RNLI New Brighton lifeboat takes part in multi-agency river exercise for schools
The RNLI volunteer crew teamed with three agencies to make children aware of dangers around water as part of National Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week on 23-29 April 2018.
Merseyside Fire & Rescue, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Merseyside Police were involved in the River Mersey water-awareness week. RNLI New Brighton lifeboat crew took part on three days, boarding ferries to show children from a number of schools how to respond when a passenger is taken ill.
Following onboard safety talks from RNLI lifeguards mid-week, around 50 youngsters from Litherland’s Hatton Hill Primary school saw first-hand how the RNLI lifeboat team works when faced with someone in difficulty. At the same time, pupils participated by phoning in the ‘emergency’ call, as well as enacting the casualty care process.
“The response from both children and adults during the day was a real highlight,”
RNLI New Brighton Lifeboat Helmsman Jim Garland said. “Boarding the ferry to attend a casualty and working alongside our RNLI Lifeguard colleagues makes the event so much more personal and special.
'The crew really enjoys contributing towards educating children and hopefully increasing their safety awareness for the future. It’s always a privilege to be involved in events such as this and we hope all those who attended got a lot out of it.'
RNLI New Brighton lifeboat, alongside Merseyside Fire & Rescue, escorted the ferry on each leg of its journey during which school parties were treated to up-close views of lifeboat manoeuvres.
The annual National Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week is a National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) initiative. As part of the National Water Safety Forum the NFCC aims to reduce the number of drownings in UK waters by 50% by 2026.
Steve Pang, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service Station Manager and Lead for Water Safety, said: 'Nearly 50% of people who accidentally drown in the UK never intended to enter the water originally, so it’s important that people of all ages are aware of the risks and action to take.'
Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service will soon be launching a Merseyside Water Safety Forum with partners including the RNLI, to progress this work.
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, in a normal year, 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.