Thanet RNLI Community Safety

Please Don’t Use The Sea For Exercise Or Recreation Over The Easter Break

The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) and the HM Coastguard are both calling on people not to take part in any water based activity on or in the sea, to help reduce the risk to the lifeboat crews, Coastguard Rescue Teams and Coastguard helicopter crews being exposed to COVID-19 and the pressure on their own time.

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Margate’s Mersey ALB.  Photo credit : Sarah Hewes

Normally, hoards of people would be flocking to the coast over the Easter weekend and holiday period to enjoy the joys of the beaches and coastal area’s.  However, both the RNLI and HM Coastguard are asking everyone to abide by the government instructions to Stay at Home, Protect The NHS and Save Lives.

The government have decreed that everyone is permitted to go outside for their daily exercise whether it it is a walk, run, cycle or jog, however, the RNLI and HM Coastguard do not recommend taking part in any activity that is on or in the sea. This would include: any type of sailing, personal water craft (PWC), in-beach play, boat fishing, rowing, motor boating, kitesurfing, paddle boarding, off-shore angling, kayaking, canoeing, coasteering, diving, climbing or swimming amongst others.

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HM Coastguard Officers dressed in water safety kit during a multi-agency exercise. Photo credit: Margate Coastguard Rescue Team

The RNLI’s lifeboat crews and the HM Coastguard Rescue Teams are still available 24/7 for emergency calls, however, on every occasion a crew or team is called out this will put extra pressure on the personnel responding to the call and other emergency services such as the NHS hero’s, Ambulance Service; and Fire and Rescue Service. Additionally, potentially exposing teams and staff to the Corona Virus.

Our team really appreciate that it’s tempting to visit the coast. We all absolutely love the coast too. But please, this weekend, stretch your legs local to where you live, don’t stretch the RNLI and Coastguard resources and don’t travel to the coast. To quote the Coastguard “It’s not a holiday, it’s a national emergency”.

 

Gareth Morrison (Head of RNLI Water Safety) said: “We know that people who live at the coast still want to exercise by the sea, but when you do this, please think of the potential impact of your actions on RNLI Lifeboat crew volunteers and other emergency services.  While you could be fully competent and never needed to be rescued, by going out on the water you could encourage others who are less proficient to take part in similar activities”.

 

“Since the government lockdown was introduced around the UK Coast, our lifeboat have been called out all too often to rescue people. So, if you do go out for a walk or a run at the coast, please follow the RNLI Safety Advice”:

  1.  Take care near cliff’s – know your route and your limitations

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     2.  Check the weather forecast and the tide times

tides cut-off RNLI RNLICommunitysafety thanet Kent RNLICommunitySafety3. If you fall into the water unexpectedly FLOAT TO LIVE, fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend back, extend your arms and legs – FLOAT

COVID19 Coronavirus Respectthewater communitysafety tidetimes

4. In a coastal emergency dial ‘999’ ask for the Coastguard

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Gareth added “Our lifeboat crews are still at the ready 24/7 – thanks to their own courage in a time of crisis and the generoristy of our supporters”.

How to support RNLI crews during COVID-19

If people are compelled to show their support from home, we ask them to help by giving something that keeps our volunteers ready to launch, replace worn-out kit or helps us repair a lifeboat. To support our lifesavers go to the RNLI donation page

COVID19 Coronavirus RNLICommunitysafety RNLIwatersafety Lockdown stayathomesavelifes Respectthewater Bewatereaware margatelifeboat Ramsgatelifeboat margatecoastguard

No lifeguard patrols this weekend

There will be no lifeguard patrols at any beaches this weekend as the planned roll-out of beach lifeguard patrols was postponed until further notice following government advice to stay at home to save lives and protect the NHS.

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog. From all of the team we wish you a safe Easter weekend!

Other useful references

What is the difference between the Coastguard and RNLI?

Stay at Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives

Sign-up to receive our team’s free newsletter

Acknowledgements

RNLI

HM Coastguard

Public Health England

Lifejackets – Which One Should You Buy?

The RNLI indicates “Each year around 200 people drown in coastal waters around UK and Southern Ireland, some of which happen to people who are carrying out water based activity.

Research suggests that wearing a lifejacket can increase your chances of survival by up to four times if you’re immersed in cold water.* Whatever your activity, wearing a well-fitted, well-maintained and suitable lifejacket or buoyancy aid could save your life”.

Source* Professor Mike Tipton 2012.

