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 Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.
Learn more about the RNLI
Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries
Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.
The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland