Thanet RNLI Community Safety

How to have a fabulous, but safe time at the coast with your dog

There is nothing better than enjoying a lovely walk with your dog at the coast taking in sea air, grabbing some exercise and enjoying time with your friends and family.  However, lifeboat crews and Coastguard Rescue Teams (CRT) are frequently called out to rescue dogs that have entered the water for one reason or another or fallen over the edge of a cliff.  Sometimes their owners will enter the water to try and rescue them too. In 2019 RNLI crews were launched 157 times to incidents involving dogs.

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Do You Know How To Check the Tide Times?

Regularly at events we are asked what is the best way to check the tide times?  There are a variety of websites and smart device app’s available which are free to download and use to check the tides.  Shops, cafe’s and other harbour/marina establishments regularly stock paper copies of tide tables which are available for a nominal fee or a donation to the local lifeboat station.  A special mention should be made of ‘Spring Tides’ at this point in the blog. Spring Tides can result in people getting easily cut-off by the incoming tide including places where there normally isn’t an issue.  For more information go to our blog on different tides.

Some lifeboat station’s also display the tide times on their external notice board’s. Many lifeboat station’s, Coastguard teams and National Coastwatch station’s publish tide times and safety advice on a regular basis on their social media channels. Both Ramsgate and Margate lifeboat station’s publish tide times.

We have included anumber of websites and ap’s below to give you an idea which ones are available.

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BBC Weather Tide Tables

Tide Times

Met Office Beach forecast and tide times

Tide Forecast.com

Tide Times App – iOS device

Tide Times App – Android

You maybe visiting the coast to enjoy a lovely walk with your friends or family, partake in some bird watching, go climbing, kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing, swimming, surfing or just take in the sea from a cafe or coffee shop.  Whatever activity you are taking part in why not remind yourself about some safety tips which could help save your life below:

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  • Always carry a ‘calling for help device’ such as a fully charged mobile phone or VHF radio

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  • If you are going out on your own tell someone where you are going and what time you will be back

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  • Wear the right clothing for the activity. If you are enjoying time on the water always wear a fully serviced lifejacket.

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  • Check the weather forecast

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  • If you get into difficulty dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ and ask for the Coastguard

 

  • Don’t enter the water if you get cut-off by the tide, call for help

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  • Heed any warning signs that are displayed at the coast or on beaches

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  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times as conditions can change quickly without warning

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  • If you end up in the water Float On Your Back until you get your breath back – Float To Live

Ian Lockyer (RNLI Community Safety Advisor) says “we want everyone to enjoy the coast and get as much out of your visit as possible. But, making a few preparations and having a plan should things go wrong will help save your life”.

Other useful links

Do you know who to call in a coastal emergency?

Float to live – Evan’s Story

How do I prevent being cut-off by the tide?

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One of our Coastal Dog Safety sessions at Dumpton Gap (prior to Lockdown)

Acknowledgements

RNLI

HM Coastguard

National Coastwatch Institution

National Ocean Service

Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team Help Prevent Four People From Being Cut-Off By The Tide At Dumpton Gap

Members of the Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team deployed to Dumpton Gap on Sunday (12th January 2020) to chat to dog walkers and beach users about coastal safety as part of their proactive Incident Prevention Engagement (IPE) tactic.

Dumpton Gap is one of the ‘risk’ areas around the Thanet coastline for tidal cut-off’s due to the rapid rate in which the tide can come in and the headland geography. Ramsgate Lifeboat crew are called out from time to time to people cut-off by the tide in this area.

As the team were enjoying chatting to beach visitors at Dumpton Gap they became aware of four people who were embarking on a walk around the headland towards Ramsgate.  With an incoming high tide, a strong wind and rough sea state the people were rapidly approached by team members and advised them against walking this route and to take a safe one along the cliff top.  All four people heeded the advice and took the alternative route to Ramsgate.  Andy Mills – Thanet RNLI Community Safety Officer said “it was a significantly high tide on Sunday morning at Dumpton Gap. Fortunately these beach visitors took on board our advice. We would urge everyone to check the weather and tides before heading out for a coastal walk and to carry a fully charged ‘calling for help’ device such as a mobile phone”.

We would like to thank all the dog walkers, runners and beach visitors who stopped by to chat and learn how to have an enjoyable, but safe time at the coast.

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If you hear or see an animal or person in difficulty in the water call ‘999’ and ask for the Coastguard straight away every second counts!

Other useful links

Do you know how to check the tide times?

