New Community Safety Officer for RNLI Troon Lifeboat
Vincent McWhirter has been involved with Troon lifeboat for over 15 years as a crew member aboard the Trent class all-weather lifeboat. Alongside this role Vince has recently been appointed as the stations volunteer Community Safety Officer promoting the Respect the Water campaign in Ayrshire.
Speaking about the campaign Vince said, ‘Respect the Water is the RNLI’s national drowning prevention campaign. It highlights the risks, helps you avoid them and gives advice to keep you and your family safe. Over 190 people die each year at the coast, half of whom never even intended to get wet. We’re aiming to see numbers halved by 2024.
‘Our Community Safety Team are crucial in helping to achieve this aim by providing free education and water safety advice to all who visit the coast, from walkers to commercial fishermen.’
Each RNLI Community Safety Officer is responsible for the design, implementation and maintenance of a Community Lifesaving Plan (CLP). The plan identifies the most popular leisure activities within the local community so that relevant safety advice can be given to those most at risk.
Vince and the RNLI Community Safety Team regularly speak to local groups and organisations on the topics of water safety, cold water shock, the danger of inflatables as well as river and loch safety to emphasise the dangers around water and how to get help should an incident occur.
Lifejacket checks for those heading to sea is a regular task for the Community Safety Team. Vince says ‘Having only been a Community Safety Officer for a short time I am aware that about 70% of lifejackets checked are faulty due to bad winter storage, poor handling, low or no maintenance and often a lack of knowledge of how to look after them. Through the safety checks we find out these issues as we don’t want people to find out their lifejacket is not working properly when they are in trouble.’
Vince recently gave a talk to Prestwick Junior Youth Club (pictured) on Respect the Water campaign along with beach safety advice and the use of inflatables at the coast.
Should you wish a visit to a group or organisation from our Community Safety Team please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
RNLI Media contacts:
Andrew Limond, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Troon Lifeboat Station, 01292 314414 email@example.com
Gemma McDonald, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07826 900639, firstname.lastname@example.org
Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 01738 642986, 07920 365929, email@example.com
RNLI Press Office, 01202 336789
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.