St Ives RNLI host water safety day
The St Ives RNLI and other local water user organisations came together on 20 April to create a fun and informative day in order to increase public awareness and promote personal responsibility when on or near the water.
The aim of the charity-funded day was to provide the general public with practical information and advice on how to stay safe and secure whilst enjoying the local waters.
Last Thursday, local families along with visitors as far away as Perth in Western Australia packed the St Ives RNLI lifeboat station where crew members and other exhibitors offered a wide range of practical ideas on staying safe on or near the water.
The St Ives RNLI was supported by RNLI lifeguards, Harbour masters, members of the Coastguard Cliff and Rescue, Coastal Watch, Wave Project and other St Ives bay water sports clubs.
A great day was had by all, with the key message of the day being prevention rather than rescue.
Adults and children enjoyed interaction with the RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew and lifeguards. Children particularly enjoyed posing with RNLI helmets and life jackets whilst on the inshore lifeboat and on the lifeguard rescue jet ski.
Katy from the Cornwall Wave Project, a charity aimed at helping young people improve their confidence and reduce anxiety through surfing, stated that the day was 'invaluable and brilliant to be part of an event where we have an opportunity to chat to the general public and at the same time form connections with other local organisations. We would ultimately like to see the RNLI train our youngsters to become lifeguards'.
Diane Warren from the Hayle Canoe Club commended the merits of such an event by saying 'the most useful aspect of the day was to have conversations with people on preventative measures they should take prior to going on the water – for example, buoyancy aids and knowledge of tides and weather.' She also re emphasised the RNLI advice that 'its advisable to be with someone who has experience on the water and if you are planning a trip out to sea inform Falmouth Coastguard or, if you are staying within St.Ives Bay, use VHF channel 65 coast watch.'
The consensus of opinion of everyone involved in the day was that it was a great success and both the public and the exhibitors wanted more days like it.
The general public praised the work of the RNLI in keeping them safe but acknowledged that they have a personal responsibility to keep themselves protected from the potential risks on the local waters.
Thanks was also given to Joan Tanner and her RNLI fund raising team for providing refreshments and cakes as well as Hampson butchers of Hayle for donating pasties for all concerned.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.