 

We are often asked at shows and events “which lifejacket could you recommend?” Our reply is always, “we don’t recommend any particular lifejacket as we don’t know what the type of water activity that you will use it for eg yachting, power boating, kayacking, dingy sailing etc,  everyone is individual and one size definitely doesn’t fit all!”. One of our pieces of advice is that you must be comfortable wearing it.

Our team runs lifejacket clinics throughout the year at local yacht clubs, marina’s and harbours.  If you would like us to run one for you or your club please drop us an email : Andrew_Mills@RNLI.org.uk

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Here are some of the top tips that you could carry out to ensure your lifejacket is fit for purpose (please note: these checks are not a substitute for a proper service at a service agent or recognised manufacturer)

 

  1. Inspect the outside of the jacket for wear and tear. Take a detailed look at the cover for any damage, webbing, harnesses, crotch straps, sizing and fit
  2. Even if it is a jacket with an inspection window, undoe the lifejacket at the point next to the inflator.
  3. Check the gas cylinder is hand tight, or if it’s a bayonet type, is it firmly locked in position.
  4. If the lifejacket is new to you, remove the cylinder and check it has not been fired.
  5. Replace the cylinder if required.
  6. Look for the green coloured indicators on the trigger and if fitted, on the automatic firing system.
  7. Keep spare cyclinders and replacement parts for the automatic firing system on hand. So, that the jacket can be re-armed. Or, keep a spare jacket for each person onboard. The replacement parts are relatively inexpensive to purchase. Don’t forget jackets for your dog(s) if you take them on a voyage!
  8. Get the jacket serviced at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals.  This is highly recommended.
  9. Undertake a thorough inspection of each and every lifejacket at least once a year – more often if the lifejacket is used frequently.
  10. Conduct an inflation test of the bladder annually. Inflate the bladder through the oral inflation tube via a low pressure air pump or simply blowing into the tube. Leave inflated for at least 24 hours in a termperature stable environment to check the bladders integrity.

Useful links :

The RNLI’s complete guide to lifejackets

How to choose a lifejacket and maintain it – RNLI

Andling and fishing safety Advice – RNLI

Lifejackets Useless Unless Worn – Thanet RNLI CS

Lifejacket Clinic Sends Out Massive Safety Message

How to book a free RNLI lifejacket clinic

 

How to fit your buoyancy aid
Buoyancy Aids

We hope you have had a good week and wow it’s the weekend already! We are seeing an increase in participation of kayacking, stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) and windsurfing around the Kent coast so we thought that this week’s Friday Club should focus on how to fit and check your buoyancy aid. In summary these are the basic checks/advice that you should consider :

  1. Choose a buoyancy aid that fits you correctly
  2. Ensure that is CE approved (check the label)
  3. Regularly check for wear and tear

This excellent RNLI video is a step by step guide on how to do this correctly. Wearing a buoyancy aid and carrying an easily accessible method of calling for help such as a mobile phone or VHF radio will help save your life if you get into difficulty in the water. Always tell someone where you are going and the latest time you will be back. The SafeTrx App is also highly recommended to download for free and use if you are out on the water.

Have a great weekend and if you hear or see a person or animal in difficulty in the water or at the coast call ‘999’ or ‘112’ and ask for the Coastguard every second counts.

More useful links :

Know the risks

RNLI guide to lifejackets and buoyancy aids

Last blog of 2018!

It’s all about……Don’t Drink & Drown!

Well, this is the very last blog of 2018 and what a fantastic year we’ve all had. It’s been a pretty busy year with sixty five deployments to a variety of events, shows and engagements. One of our last deployments saw our team carry out the ‘Don’t Drink & Drown’ preventative patrols at Ramsgate and Margate harbours respectively. During this engagement patrol we teamed up with the Margate HM Coastguard Rescue Team, Kent branch of the Royal Lifesaving Society and the Thanet Community Pastors to share the Don’t Drink & Drown safety message to revellers and bar staff.

Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team blog about Don't Drink and Drown
RNLI Community Safety team out and about sharing safety messages at Ramsgate Harbour

Over two consecutive evenings at both Ramsgate and Margate Harbours the teams engaged with two hundred people effectively sharing the key safety message of don’t walk home alone close to water after a night out, look after your friends so that they get home safely, don’t enter the water if you have been drinking; and alcohol seriously affects your ability to get yourself out of trouble if you have been drinking.

Our ‘Safety Selfie frame’ being put to good use at Wetherspoons

On the lead-up to the Don’t Drink and Drown week I was fortunate enough to be interviewed on Thanet’s local charity radio station Academy FM about the importance of the campaign as Kent is the 2nd highest risk in the UK with regards accidental drownings (54 people died over the past 5 years 15 of those had alcohol in their system, statistics from National Water Forum Water Incident Database).

