Conference speakers included: Mr Dominic Watkins from DWF Law LLP., who spoke about the independent review of the legal framework on who owes legal responsibility for ensuring water safety on the coastline. This was commissioned on behalf of the HM Coastguard Agency following the very tragic deaths at Camber Sands.

drowningprevention saferthames RNLICommunitySafety ThanetRNLICommunitySafety Tidalthameswatersafetyforum

The second speaker up to the podium was introduced as Mark Towens, the Port of London Authority Harbour Master.  Mr Towens led the audience through the development and delivery of the Tidal Thames Water Safety Forum strategy which you may remember was launched by HRH Prince William earlier in the year.  The aim of the strategy is to reduce the 700 incidents and 30 fatalities resulting from accidental or deliberate drowning (suicide) along the River Thames.

watersafety drowning prevention RNLICommunitySafety Lifeboats Manchester FirendRescueService

David Wilson, Station Manager Manchester Central Fire Station (Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service) spoke next which proved highly interesting and informative.  Station Manager Wilson is the chair of the water safety partnership and explored the challenges and lessons learnt from this partnership approach.

 

Mr Nick Pope was invited up to the stage and spoke about his son’s very tragic and sad death whilst returning home after a night out as a student in Manchester.  When Mr Pope spoke you could hear a pin drop in the room talking openly about how we can all help #MakeCharlieTheLast.

Drowningprevention watersafety Rospa RNLICommunitysafetyteam thanetRNLIcommunitysafetyteam lifeboats respectthewater bewateraware

Further speakers included Mr Justin Scarr (Chief Executive Royal Life Saving Society Australia), Mr David Walker (Leisure Safety Manager for RoSPA) who revealed that rivers suffered the highest proportion of UK accidental drowning casualities, that future focus should include the pro-active sharing of good practise; Mr Brian Johnson (Chief Executive, Maritime Coastguard Agency) and Dr Peter Aitken (Director of Research and Development, Devon Partnership NHS Trust).  It is Dr Aitken’s talk which I will focus on next.

Dr Aitken delivered a truly inspiring talk entitled “Boats, Barbers, Prisoners and Farmers”. Dr Aitken explored the way in which ‘crowd sourcing’ could be harnessed to help increase suicide prevention amongst the wider community, by mobilising community expertise to look out for people who are in need of help particularly in areas which may attract people who wish to take their own lives.

 

You may have already come across the ‘Small Talk Saves Lives’ which is such a fantastic campaign started by the Samaritans which is really important to follow and use.  It was also very interesting to learn that studies by Dr Aitken show that if the press or others disclose the identity (male/female), location and means that there is direct causation to two further suicides. You can follow Dr Aitken’s work via his twitter feed

 

Conclusion

I would like to thank David Walker and his team from RoSPA who organised and deliverd the conference and to the excellent speakers who provided a highly invaluable and a very worthwhile day.

 

Other useful references

RNLI – Respect the Water campaign

HM Coastguard – Managing Beach Safety

National Fire Chief’s – Be Water Aware

RLSS – Don’t Drink and Drown

Canals and River Trust

drowningprevention watersafety NFCC RLSS RNLI Respectthewater

Acknowledgements

RNLI Community Safety Team

HM Coastguard

RoSPA – Water Safety

Dr Peter Aitken – Director of Research & Development, Devon Partnership NHS Trust

Dominic Walker – DWF Low LLP

Harbour Master Mark Towens – Port of London Authority

Station Manager David Wilson – Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service

Justin Scarr – CEO Royal Lifesaving Society Australia