Future Leaders in Lifesaving training course
In August 2012, we welcomed key representatives from eight overseas lifesaving organisations, who received 2 intensive weeks of tuition on how to run effective coastal lifesaving services. We will be running the Future Leaders course again in the Summer of 2013.
We invited representatives from countries including, Senegal, Cameroon, Bangladesh, India, Uganda, Mauritius, Thailand and the Philippines. They were taken through a bespoke RNLI course, designed to equip them with essential skills to run lifesaving organisations in their home countries.
A vast range of subjects were covered, including causes of drowning, the role of a lifeguard, equipment needed to run a lifesaving service, managing incidents, practical lifesaving skills, conducting beach risk assessments, writing training programmes, and how to run safety education initiatives. All parts of the course were tailored to help participants apply what they've learned to their specific environments. The course was based at RNLI College in Poole, Dorset.
‘This has been a very wonderful and fantastic opportunity. The skills the RNLI are providing are so great for our kind of work…I will be able to push lifesaving activities further from where it has been in Uganda. The content, the people…everything has been fantastic. It is so important for us to remember that although water gives life, it can also take life away.’
Austin Andemani, Uganda
Future Leaders in Lifesaving Training Course 2012
Aquatic Survival Programme
The World Health Organisation estimates that Africa has the highest continental drowning rate in the world. Despite evidence to show the effectiveness of basic aquatic survival skills to protect against drowning, there are few suitable open-source resources available to assist in the implementation of aquatic survival programmes in Africa.
We are working with partners (Nile Swimmers, UK Sport, Royal Life Saving Society Commonwealth, Plan International, International Federation of Swimming Teachers' Associations) to produce a simple-to-use Basic Aquatic Survival training package suitable for the low-resource environment in Africa. We will work with local implementing partners to pilot the training package in a number of African countries. In doing so, we hope to identify innovative and sustainable ways of implementing an aquatic survival programme.
If you would like any further information about the Aquatic Survival Programme, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lifesaving training resources for new and developing organisations
New and developing lifesaving organisations can struggle to implement effective coastal drowning prevention strategies due to limited training and resources. Together with the International Drowning Research Centre Bangladesh (IDRC-B), we have developed a beach lifeguard course, specifically designed for use in areas where specialist equipment and facilities are unavailable. The instructor’s manual is a simple toolkit for lifeguard trainers to refer to, and accompanies a basic student manual and optional teaching aids.
Organisations and individuals are free to copy parts of the manual for teaching and learning purposes. We hope that by sharing knowledge and understanding of the beach environment and lifesaving skills we can help save more people from drowning worldwide.
Bangladesh has one of the highest drowning rates in the world, with drowning being the lead killer of children, claiming around 18,000 lives a year.
Hundreds of lives could be saved there every year now the country’s first ever lifesaving club has been set up, with our help.
Working with the International Drowning Research Centre Bangladesh, RNLI Lifeguard Trainers Darren Williams and Scott Davidson spent 2 weeks in March 2012 delivering much-needed lifesaving training to 15 Bangladeshi volunteers. The volunteers are using their newly acquired skills to run Bangladesh’s first beach lifesaving club and have already started saving lives.
The course covered crucial first steps including:
recognising when a person is in distress
understanding rescue equipment
reaching, retrieving, assessing and treating a casualty.
They also delivered a Train the Trainer course, enabling the volunteers to teach the skills they'd learned to others.
Saving and changing lives through lifeguard training
In October 2012, Darren and Scott returned to Bangladesh to oversee the delivery of training to 45 more lifeguards. The local lifeguards trained back in March led the sessions, supported by Darren and Scott, using a training manual developed by the RNLI specifically for use in countries where specialist equipment and facilities are not available.
They also taught the lifeguards how to deliver water safety education talks in schools. If the newly-trained lifeguards can give vital advice to thousands of school children, we hope hundreds more lives could be saved each year.