Isle of Thanet News article on Don’t Drink & Drown 

The Royal Lifesaving Society (RLSS) national campaign – September & December

So, that’s it folks thanks for reading our blog and for following our work. We will be back in January to share with you about the work of our Comunity Safety and rest assured we will have lots of exciting projects to share with you. Happy New Year!

One Year On

I thought I would update you on how our first year of being operational has gone. Wow, what a year! The Summer was incredibly hot, as hot as the Summmer of 1976, if you can remember that far back! No stand pipes for water this time or hosepipe bans, but the UK saw some of the worst grass fires for a long time. Well, what has happened:  we have attended over 60 events to-date (still a few more before the year is out including the Coastal Dog Walker Engagement Event with Thanet Police at Botany Bay on Saturday 13th October), this includes community events, talks to community and water activity groups, lifejacket clinic’s, and pop-up stands at beaches and harbours to name but a few.

We have also shared the key safety messages to as many different groups and communities as possible, including visiting the fabulous Margate Mosque and chatting to the Inman; and holding a Respect the Water stall in the Gravesend Gurdwara which was a massive success.  The team have spoken to visiting coach parties and train passengers at Margate on how they can stay safe whilst visiting the seaside. This has proved really worthwhile working in conjunction with face2face teams, lifeboat crew and lifeguards to continually help spread the beach safety messages.

Reminding and Refreshing Beach visitors on Safety Tips

Our team have raised £1,000 towards the RNLI through donations received from groups and individuals after delivering safety talks in the community and at local events.

We have forged collaborative links with a whole host of local community groups, partner agencies and charities so that we can continue our community safety activities and help spread the RNLI key safety messages to as wide an audience as posssible.

 

Our team raised £1,000 with the help of an awesome local Kent County Councillor, Margate Mayor and other local charitable groups towards the running and equipment costs for Swim Safe. Incase you haven’t heard of Swim Safe, it is swimming lessons and water safety awareness in the sea for children aged 7-14 years run inconjuction with Swim England and the RNLI.

Pictured above is our ‘selfie frame’, this was the very 1st outing at the Turner and Pooch Dog Event on 30th September at the Turner Contemporary in Margate.

So, to conclude we have come along way in twelve months and we are looking at making 2019 an even better year. If you would like to find out more about our work then why not follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or check out our blogs which are published weekly during the Summer and monthy during the Winter. Thanks for reading and following our work, until next time take care.

Roundup of September’s Lifeboat calls in Thanet

So, apologies for the lack of blog entries recently, I’ve been pretty busy what with several RNLI community events, my day job and spending two days working at the Southampton Boat Show on the RNLI’s Safety stand which will be subject to another later blog.

I thought I would give an insight into the recent work of the isle’s lifeboats (Ramsgate and Margate). There has been quite few people flocking to the coast due largely to the warm weather that we have been experiencing. The fantastic lifeguards have now finished for the season and therefore we have been reminding everyone to be that extra special careful as there isn’t the extra layer of beach safety cover available.

Round-up of recent lifeboat calls:

Monday 17th September – Approx 10:00hrs Margate ILB rescued two persons in the water between Reculver and Minnis Bay. 2nd call of the day this time for Margate’s AWB to a vessel which had broken down North of Margate which was towed to Ramsgate Harbour.

Sunday 16th September – Ramsgate ILB launched to an inflatable containing children blowing off Broadstairs. The ILB successfully located the inflatable and and conveyed the children safely back to shore.

Wednesday 12th September – Ramsgate ILB launched to 2 kayakers in difficulty off the main beach. On scene the ILB found the Cross Atlantic rowing boat practicing and in no difficulty. 2nd call of the day again for the ILB launched to a report of 6 persons cut off by the tide at Stone Bay. Whilst the ILB was making its way to Stone Bay they received a message that the 6 persons had made their own way out of difficulty.

Monday 10th September 01:13hrs Ramsgate ILB launched at the request of UK Coastguard to a report of a person in the water behind Wetherspoons, in a state of distress. The ILB carried out a shoreline search until stood down by UK Coastguard, when the person was reported to be safely ashore.

Wednesday 5th September 08:33hrs Ramsgate’s AWB launched to a Personal Location Beacon (PLB) with a reported position near the Thanet Offshore Windfarm. AWB made its way to the reported position, but before arriving on scene to carry out a search, a Windfarm vessel that was in the area retrieved the PLB from the water.