How to have a fabulous, but safe time at the coast with your dog

Ramsgate RNLI Station

Acknowledgements

RNLI

HM Coastguard

Dog Walkers Enjoy Learning How To Keep Their Doggie’s Safe Whilst At The Coast

Our team really enjoyed sharing key coastal safety messages, handing out free tennis balls and doggie treats to awesome dog 🐕owners/doggie’s, and beach walkers at their awesome pop-up Safety Stand at Dumpton Gap on Sunday 24th February. Thank you to everyone who popped along to say hello and we hoped you enjoyed your walks. The key messages we shared included:

➡️ If your doggie goes for an extended swim in the sea or falls down a cliff in their attempt to chase a sea gull, please don‘t go enter the water/climb down the cliff to save them. ☎️Call ‘999’ ask for the Coastguard straight away. The 🚨Coastguard🚨 are experts in cliff, water and mud rescue
➡️ Tell someone your plans e.g. what is the latest time you will arrive home
➡️ Check the tide times before you venture out via the ‘Tides near Me App’
➡️ Wear the right clothing for the trip
➡️ Carry a means of ‘calling for help’ e.g. fully charged mobile phone
➡️ Be aware of your surroundings at all times
➡️ Read local warning signs ⚠️e.g. tidal cut-off and cliff rock-falls

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

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

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

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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

 

Inflatables aren’t designed for the beach!

With people flocking to the coast when the temperatures increase and weather improves the number of people being rescued from a wide range of inflatables increases such as unicorns, flamingo’s and inflatable boats.  Inflatables are not simply designed for the beach and it is easy to find yourself quickly swept out to sea.

The recent rescue of 5 year old girls at Minehead who had been swept one mile off shore

If you do choose to use an inflatable, the RNLI would like to remind people that:

  1.  They are only used near to the shore and between the red and yellow flags on a lifeguarded beach
  2.   Children are safely supervised at all times
  3.   Never take inflatables out in big waves
  4.   Never use them when the orange windsock is flying as this indicates an offshore wind which will  blow the inflatables out to sea
  5.   Whenever you take to the sea the RNLI recommends that you and your children wear a suitable lifejacket or buoyancy aid.  This will provide the necessary floatation should the inflatable suffer a puncture or similar.

One station in Hampshire in the Summer 2018 had to be called out to rescue four people from inflatables in trouble in just one day.

Find your nearest lifeguarded beach

How do the RNLI keep beaches safe

Find out how to stay safe at the coast

HM Coastguard inflatable safety advice

Acknowledgements to RNLI for the use of You Tube video and content

Volunteers’ Week has landed

(Pictured above) Neil – RNLI Community Safety Advisor

Welcome to the start of Volunteers’ Week which is a chance to celebrate and say thank you for the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK.  It takes place 1-7 June every year and is an opportunity to celebrate volunteering in all its diversity.

During the week we will be introducing you to some members of our team. Today, we would like to introduce you to Neil.  Neil is our throw bag trainer (Community Responder Scheme) who is responsible for training members of staff from bars, cafes and restaurants in how to use throw bags as part of the RNLI scheme to make water rescue equipment available at key venues to rescue a person should they end up in the water for whatever reason. Inaddition to this traning Neil can also be seen at events helping to share key safety messages on how to stay safe whilst enjoying time at the coast.  He is also a long serving member of the Ramsgate All Weather Lifeboat crew, available 24/7 on a pager to answer emergency calls saving lives at sea.  Neil also helps run the fantastic Thanet Lifeguard Club which is a hugely successful lifesaving club affliated to the Royal Lifesaving Society.

RNLI Community Safety Volunteer’ Week

Don’t Drink and Drown initiative around Ramsgate and Margate

RNLI Volunteers Vacancies Page

Find out how to volunteer for the HM Coastguard Team

Visiting the coast whilst on holiday? Know what to do in a coastal emergency.

Community Safety Team helping to deter tidal cut-off’s

After two Lifeboat calls to tidal cut-off’s in and around the Kingsgate Bay area in the past seven days our team deployed their Incident Prevention Engagement (IPE) tactic on Sunday 12th May to the area.  This is a proven method of refreshing and reminding members of the public about tides, coastal safety and who to call in the event of a coastal emergency.   We enjoyed speaking with a range of people from the local area and also those visiting.  Some of those people we chatted with had checked the tide times before venturing out, had downloaded a tide app to their mobile smart device and knew to call the HM Coastguard in an emergency.

Chatting to Botany Bay kiosk owner Ross about our water safety work

Here are our top tips we chatted about on Sunday so that you can stay safe and have a great time whilst at the coast:

1.  Carry a means of calling for help eg fully charged mobile phone

2.  Check the tide times via the Tides Near Me App (available for Apple and Android devices)

3.  Tell someone the latest time you will be returning and your route

4.  Wear the right kit for the activity

5. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and heed local warning signage

6. If you are in any doubt whether an animal or person is in difficulty in the water dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ ask for the Coastguard without delay every second counts

7. If you do unexpectedly end up in the water float on your back and resist the temptation to thrash around. More expert advice check out ‘float to live’.

Many dog owners use the beautiful local bays to enjoy walks. It is important to share our key safety messages amongst this group of not to enter the water if their doggie goes for an extended paddle