Thanet RNLI Community Safety

How To Enjoy A Fabulous & Safe Time At The Coast This Summer – Our Ultimate Guide

How To Enjoy A Fabulous & Safe Time At The Coast This Summer – Our Ultimate Guide

Just recently we’ve been very fortunate to enjoy some really nice weather and higher temperatures. Hurrah I hear you say!  This has resulted in large numbers of people flocking to the beach to soak up the sun and enjoy the seaside.

The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), along with the HM Coastguard and all the Volunteer Beach Wardens who are helping to keep our beaches safe during COVID-19 want everyone to have a fabulous time, but to take on board some simple safety advice which will enable you to enjoy a safe time too.

Inflatables

You may have read some of the media reports that the RNLI have rescued countless people on inflatables so far this year who have drifted out to sea.  Two young people were safely rescued off Botany Bay, Broadstairs in July 2019. Our advice about taking inflatables to the coast is that they are meant for the pool and not the sea.  If you do use them in the sea follow this advice:

  • Children should be supervised at all times by an adult
  • Inflatables should be kept close to the shoreline
  • Inflatables should only be used between the red and yellow flags on a lifeguarded beach
  • Never use an inflatable in big waves
  • Never use an inflatable when the orange windsock is flying as this indicates off-shore winds that will blow the inflatable out to sea
  • Always follow the advice of a lifeguard
  • Whenever you take to the sea we recommend that you and your children wear a suitable lifejacket or buoyancy aid. This will provide the necessary flotation should the inflatable suffer a puncture or similar

Float to Live

Enjoying a great swim in the sea is a fantastic way to relax and enjoy some exercise. However, if you do find yourself in difficulty or fall into the water unexpectedly remember to ‘Float to Live’ and watch this short video which could help save your life.

Cold Water Shock

Have you heard of ‘cold water shock’?  This video will give you some lifesaving advice about ‘cold water shock’.   Some tips to help you survive cold water shock include:

  • Take a minute. The initial effects of cold water pass in less than a minute so don’t try to swim straight away
  • Relax and float on your back to catch your breath. Try to get hold of something that will help you float
  • Keep calm then call for help or swim for safety if you’re able

Beach Safety

Taking alittle time before you set up for the day to think about the five safety tips above will help you enjoy an enjoyable time.  Lifeguards are frequently notified of missing children so having a plan incase a child goes missing is really worthwhile.  Children’s waterproof wrist bands which carry their parents/guardians mobile telephone contact number are available from the Lifeguards at most beaches.  Due to the COVID-19 situation the only beaches which are patrolled by RNLI lifeguards in Thanet are Viking Bay, Broadstairs and Margate Main Sands.

Knowing who to call in the event of hearing or seeing a person or animal in the water in difficulty or at the coast is so important. Over half the people we speak to during our events don’t know to dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ and ask for the Coastguard.  Asking for another emergency service could waste vital minutes in getting specialist search and rescue teams; and the correct equipment to the scene quickly.  More information on knowing who to call in a coastal emergency

Cut-Off by the tide

Around Thanet we are very lucky to have some beautiful coastline which is fabulous for walking and exploring.  Similar to other parts of the UK, some of this coastline (Dumpton Gap, Stone Bay and environs, Botany Bay and Kingsgate Bay) gets cut-off by the in-coming tide and every year people have to be rescued by lifeguards and lifeboat crews.  Getting cut-off by the tide is pretty easy to do unless you take some precautions:

  • Check the weather and tide times via tides near me app 
  • Carry a means of calling for help eg fully charged mobile phone in a waterproof case
  • Let someone know where you are going and the latest time you will return
  • Wear the right clothing and equipment for the activity
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times and take noice of hazard warning signs
  • If you should hear or see an animal or person in difficulty in the water or at the coast dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ straight away and ask for the Coastguard every second counts
  • If you do get cut-off by the tide don’t enter the water, but dial ‘999’ ask for the Coastguard
  • If you fall into the water unexpectedly float on your back and follow the float to live principles

Don’t Drink and Drown

If you are enjoying a drink whilst at the coast make sure you take onboard the safety advice mentioned above.  Mixing swimming and alcohol could have dire consquences.  Find out more about the Don’t Drink and Drown campaign

John Homer one of our team’s most experienced Community Safety Advisors said “we hope everyone has an excellent time at the beach and the weather stays warm. Please take some time to think about the safety advice and have a plan if things go wrong. In 2019 two young people who were swept out to sea on an inflatable at Botany Bay knew how to ‘float to live’ definitely saved their lives”.