Sunday 2nd September 20:37hrs Ramsgate’s ILB was launched to a person in the water behind Wetherspoons. On scene the ILB stood by whilst the person decided was spoken with by Emergency Services. The person eventually decided to make their own way back to shore, where a police officer was waiting.

Sunday 2nd September – Approx 0900hrs – Margate’s AWB was called out to assist with the tow of a yacht with engine failure 7 miles West of Margate and drifting into shallow water off Reculver Towers. The yacht was towed to the safety of Ramsgate harbour.

Saturday 1st September – 22:34hrs Ramsgate’s ILB launched to a report of a person in difficulty at Viking Bay. Whilst making their way to Viking Bay, person was located ashore and ILB stood-down.

Saturday 1st September – Margate’s ILB was launched to an 18’ angling dinghy with engine problems around three miles off Westgate-on-Sea. Vessel was towed to its launching site.

Full acknowledgements to Ramsgate and Margate RNLI stations for use of their Facebook posts. For more information check out the respective RNLI station Facebook pages.

It’s been a busy Summer so far!

Swim Safe Team at Margate

I hope that have been able to enjoy the marvellous Summer that we have been having! The heatwave brings it’s own problems for our Lifeguards, Lifeboat Crews, HM Coastguard Rescue Teams and Community Safety Teams. They have been kept incredibly busy up and down the country being called out to a high number of people in need of assistance and also spreading the key safety messages. Some of the calls recently attended by our RNLI crews, lifeguards and Coastguard Teams have involved: tidal cut-offs, swimmers and kayackers in difficulty, weaver fish stings, yachts and fishing boats with machinery problems amongst others.  One of the vitally important projects that we have been helping to support is Swim Safe at Margate Main Sands, together with Swim Teachers and lifeguards. You can read more about this fantastic programme by checking out this link.

Reminding and Refreshing Beach visitors on Safety Tips

Our Team has been incredibly busy supporting a wide range of events across the area and also carrying out anumber of ‘pop-up’ engagement events on beaches to help share safety messaging.

L-R Coastguard Rescue Technician, Face2Face team & Community Safety at Broadstairs Water Gala

Margate Pride with the Face2Face Team

One of the incredible events that we were proud to support was Margate Pride. This is the first year that we have been able to attend and we were absolutely bowled over by the number of wonderful people we spoke with and how a large number had heard about our ‘Float Not Swim’ lifesaving technique through cinema and radio advertising. We are already looking forward to next years event!

The next event that we will attending is the National Kitesurfing Championship at Ramsgate on Saturday 18th August on the lower Promenade. So, if you are thinking of coming along to watch this awesome event, then why not pop over and come and say hello.

Future events:

Sunday 2nd September – Addington Street Revival Festival

Check out our Facebook page or Twitter to keep fully up-to-date on our future events.

More safety advice:

HM Coastguard Beach Safety

RNLI How to stay safe at the coast

Check tide times, warns RNLI after calls to help dozens in just three days!

Tide Cut Off

I hope you are enjoying this long spell of hot weather! It’s been lovely being able to sit outside and enjoy abit of al fresco dining for a change. Thinking back to the horrible winter we had to endure, we certainly deserve it!. The hot weather is certainly attracting lots of visitors to the coast, to soak up the sun,  enjoy the beach and get involved in some great water based activities. Unfortunately, last weekend our lifeboat crews, lifeguards and Coastguard teams were kept busy with two calls to people being cut off by the tide at Stone Bay and Botany Bay.

Ramsgate’s Atlantic 85 Inshore Lifeboat

Our advice is to check the tide times before you head out for your trip to the coast, to ensure that you stay safe. If you are at a lifeguarded beach, then why not go over and ask about the tide times and local safety information. It just may save someone’s life!

You can catch up on the RNLI Press Officers report detailing the incident where 50 people were cut-off by the tide at Botany Bay via this link.

Saturday also saw 8 people cut-off by the tide at Stone Bay. The Press Officers report can be found here.

Over half of the people we speak to don’t know who to call for a coastal emergency. Have a look at this video to remind you who to call. Calling the wrong emergency service will only add to the delay on starting a rescue or a search for a missing person or animal at sea. Make sure you call the Coastguard via ‘999’ everytime for any coastal emergency.