Representatives from Bangladesh attended the Future Leaders in Lifesaving course that we ran in August 2012 to further develop their lifesaving skills. Bangladeshi candidates will be attending this year's Future Leaders in Lifesaving course taking place in July.
Coast Guard development
We are working with the Bangladesh Coast Guard, providing guidance to help them develop an effective search and rescue training programme.
Two coast guard officers visited RNLI College in 2012 for an introduction to search and rescue training and management.
In October 2012 a team of our lifeboat trainers visited the Bangladesh Coast Guard to fully assess their training needs and provide further search and rescue training to key officials.
During the three weeks, RNLI Lifeboat Trainers David Riley, Alex Evans and Bernie Mannings gave 40 Bangladesh Coast Guard officers an introduction to the essential aspects of search and rescue coordination, before moving on to deliver in-depth training on operating all-weather lifeboats for search and rescue.
The RNLI training, comprising a mixture of classroom-based theory and at-sea practical, aimed to improve their knowledge and skills to enable them to carry out rescues more efficiently and effectively, to help save more lives. They covered search and rescue theory and co-ordination, practical search exercises and Train the Trainer skills.
The RNLI and the Swedish Sea Rescue Society jointly assessed Brazil’s search and rescue service – the Anjos do Mar (Sea Angels) – and created plans to help build it into a stronger, more effective rescue service.
After an initial assessment to determine its operational capacity and organisational structure, we gave advice to help it develop a sustainable operational platform.
We are continuing to advise Sea Angels and hope to help with rescue craft and training later in 2013.
Swim and Survive training
Volunteers in Cameroon learned essential lifesaving and swimming skills, delivered through a joint initiative between the STA (Swimming Teachers’ Association) and the RNLI.
We joined forces to deliver a Swim and Survive train the trainer project in the country, following a request from Royal Lifesaving Society Cameroon.
Ross MacLeod, RNLI Coastal Safety Programmes Manager, and Tim Doran, RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, travelled with Gary Seghers, STA Qualifications Development Manager, to deliver a five-day course covering basic first aid, resuscitation, safety in open-water environments and, of course, the technical knowledge and practical skills required to teach basic swimming and survival skills.
The aim of the course was to train local instructors, who would then deliver high-quality swimming lessons in their own communities.
Twenty-three candidates attended the course in Kribi, a popular southern coastal town. Of those who completed the course, 14 achieved the International Swimming Standards teaching qualification, while six were awarded a certificate of attendance, which entitles them to be assistant teachers who work alongside a qualified instructor. They each had to complete practical and theory tests in swimming and survival skills.
A representative from Cameroon will be attending this year's Future Leaders in Lifesaving course, taking place in July 2013.
Training and technical development
We have been working with Chinese Ministry of Transport’s Rescue and Salvage Bureau since 2003 to help them develop their rescue service.
Their fleet mainly comprises deep-sea salvage tugs but, to expand their search and rescue services, they needed smaller, shallow-draught boats. We have sold 20 former RNLI lifeboats to China, to help them meet this need.
We’re also providing ongoing training for the crew who are now operating the lifeboats, plus technical support, maintenance, feedback and recommendations.
Two members of our Lifeguards team visited Kenya in 2008 to help equip 16 local people with essential lifesaving skills as part of the Crisis Response Development Foundation’s (CRDF) maritime community project.
They spent 2 weeks at a public beach in Mombassa, where they taught a group of Kenyan people to become lifesavers.
Lifeguard training in Kenya was non-existent before our visit and their equipment was improvised – old windsurf boards became rescue boards and palm trees were used as flagpoles.
A year later, the lifeguard trainers returned to deliver Train the Trainer sessions, enabling the Kenyan lifeguards to share their skills with others and help secure the long-term future of lifeguarding in the country.
Since they received their RNLI training, the number of drownings on that beach has reduced from an average of three a month down to zero.
Representatives from Kenya attended the Future Leaders in Lifesaving course we ran in August 2012 to further develop their lifesaving skill. Candidates from Kenya will be attending this year's Future Leaders in Lifesaving course, taking place in July.
