Free RNLI Coastal & Sea Safety Advice - Onboard & Ashore
Alan Doe - Bembridge Lifeboat Coastal Safety Officer
Tel: 07775 900244
Safety advice for coastal visitors during COVID-19 outbreak
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is urging anyone planning a visit to the coast this weekend to stay safe and not take any unnecessary risks.
Given the current COVID-19 outbreak and the importance of social distancing and avoiding non-essential contact with others, coastal areas may be seen as providing an opportunity to enjoy fresh air and exercise while adhering to the government’s guidance. However, our coastal areas can also present dangers of their own. The RNLI is asking people to ensure they follow essential water safety advice.
Please take the time to take note of signage at the entrances of beaches advising of the local hazards, check tide times to avoid being cut off and to check weather conditions before setting out as these can change quickly. If you see someone in difficulty, or you get into difficulty yourself, please call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.
More safety advice can be found at www.rnli.org/safety
Guy Addington, RNLI Water Safety Lead for the South East and London, said:
‘Our beaches coastal areas may see an increase in visitors in the days and weeks to come, so we’re urging everyone to follow our advice and stay safe.
‘Whether you’re fishing, surfing, kayaking, sailing or just going for a walk, we’re asking people to be extra responsible and to avoid taking unnecessary risks to themselves and others which could put unnecessary pressure on front line services:
Take care if walking near cliffs - know your route
Check tide times daily
If going afloat, carry a means for calling for help and always wear a lifejacket
Check your equipment is in good working order
Be aware of the conditions and your capabilities and only enter the water if it is safe to do so.
‘During these unprecedented times, we have taken steps to close our lifeboat stations and shops to the public. However RNLI lifeboats and stations remain fully operational and we will still launch to those in peril on the sea.
‘As with all public places we’d encourage people to follow guidelines provided by the government to maintain a two-metre distance, follow good hygiene practices and avoid mass gatherings.’
RNLI Coastal Safety Advice
Saving Lives Starts Here
Every year lifeboats respond to incidents, which could have been prevented and loss of life avoided with simple safety precautions.
When you are out on the water, anything can happen. How well will you cope in an emergency? Whether you are an experienced enthusiast or a novice, the Safety Advisors can help you avoid getting into difficulty
Our mission being to 'prevent avoidable loss of life at sea' by changing attitudes and behaviours towards ensuring you have quality advice that is up to date and relevant to your enjoyment of the sea.
The best way is planning and although there are many ways to stay safe, here are our 6 top tips.
1 WEAR A FUNCTIONAL LIFEJACKET
Boating can be extremely unpredictable. If you find yourself in the water, a correctly fitted and functional lifejacket could be your lifesaver! Why not pop into one of our 'lifejacket clinics' where we will check them for you free of charge - did you know we find at least one in twelve will fail! (2013 stats)
2 CHECK YOUR ENGINE AND FUEL
When was your engine last serviced? Are you sure it will get you home? Always check you have enough fuel for the trip and always carry reserve fuel.
3 TELL OTHERS WHERE YOU ARE GOING
Tell someone ashore where you are going and when you’ll be back. They will raise the alarm if you are overdue.
4 HOW WILL YOU CALL FOR HELP IN AN EMERGENCY?
How will you call for help in an emergency? VHF is best because you are broadcasting to the marine community on the water who may be listening to your call. Mobile phones are an option but you may not get adequate reception at sea and the person you are calling may not be able to answer. Flares are essential too.
5 CHECK WEATHER AND TIDES
Before you head out, always check forecasts and tide times. Ask for details at your local Harbour Office to make sure it’s safe to go.
There is no substitute for specific training to meet your boating needs.
We would like to offer you a completely free, friendly and confidential service that looks at the safety aspects involved with your boat. It is a personal face-to-face chat about safety equipment and procedures, and takes the form either on your boat or ashore at a time and place to suit you.
We can also offer presentations/demonstrations to clubs and or groups of individuals on subjects such as lifejackets and flares.
The RNLI has also produced Sea Safety –The Complete Guide, a free guide containing vital information and advice aimed at helping you to enjoy the sea safely. It can also be downloaded at http://completeguide.rnli.org/
For your free copy call 0800 328 0600, visit www.rnli.org.uk/seasafety or call at Bembridge Lifeboat Station.
You can arrange a chat to any sea safety issue by contacting me on 07775 900244 or Alan_Doe@rnli.org.uk. Don’t forget it’s all free and it can be arranged where or when is most convenient to you and in the extreme, could save your life!
Bembridge Lifeboat Coastal Safety Officer (CSO)
Post Script - it has recently (July 2018) been announced that the HM Coastguard voluntary CG66 Safety Identification scheme is being replaced by the free RYA Safetrx app. For more details click this link.
How To Videos
Over the past couple of months the Community Safety team at Poole have a been working on a series of ‘How To’ safety films and now live and ready to go.
The How To films that have been made are as follows, with the YouTube link to the film next to each title:
- How to check and maintain your lifejacket: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kEf5cOe5Zg
- How to fit you lifejacket: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mY7IBaRNJ90
- How to fit and check your buoyancy aid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ty2azcWoP4
- How to fit crotch straps and why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOYHC-wz6OM
- How to call for help at the coast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lz9_ALWWJ0
The safety pages on the RNLI website are currently in the process of being updated and once this is done you will also see a few of these videos feature in our sailing and motor boating, angling and kayaking pages.