Originating from the RNLI’s ‘Respect the Water’ campaign, #Respect The Water was launched by the National Water Safety Forum in July 2022 as a national campaign to provide life saving advice for those in danger in or close to the water.It runs throughout the year but with a focus on the busy spring and summer months, complimenting and amplifying a number of national water safety campaign weeks. It aims to provide life saving advice for those in danger in, on or close to the water.
Original RNLI Respect the Water Campaign
Respect the Water was an RNLI campaign, started in 2017, that aimed to halve the average number of yearly coastal fatalities (around 190 at that time), by 2024. That target did not include inland fatalities or those resulting from suicide or crime. The RNLI aimed to make it a nationally recognised water safety campaign in the UK and Republic of Ireland. The MNABC, became involved when the RNLI stated its intention to extend the scheme to include inland water ways as well. Further information can be found here: https://rnli.org/safety/respect-the-water
Advice Onboard (AOB) An AOB visit entails an open discussion with any boat user (sailing, kayaking, angling etc.) on how to use safety equipment, how to maintain it and how to plan for things that might go wrong out at sea. These visits take place wherever the users boat happens to be – a harbour, marina, boatyard or on the back of their trailer at home. Lifejacket Clinics A lifejacket clinic can happen at a variety of locations, harbours and boat clubs. It provides users with a chance to bring their lifejackets along and for us to demonstrate how they should be worn, have them checked for faults, and what should be routinely checked on an on-going basis.. Over the years, on average, we find that 30% of inflatable lifejackets (automatic and manual) would not have worked if the wearer accidentally fell into the water. The cause of these failures is easily identified and often remedied. Calling For Help’ Interactive discussion on emergency alerting This presentation is supported with a broad range of emergency alerting equipment including Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRB’s), Personal Locator Beacons (PLB’s), Marine Band VHF Radio’s, Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) Search & Rescue Transponders (SARTS), Distress Flares and Strobe lights etc. Man Overboard (MOB) When asked about their experience of safety incidents, 1 in 8 people said that they had gone overboard while sailing a yacht. Why not arrange an interactive talk for your club to discuss the issues surrounding Man Overboard, its prevention and their recovery. An interactive presentation of about an hour’s duration on the cause, prevention, spotting and recovery of a Man Overboard for both yachts and motor cruisers. HF SRC Refresher About 1 hour duration – a reminder of the fundamentals of using VHF Marine Radio for Distress, Urgency and Safety calling. It includes a short fun quiz and is fully interactive with the audience Sea Survival Refresher About 1 hour duration - the theory of using lifejackets, life rafts, flares, VHF, PLB’s & EPIRBS, lifeboat and helicopter rescue. How to manoeuvre a boat to a casualty in the water.
Water Safety Teams
Every lifeboat station has a complementary Water Safety Team involved in the design and implementation of a Community Lifesaving Plan. Each plan identifies the most popular water activities within a community so that relevant water safety advice can be given to those most at risk. As such, this is an ideal volunteer role for someone with an understanding of marine-based and waterside activity in the local area. Water Safety Officer Each Water Safety Team is led by a Water Safety Officer whose job is to oversee the preparation of the local Community Lifesaving Plan and to help and coordinate the Water Safety Advisers. Water Safety Advisers
Water Safety Advisers use their knowledge of local water activities, communication and people skills to deliver RNLI water safety advice to members of the community. They provide advice and guidance on a variety of safety topics including:
Cold Water Shock - RNLI Advice
There have recently been several incidents of people getting in trouble in when undertaking cold water swimming. This has become increasingly popular over the last year or two with it reportedly being very good for boosting your immune system, giving you a natural high, improving your circulation, burning calories, reducing stress, socialising, and making new friends and helping those who suffer with depression. All positive but you need to do it safely. One of the bigger dangers is COLD WATER SHOCK. The RNLI offer some good advice on how to undertake the exercise and reduce the dangers. The RNLI’s key safety advice for taking a winter dip is: Don’t swim alone – always go with someone else to a familiar spot Always check the weather forecast, including tide information and wave height If in doubt, stay out – there is always another day to go for a swim Take plenty of warm clothes for before and after your dip, along with a hot drink or a hot water bottle to help you warm up again when you come out of the water Wearing a wetsuit will help increase your buoyancy and reduce the chances of suffering cold water shock Be seen – wear a brightly coloured swim cap and consider using a tow float Acclimatise to the water temperature slowly – never jump straight in Stay in your depth and know your limits If you get into trouble, remember FLOAT to live by leaning back in the water, extending your arms and legs, and resisting the urge to thrash around to gain control of your breathing Take a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch If you or someone else is in trouble, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. We would strongly recommend the tow float as it is something to hold on to if you have problems and much easier to spot from ashore than just a head bobbing in the water. On The Broads you are actually required to have a tow float when swimming.
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Cold Water Shock - Further Information
An article in Time Out Worldwide emphasises the danger of cold water swimming: https://tinyurl.com/2chwjray Oliver Munson from RNLI Water Safety Delivery Support (South West) draws attention to the following articles warning of the dangers associated with cold water swimming: From The Guardian newspaper 9th January 2023: https://tinyurl.com/28qmwppc Women's Hour on Radio 4 had a doctor talking about cold water swimming. It's less than 10 minutes long but was really interesting, If you all get a chance it's worth having a listen. The feature on swimming runs from 28:26 (28 minutes, 26 seconds in) until 36:16 - https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m001gx5g
National Water Safety Forum #Respect the Water Campaign
For more information visit the following websites: National Water Safety Forum: https://www.nationalwatersafety.org.uk/respectthewater Respect the Water: https://respectthewater.com/
Its key messages are: If you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live. Lean back and use your arms and legs to help you float, then get control of your breathing before calling for help or swimming to safety. If you see someone else in trouble in the water call 999 or 112. If you are on the coast ask the coastguard, if you are inland ask for the fire service.
Merchant Navy Association Boat Club