Other useful links

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

Find your nearest lifeguarded beach

Why inflatables are not designed for the beach

It’s hot out there – what to do if you get into difficulty

Acknowledgements

RNLI

Thanet’s RNLI Community Safety Team are making waves with this year’s Royal Lifesaving Societies Drowning Prevention Week campaign

Thanet’s RNLI Community Safety Team are making waves with this year’s Royal Lifesaving Societies Drowning Prevention Week campaign

The Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team will be taking part in a UK and Ireland-wide effort, when it takes part in Drowning Prevention Week 2020, in a bid to help families stay water-safe during and after lockdown.

 

Due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19, we now know that the usual level of service provided by rescue and lifeguard services are not going to be possible in 2020. Personal water safety is more important than ever before, to save lives.

The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), fears that families will flock to beaches and inland water locations this summer, without considering the potential dangers, putting themselves and others at risk.

In a bid to ensure families in Thanet and visitors to the area know how to keep themselves and others safe our team will be supporting RLSS UK’s annual Drowning Prevention Week campaign, this year running from 12-19 June.

lifebuoy RNLICommunitySafety Lifeboats RNLI ThanetRNLICommunitySafety RoSPA Bewateraware Respectthewater

RLSS UK launched the campaign seven years ago as a way of focusing the UK’s attention on the importance of water safety, during one focal week of activities. A wide range of free, downloadable resources have been produced to help supporters promote water safety through schools, leisure centres, swimming clubs, community ventures and businesses.

 

The Charity hopes that through the campaign, the UK and Ireland will see a reduction in the statistics that see approximately 700 people losing their lives to drowning every year – that’s one every 12 hours. Many more suffer injury, sometimes lifechanging, following a water related incident.

inflatables DPW Royallifesavingsociety Respectthewater RNLICommunitysafety RNLIwatersafety RNLIseasafety Thanetlifeguards beachsafety margatelifeboat Ramsgatelifeboat

Our team is proud to play its part in trying to reduce this figure, and ensuring there isn’t a rise in fatalities because of the current situation. Our team will be sharing images and content via their social media platforms throughout the campaign week.

Andy Mills (Thanet RNLI Community Safety) said: “It is so important to remind people to stay safe and take personal responsibility near water, especially during these unprecedent times. We are only too happy to be involved with the RLSS’ Drowning Prevention Week.

“Most people are surprised to learn that you are more likely to die from drowning in the UK, than you are from being hit by a car or in a domestic fire. We urge as many people as possible to take advantage of our on-line material and learn what could be potentially lifesaving skills”.

 

Other useful links

Royal Lifesaving Society – Drowning Prevention Campaign

RNLI Respect the Water

How to Float to Live

tidetimes respectthewater RNLI watersafety drowningprevention RLSS ROSPA DumptonGap BotanyBay KingsgateBay StoneBay Coastguard 999 Thanet Broadstairs Margate Ramsgate

Broadstairs Water Gala resounding success

Broadstairs Water Gala is such a magnificent event showcasing everything that is great about the British seaside including Punch and Judy, Teddy Bear Picnic, Sea Shanties, Walkabout characters to name a few.  The programme of events is truly fantastic and is testamont to the hardwork and dedication of the volunteers and the organisations that help support the event year in year out.  Since the 1970’s Ramsgate Lifeboats have also attended the event and the tradition has continued ever since.

Our Community Safety Team are always very happy to support community events and the Water Gala is no exception. We were also joined by the great fundraising team who raise much needed funds to help keep the RNLI carrying out it’s lifesaving work, the Education Team and Face 2 Face team.  Both the Inshore and All Weather Lifeboats also moored up on the harbour, but unfortunately were unable to show visitors around the boat due to the sea being too rough.

Ramsgate Mayor Raushan Ara (centre) pictured with John Homer (left) and Ian Lockyer (right), beside our Community Safety Stand Water Gala Day

What was really interesting to note that the majority of young people we chatted to during the day had heard about the RNLI’s Float to Live lifesaving concept (float on your back if you fall into the water unexpectedly or get into difficulty).  This was very poignant as two young people who had been swept out to sea on an inflatable earlier in the week off Foreness Point who had been rescued by lifeboat and lifeguards. The young people had been told about the ‘Float to Live’ drill only a couple of days before by one of the RNLI Face 2 Face teams and remembered it. This was really great to hear that the ‘Float to Live’ concept was used in a lifesaving situation by these young people.

Our Safety Selfie frame was put to good use with the Ramsgate RNLI Press Officer Karen Cox and the Ramsgate Mayor Raushan Ara.