Find out more about staying safe at the coast by checking out these links:

Ramsgate RNLI website

Ramsgate RNLI Facebook page, daily tidal updates and stay up-to-date on their latest shouts

Float Not Swim safety tips

BBC Weather tide tables

Visit Thanet tidal information

Alternative tide times website

Coastguard Coastal Safety

UK Met Office tide times

Beach safety Information RNLI

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 people assisted by Margate Inshore Lifeboat after being cut off by the tide

Margate’s Inshore Lifeboat

On Saturday lunchtime, just as the sunny weekend weather and high temperatures was attracting a multitude of visitors onto the lovely Thanet sandy beaches, Margate Lifeboat crews pagers were activated by the UK Coastguard. Requesting them to launch their Inshore Lifeboat (ILB) to three people cut off by the tide at Kingsgate Bay. Quickly arriving on scene the crew carried out the rescue of a London couple who were celebrating their 1st wedding anniversary, along with a photographer who was busy capturing the moment. After successfully completing the rescue, with the couple and photographer only having wet feet to show and being handed over to the care of the Coastguard Rescue Team, the Lifeboat crew then resumed back towards Margate.

Two women were then spotted in a similar area by the Inshore Lifeboat Crew and had walked down a nearby track and were attempting to wade through the water back towards the beach. The Lifeboat Crew advised the two women to return back the way they had walked, they heeded the advice and turned back.

A further two more persons were seen cut-off by the tide, they were taken off the rocks at which point two more adults and two children were also seen. They too were rescued off the rocks by the ILB crew. The casualties were then taken to Botany Bay where the casualties were handed over into the care of the RNLI Lifeguards and HM Coastguard Rescue Team.

Ian Lowe Deputy Luanching Authority Margate Lifeboat said; “To assist nine persons in such a short time in one area shows how easy it is to get into trouble by the water. It was a lovely day to be at the seaside, but not knowing what the tide will do leading to, an unintended spell in the water can spell disaster. The water is still cold, cold water shock can kill the unprepared long before or bring on drowning. Please seek advice before visiting the seaside from the RNLI website and use a lifeguarded beach. Lifeguards know the dangers in the area and will always give advice if asked.”

Acknowledgements to Margate RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer & DLA Ian Lowe

RNLI Advice on tides

HM Coastguard Coastal Safety advice

Tides information

Find my nearest RNLI Lifeguarded beach

Previous blog post on tides and coastal safety

 

Anglers & lifejackets

I was saddened, to hear over the weekend of the death of the angler who had been out fishing off rocks, as part of a group, at Barras Nose, Tintagel. Pirate FM reported that the gentlemen had been in the sea for 40 minutes before he was rescued by the Port Issac RNLI crew and taken to Derriford hospital where unfortunately he could not be saved.  My heartfell condolescences to the man’s family and friends. Absolutely, devastating for all those rescue crews involved too. The full report from Pirate FM is available here.

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The scene at Barras Nose, Tintagel: Pam Brophy

As the CoastSafe campaign led by Devon and Cornwall Police tweeted at the time: anglers need to change their mindset and start wearing personal floation devices (lifejackets) all the time when they are fishing. This is regardless of whether they are fishing out at sea from a boat or off the rocks.  The lifejacket poem below, which I am sure you will agree is absolutely spot on with the key message “Please Put Me On”.

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Lifejacket poem

The video below is made by the RNLI featuring Colm Plunkett, who incidentally is now an RNLI Community Safety Volunteer. It is a really powerful video which hits home the lifejacket message and the need to have a plan. The RNLI display stand at the recent ‘Ireland Angling exhibition’, carried the slogan ‘Expect The Unexpected’ – it’s definitely worth seriously considering!

Grab these 6 top tips for Shore Anglers to stay safe:

  1.   Never turn your back on the sea
  2.   Wear a lifejacket
  3.   Wear appropriate clothing & footwear
  4.   Check the weather, tides aand sea state
  5.   Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back
  6.   Carry an appropriate means of calling for help

RNLIwatersafety RNLIcommunitysafety Margatelifeboat Ramsgatelifeboat Thanetlifeguards anglers callingfforhelp ICOM margatecoastguard

Plus, 6 top tips for boat Anglers to stay safe:

  1.    Wear a lifejacket
  2.    Check the weather, tides and sea state
  3.    Tell someone where you are going
  4.    Carry an appropriate means of calling for help – VHF radio, handheld flare
  5.    Wear appropriate clothing and footwear
  6.    Keep your boats, engines and equipment well maintained.

Whichever angling you like to get involved in, please heed the safety advice. Thank you for reading my blog.  More advice on how to stay safe whilst angling can be found here.

Full acknowledgements to Pirate FM, RNLI, Colm Plunkett, CoastSafe Campaign & Pam Brothy.