When was the last time that you checked your lifejacket? Are you aware that a significant number of lifejackets that we checked recently had out-of-date firing mechanism’s and or corroded gas bottles. Why not pop along to our free Lifejacket Clinic on Saturday 12th October at Margate Lifeboat Station. Where you can get your jacket checked and at the same time receive safety advice about which ‘calling for help’ device to carry, book your very own free ‘Advice on Board’ session and much more. Lifejacket clinic’s also enjoy support from GJW Direct who is one of the RNLI’s commercial partners.
*Please note that 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.
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.
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:
After week’s of careful planning and organising, the date Wednesday 23rd May, was soon upon us. This signalled the all important national launch of the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign. I was fortunate to be able attend the South East region launch at Margate, which I had helped to plan and organise. Respect the Water incase you haven’t heard of it, is the RNLI’s branding for it’s safety campaign, which uses the ‘float not swim’ principle amongst it’s main safety messages. The ‘float not swim’ technique saved seven people’s lives in 2017 from drowning. These survivors stories can be found on the brand new Respect the Water website which is now live.
The Margate launch involved a detailed briefing delivered by Guy Addington (RNLI South East Community Safety Partner) to the whole host of key community partners, who will be instrumental in helping to spread the key safety messages. The launch was also featured on Wednesday’s ITV Meridian’s evening news programme.
I promised last week after a conversation with one of the Margate Yacht Club members to write a blog about RNLI pagers. Well, as you can see from the photograph below, here it is. The pager is what some RNLI crew call their umbilical cord, basically attached to you wherever you go or whatever you are doing. If you go to bed, it’s on the bedside table next to your clothes and car keys which are ready to go incase you get a shout in the middle of the night!
So, how does the pager work? If you are old enough like me, you may remember pagers that you could hire or buy so that friends, work colleagues or relatives to get hold of you even if you weren’t near a phone. Basically, a very small electronic receiver encased in a plastic box which will receive a electronic signal that will convert into an audible tone and or visual message. Before the pager was introduced the lifeboat crews were alerted via maroons and a phone call from the Coxswain during the night time period.
Who sets the pagers off?
The UK Coastguard will receive an emergency call via the ‘999’ system from a member of the public indicating that someone or an animal is in the sea and needs assistance. The call could also originate from someone out at sea who has called ‘Mayday’ on their VHF radio channel 16 who is in trouble or has observed someone else in need of help. The Coastguard will then send a ‘launch request’ to the appropriate RNLI station. The RNLI station Launch Authority will then call the Coastguard asking for details. The launch authority will decide what happens eg ‘launch all boats’, ‘launch inshore boat’, ‘launch all-weather boat’ or ‘launch none’. The Coastguard will then page the appropriate lifeboat crew, who will make their way to the station as quickly as possible and kit up on arrival. The lifeboat crew will be selected and will receive a briefing from the Coxswain/helmsmen/hovercraft commander. The boat(s) will then be launched with the assistance of the shore crew.
So, that’s a very brief overview of what happens, of course the process can vary depending on location.
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