A thoroughly valuable day supporting the magnificent Water Gala and at the same time sharing the key safety messages which will help keep the community and visitors safe at the coast.

Picture credit: Karen Cox – RNLI Ramsgate Press Officer (All Weather Lifeboat)

Other useful links:

How to book Swim Safe – free swiming lessons at Margate main sands

How to float to live

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

A Busy Day of Lifesaving Demonstrations in East Kent

Dave Bennett (pictured left)

On Saturday 22nd June, Dave Bennett, one of our Community Safety Team and who is also Chairman/ Trainer/ Level 2 Coach at Broadstairs Lifesaving Club organised a stand for the charity at the Thanet Roadrunners AC annual Harbour Wallbanger race.  Every year the race donates some of its proceeds to local charities.  Last year some of the proceeds were given to  Broadstairs Lifesaving Club and contributed to some lifesaving equipment for the charity.

To show their thanks and raise awareness of what they do, Dave and his team gave demonstrations of their lifesaving work and equipment and to say thank you to Thanet Roadrunners for their generous donation the previous year.

Several runners at the Thanet Athletic Club Harbour Wallbanger race trying the stretcher out

It was a busy day for Dave as he also found time to help the RNLI Community Safety Stand at the Walmer Lifeboat Open Day as part of their support for Drowning Prevention Week.

Well done, Dave and thanks for all your hard work.

For more details about Broadstairs, Lifesaving Club visit their website at https://sites.google.com/site/broadstairssurflifesavingclub/home

Picture credits: Broadstairs Surf Lifesaving Club

Drowning Prevention Week stand at ‘Viking Bay’ Broadstairs
Our Drowning Prevention Week stand all set up at Viking Bay, Broadstairs

Viking Bay, Broadstairs was the location of our Drowning Prevention week Pop-Up stand on Saturday (15th June).  The Drowning Prevention week was created by the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) which aims to reduce the number of drowning and near drowning incidents that occur in the UK every year, by showing people how to be safe and have fun near water. The campaign encourages schools, clubs, leisure centres and communities, to promote water safety education through events, lessons, games and activities, in a bid to make people more aware of the dangers of water.

Viking Bay, Broadstairs – one of Thanet’s lovely beaches which affords lifeguard cover during the Summer

Our team hugely enjoyed talking to visitors to Viking Bay about a whole host of water safety topics including : inflatables are not for use at the coast, how to ‘float to live’ if you fall into the water, know to call the HM Coastguard if you hear or see a person or animal in difficulty in the water, free swimming lessons for children at Margate during the Summer, lifejacket checks, personal locator beacons, not to enter the water if your dog gets into difficulty and how to Respect the Water. John Homer one of our teams Community Safety Advisors said “our Drowning Prevention stand at Viking Bay proved really popular speaking with over three hundred people and we would like to thank everyone who stopped by to chat about how to stay safe near water”.

One of our lovely doggie visitors enjoying the ‘selfie frame’

Find out Cameron Gosling’s story

HM Coastguard advice on the use of inflatables at the coast

Drowning Prevention Week 14th – 24th June
One of our Water Safety Stand’s at Gravesend Gurdwara

Friday (14th June) marks the start of Drowning Prevention Week.  This has been created by the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) will see a deluge of water safety activity flood the UK and Ireland from 14 – 24 June, 2019.

The national campaign aims to ensure everyone knows how to have fun and stay safe near water, and a host of free resources have been produced to help supporters promote water safety.

In 2018 two hundred and sixty three people died from accidental drowning, males make up two hundred and thirty fatalities.  Source : National Water Safety Forum

One of our team addressing a coach party on water safety at Margate main sands

Our team are hugely proud to play it’s part in trying to reduce this figure and will be holding a Pop-Up Water Safety stand on Saturday 15th June at Viking Bay, Broadstairs from 10:00am onwards.

Andy Mills one of the Thanet Community Safety Volunteers said “It is so important to remind people to stay safe near water, especially at this high-risk time of year. We are only only to happy to be involved with Drowning Prevention Week”.

RLSS UK’s Director of Education, Mike Dunn, said: “Most people are surprised to learn that you are more likely to die from drowning than you are from being hit by a car or in a fire. We urge as many people as possible to take advantage of the pop-up stand run by the local Community Safety Team and learn what could be potentially lifesaving skills. We thank the Thanet Team for getting involved with the campaign, and for helping people learn the skills they need to stay safe and enjoy the water”.

