From time to time we are asked the question….. “are lifejacket crotch straps really necessary?”
- How to choose the right lifejacket for you
- Complete guide to lifejackets
- Our top 10 lifejacket checks
- Anglers and lifejackets
- Calling for help devices
It was our pleasure to attend Margate Lifeboat Station on Saturday (12th October) to conduct a lifejacket clinic at the invitation of the Lifeboat Operation’s Manager (LOM) Mr Paul Hodson. Our team are always keen to undertake lifejacket clinic’s and this was no exception. As this is an invaluable way of helping sailors keep safe by carrying out a series of checks on their lifejackets and also passing on other maritime safey advice.
Amongst the lifejackets checked one revealed a loose cannister. For a lifejacket to effectively operate the cannister/cylinder must be hand tight and this jacket would not have operated correctly if the wearer had ended up in the water and needed it in an emergency situation. We also say to all people who attend our clinic’s that a strobe light is highly recommended, as well as a spray hood. A recent example of how effective a strobe light can be in an emergency was during a rescue off the Dover coast. The full account of this rescue is included here
You can find out more about how to carry out lifejacket checks by checking out our blog “Top 10 Lifejacket Checks Which Could Save Your Life”.
We would like to pass on our sincere thanks to the Margate Lifeboat Operation’s Manager for inviting us to the station to carry out the clinic and to our team for giving up their time on Saturday.
Lifejacket inspections can be undertaken during an advice on board session, at a lifejacket clinic or on an ad-hoc basis when chatting at events. If you are interested in our team visiting you to check your lifejackets why not drop us an email: Andrew_Mills@RNLI.org.uk
An inspection by an RNLI Community Safety Advisor is not the equivalent of a lifejacket service. Lifejackets should be serviced by an approved service agent.
Other useful links
Aumber of our team enjoyed a great lifejacket familarisation session this evening (Thursday 27th Sept). Not only is it vital to refresh and revise knowledge about key lifesaving equipment, but there is always new developments to keep abreast of. One of the items which the team discussed was the successful rescue of a casualty off Dover who was wearing a lifejacket and a strobe light which was picked up by the HM Coastguard helicopter. More information on the rescue involving RNLI and HM Coastguard teams
The rescue footage is shown below in the twitter link
Thank you to everyone who attended. Our next free lifejacket clinic is taking place on Sat 12th October at Margate Lifeboat Station.
Lifejackets. They're called lifesaving for a reason. It's why this man was found by our Coastguard helicopter – look at that tiny light flashing in the midst of a stormy sea. As the crew said: 'Without that light, it's doubtful we would have found him. It saved his life.' pic.twitter.com/AAtGSgDU2o
— Maritime and Coastguard Agency (@MCA_media) September 25, 2019
Our team are excited to be attending Walmer Lifeboat Station Open Day on Saturday 22nd June to undertake a lifejacket clinic. This is part of our support for the Royal Lifesaving Society Drowning Prevention Week 14th-24th June.
More information on how to look after your lifejacket and to ensure that it works when it is needed
On Thursday 12th July, at around 2.25pm HM Coastguard was alerted to an incident whereby two men had been thrown from a speedboat which then continued and hit the seawall at Minnis Bay, Margate. RNLI Lifeguards, Margate Inshore Lifeboat, Coastguard Rescue Team and Kent Police were called to the scene. Lifeguards rescued two men from the water who had been wearing lifejackets, but not a killcord.
This blog post is all about urging all water activity users to wear lifejackets or personal bouyancy aids. You may have read about the rescue recently undertaken by Whitstable’s Inshore Lifeboat, with the help of Margate’s All Weather Lifeboat. The full report of the rescue can be found by visiting Whitstable Station’s website page.
The two gentlemen who were rescued by the Inshore Lifeboat crew had been in the water for two and a half hours, hanging onto their up-turned craft. Luckily, the position of the dingy was easily found thanks to a passing yacht. It is imperative to wear a lifejacket whenever you go out onto the water and carry a means of calling for help. You can find out all sorts of top-tips on how to look after your lifejacket by checking out one of our previous blog posts or going to the RNLI website. RNLI Community Safety teams around the coast run lifejacket clinics, to check over jackets and to advise sailers/yatchtsmen/anglers on whether they need attention or maintenance.
If you are wondering whether your lifejacket is ok to use, then why not have a look at this top tips blog. If you are still unsure then pop our team a quick message and we will be happy to advise. In the case of the two gentlemen rescued recently, they were very lucky. On another day, with no passing craft and more severe weather conditions the outcome could have been a whole lot worse. So, if you are an angler, yachtsmen/women, sailer, kaycker, canoeist or fishermen please wear your lifejacket when you are on the water and carry a means of calling for help. You should be checking your lifejacket at least once a year, by following our top tips check list. If you are unsure there are a whole host of companies that will service your lifejacket for you.
More information on calling for help devices for kayckers
How to Call for Help
Float Not Swim – RNLI campaign
RNLI Safety stand at the Volvo Ocean village, Cardiff Bay
Apologies for not posting last week, but I was over in the lovely city of Cardiff. You may wonder how an RNLI Community Safety Officer covering East Kent ended up in Cardiff? Well, Cardiff was the venue for Volvo Ocean Race. This race fleet started last October from Alicante in Spain on a race around the world, taking in 12 cities. For the very first time in its history the race stopped off in Cardiff between 27th May to 10th June. This year, Wales is celebrating the Year of the Sea – the RNLI were selected as host city community partners for the Cardiff stopover. That is where I came in, by volunteering to help staff the RNLI stand in the ocean village in Cardiff Bay, to share our key safety messages amongst sailers and other visitors.
It was great to meet lots of visitors to chat to about the RNLI’s safety tips. Find out more about sailing top tips by visiting this link. It was also fabulous to meet the awesome RNLI volunteers and staff from across the UK, putting faces to names who I had corresponded with via email or chatted to on social media. It was an absolute privilege and I am very proud to be involved in such an event and I can’t wait for the next opportunity to represent the RNLI.
Guests of Helly Hansen being briefed prior to their trip round a Tamar All Weather Lifeboat
My top 6 links about the exciting Ocean Volvo race:
Sky Ocean Plastic #PassOnplastic
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.
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”.
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:
Plus, 6 top tips for boat Anglers to stay safe:
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.