Falmouth Lifeboat Station has a Community Water Safety Team currently consisting of 16 volunteers with a wide range of knowledge, experience and skills including Sailing, Powerboating, Powerboat Racing, Diving, Shore and boat angling.
Within these areas, each specialist volunteer is trained in the safety aspects of each sport or leisure activity and to conduct free safety ‘Advice Onboard’ (AOB) visits aboard the owner’s boat. Additional safety advice can also be delivered to individuals, families or clubs on other aspects of safety such as Calling for Help, Man Overboard (MOB), Sea Survival, Fire Prevention and Intervention by way of talks and presentations.
A regular favourite amongst groups and clubs is the Lifejacket Clinic where members bring along their lifejackets to a venue of their choice to receive practical advice and demonstrations on how to check their own equipment (See below for further information on these initiatives).
The team also has access to other specialists such as swimmers, rowers, kayakers and canoeists and kite surfers who can offer appropriate advice and guidance. All these are delivered under the banner of the RNLI’s main safety campaign of ‘Respect the Water’
What is Respect the Water?
Respect the Water is the RNLI’s national drowning prevention campaign.
Over 160 people die each year at the UK coast with a further 60 in the Republic of Ireland – around half didn’t even set out to enter the water. The casualty figures show a clear gender divide, with adult men accounting for over two-thirds of coastal deaths. So we are using a hard-hitting campaign that will reach more people than ever before. It is supported by cinema, TV and magazine advertisements and will play an important role in helping the RNLI halve coastal fatalities by 2024.
For more information on the national campaign please visit the RNLI web page here.
Under this campaign the following interventions are available free of charge on request to the station’s Community Sea Safety Officer, Chris Ruberry and bespoke presentations can often be developed to suit the needs of clubs and organisations. Each presentation or talk is supported with free publicity material and resources, in some instances including a Club Pack (details are available by email request).
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 (particularly lifejackets) and how to plan for things that might go wrong out at sea. These visits take place wherever the user’s boat happens to be – a harbour, marina, boatyard or on the back of their trailer at home. Please bear in mind that these sessions are free and completely confidential.
A lifejacket clinic can happen at a variety of locations, including marinas, harbours and boat clubs. This clinic provides users with a chance to bring their lifejackets along and for you to show them how to check for faults, how to correctly wear the jacket and what they should be doing for a monthly, and annual check. Over the years, on average, the team find that about 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.
Yachting – 1 in 8 Campaign
A total of 4,996 sailors responded to a survey run by the RNLI study team. When asked about their experience of safety incidents, 12% (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.
In July 2015 the 1 in 8 campaign was launched with adverts appearing in a variety of sailing magazines. The press adverts encourage readers to take part in a quick two-minute quiz to see if they know how to recover somebody from the water. At the end of the quiz individual advice is given depending on the answers to the questions. Some of the advice given includes arranging a free Advice Onboard session, arranging a free Lifejacket check, booking a marine radio VHF Short Range Certificate course and to contact their local sailing school to be taught how to manoeuvre a boat to a casualty in the water.
Contact the Community Water Safety Team