More information on the Drowning Prevention Week

HM Coastguard beach and water safety

RNLI Respect the Water

Find out where are RNLI lifeguarded beaches

Sign up to the awesome Thanet RNLI Newsletter

Don’t Drink and Drown campaign 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

Visiting the coast whilst on holiday – know what to do in a coastal emergency?

Visiting the coast whilst on holiday, a short break or just for the day is always a great opportunity to unwind and spend quality time with friends and or the family. Maybe you will take in a bracing coastal walk, take part in some form of water activity or out on the water? Sometimes whilst on holiday people will take risks around water which they wouldn’t normally do. Follow our top 10 tips to enable you to have a safe, but enjoyable time:

  1. Consider signing up for some training before undertaking any form of activity on the water from a recognised training provider
  2. Wear a buoyancy aid or properly serviced lifejacket
  3. Always carry a means of ‘calling for help’ eg mobile phone even if you walking along the coast or a VHF radio in a waterproof case if you are out on the water with flares and a Personal Locator Beacon
  4. Check the weather and tide times before you venture out
  5. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and heed local hazard warning signs
  6. If you should see or hear an animal or person in difficulty at the coast or in the water call ‘999’ and ask for the Coastguard giving an accurate location
  7. Download the SafeTrx App and use it to keep safe whilst swimming, kayacking, sailing or diving
  8. Always supervise your children when they are in the water
  9. Use a lifeguarded beach where possible
  10. If you do find yourself in the water unexpectedly always float to live

This blog is part of our commitment to supporting the National Fire Chief’s Drowning Prevention campaign week. Always check out all the #BeWaterAware social media postings for more safety advice.

Always be aware of your surroundings and local hazard warning signs
Half the people that accidentally drown never intended on entering the water!
RNLICommunitysafety RNLIWatersafety Bebeachsafe Dogwalking Thanetcoastguard Margatelifeboat ramsgatelifeboat RNLIVolunteers
Doggie’s enjoying the lovely beach – but would you enter the water if your dog got into difficulty?

Statistics reveal that half of people who accidentally drown in the UK never intended to enter the water. It is a fact that they were running, walking, fishing or cycling near water that put them at risk of drowning. So, Day Two of the National Fire Chief’s National Drowning Prevention Week focuses on those everyday activities that we all enjoy going out for a walk, run, cycle or angling. In 2017, 255 people died after slipping, tripping, falling or simply underestimating the risks associated with being near water. If you do end up in the water always float to live.

Coastal runners
The HM Coastguard, RNLI and UK Fire Service’s attend calls each year to people that have entered the water in an attempt to rescue their dog either at the coast or at inland waterways. Unfortunately, in some cases the owner enters the water and loses their life and the dog self-rescues. Advice from the HM Coastguard is not to enter the water if you are in any doubt that your dog is in difficulty, but to dial ‘999’ ask for the Coastguard. If you are inland call ‘999’ and ask for the Fire Service.
Getting cut off by the tide!

Ramsgate’s Atlantic 85 Inshore Lifeboat

This blog highlight’s the importance of checking the tides before you embark on a lovely walk along the coastline. East Kent Lifeboat crews are regularly called out to persons getting cut-off by the tide at Dumpton Gap, close to Broadstairs.

Handing out doggie treats and safety leaflets at Dumpton Gap

Everyone enjoy’s a walk along the coast, taking in the sea air and spending time with their friends and loved one’s.  Here are just two examples of how lifeboat crews were called to people who were cut-off by the tide: a lady and her two daughters were cut-off by the tide and rescued by the crew of Ramsgate’s Inshore lifeboat (ILB) with Margate’s ILB who were on exercise at the time, who stood-by for support. The full report can be found via Ramsgate RNLI’s Facebook page.  The second incident took place when Ramsgate’s ILB was launched to a report of a lady and a dog cut off by the tide.  Arriving on scene, the lifeboat crew were informed via the Coastguard that the lady and her dog had managed to get ashore and were safe and well. The lady, a local person, also reportedly a strong swimmer reported that she had never seen the tide come in as fast before. Both incidents could have turned out much worse, we want everyone to enjoy their trip to the coast. Please share the important safety messages we have discussed in this blog and follow the top tips below:

Our top 5 tips on how to stay safe at the coast

    How to call the Coastguard

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Our Top 5 web links on how to stay safe whilst at the coast

    Ramsgate tides can be found here.

    Tide times twitter feeds

    More information on staying safe whilst at the coast via the RNLI website

    UK Coastguard safety information website

    UK Tides – mobile phone ap via UK Play for Android