Beach safety management consultancy
Beach safety and bathing water quality are crucial for tourism on small island states like Saint Lucia. The variety of Saint Lucia’s beaches in terms of appearance, size, composition and use make them challenging to manage. Working with other key groups and agencies, we provided guidance on beach risk management, which will lead to the development of national beach safety standards for the island.
We assessed the importance of beach safety for local communities and tourism, helped set up systems to monitor water quality, and devised a way of classifying the island’s beaches according to safety features.
Saint Lucia’s government is now using our guidance in its coastal safety plans.
In December 2012, RNLI lifeguards Tim Doran and Vaughan Lawson travelled to Senegal to help develop the first dedicated lifeguard service in the capital, Dakar. They delivered two weeks of rigorous training to volunteer and full-time lifesavers, equipping them with vital knowledge and skills to help save more lives from drowning.
During the two weeks, Tim and Vaughan trained 25 volunteer and full-time lifeguards and members of the fire service, who undertook regular beach patrols, and six instructors as specialists, who will, in turn, teach lifesaving skills to others to help establish a long-term, sustainable lifesaving service.
The course covered the important first steps of lifeguarding, including recognising when a person is in distress; how to use rescue equipment; beach surveillance; risk assessments, and rescuing and treating a casualty.
Two of the Senegalese lifeguards, Idrissa Ndiaye and Moustapha Diene, had attended the Future Leaders in Lifesaving course at the RNLI’s headquarters in August 2012. This visit was the RNLI’s first to Senegal, following the training delivered to Idrissa and Moustapha in August. Tim and Vaughan assessed how the two have implemented what they learnt and helped them further develop their skills, while also training other Senegalese lifeguards for the first time.
Steve Wills, the RNLI’s International Development Manager, says:
‘Drowning is, very sadly, a common occurrence in Senegal – earlier this year, nine boys drowned off the coast of Dakar. They had been playing in the water when a current took them. There were no lifeguards around to save them. During this visit to Senegal, we have taught the lifeguards vital skills to help them set up, run and expand an effective lifesaving service and, ultimately, save more lives from drowning.’
Tim Doran, RNLI lifeguard supervisor, who was involved in delivering the training, says:
‘Last year there were 55 recorded drownings on the beaches just around Dakar. Over the course of their season, that’s around two drownings per week. It really highlights the work we’re doing here, and hopefully what we’re doing will have an impact for future seasons.’
See Tim’s video diary from the training in Senegal.
Coastal risk assessment consultancy
We have been working with Lifesaving Society Korea in South Korea to provide advice and training on coastal risk assessment. This has included setting up systems to enable them to carry out coastal risk assessments and manage any risks identified.
Training and technical support
We have been supporting Uruguay’s volunteer lifeboat service, ADES, through the sale of former lifeboats and training.
ADES is made up of volunteers operating five stations along the mouth of the River Plate. It operates all-weather lifeboats and inshore lifeboats, and is run with very little funding from government or local institutions.
In 2011 and 2012, ADES took delivery of two former Tyne class lifeboats, purchased from the RNLI to modernise their existing fleet, which included former RNLI Waveney class and Solent class lifeboats.
In 2011, two of our instructors trained the ADES crews who will be operating the lifeboats. We hope to deliver further training in Uruguay in the future.
British Virgin Islands
Two lifeboat trainers from the RNLI College spent a week in the British Virgin Islands in November 2012, delivering training to Virgin Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR) crew members.
VISAR is a voluntary organisation dedicated to saving life at sea. It is the officially recognised search and rescue service in the British Virgin Islands, where it provides 24-hour cover every day of the year in close co-operation with the Royal British Virgin Islands police, fire and ambulance services.
The trainers taught search techniques, advanced navigation, rough-weather handling, slow-speed transfers, high-speed helming, distress situations, and practical and theoretical search pattern sessions. They worked with a large number of crew members of different levels of experience - from new crew to experienced helms.