RNLI and Broads safety partners offer lifesaving training to Norwich venues
RNLI community safety experts, Broadsbeat, Broads Authority and Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service will carry out training at River Wensum, near the Riverside Entertainment complex and the Lady Julian Bridge on Tuesday 19 June.
The training is part of the community responder scheme launched in April to help prevent people drowning around rivers and waterways across the Broads. It is taking place in the same area of two recent incidents involving people getting into trouble in the water.
Staff from pubs, clubs and restaurants in the area will be trained on the dangers that cold water poses to their customers and provide them with the knowledge and equipment to help rescue people safely.
They will learn how to use a throw bag and what to do when people get into distress in or near the water. The potentially lifesaving throw bags, a 20m floating line used to pull a casualty to safety, can be supplied to venues at key locations across the region.
Nick Ayers, RNLI Community Safety Partner, said: ‘Research found that around a quarter of all adult drowning victims have alcohol in their bloodstream. We know that this is a risk to people in the region, suffering from cold water shock when they didn’t intend to be in the water. This training scheme aims to raise awareness of these dangers and ultimately help save a life. We encourage venues to sign up and make sure their customers are in safe hands as they’re enjoying their down time in pubs and restaurants this summer, just search “RNLI throw bag training” to find out more.’
Councillor Margaret Dewsbury, Chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Communities Committee, added: ‘Our fire service is all too often called to water-related incidents and works hard to deliver safety messages around water safety to people of all ages. We are delighted to be involved in this ongoing project which will train people in local businesses to know how to help in emergency situations.’
PC Paul Bassham, from Norfolk Constabulary’s Broadsbeat Marine Unit, said: ‘Broadsbeat is pleased to be support this important project which will help promote water safety. It is great to see more licensed premises on the Broads network getting involved in the campaign to ensure that the thousands of visitors to our beautiful waterways every year can return home safely.’
The RNLI is appealing for other venues, managers and staff at pubs, bars and restaurants across the Broads area to take part in the training. Sign up here today: www.rnli.org/pages/throw-bag-training.
The initiative supports the RNLI’s annual national drowning prevention campaign, Respect the Water. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the potential dangers of the water and take steps to minimise the risk of being in or near water. It is part of the charity’s drive to halve the number of accidental coastal deaths by 2024.
The RNLI is urging people to remember this basic safety information:
· People who fall into cold water follow the same instinct, to gasp, thrash about and swim hard. But this is the worst thing to do – it increases chances of water entering your lungs and increases strain on your heart.
· If you fall into cold water, fight your instinct to swim hard. Instead just float until you can regain control of your breathing before then trying to swim to safety or call for help. You’ll have a far better chance of staying alive.
· If you see someone else in trouble in the water, fight the instinct to go in yourself. Call 999 or 112. If you are at the coast, ask for the coastguard. If you are inland by a river or waterway, ask for the police.
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.