RNLI New Brighton lifeboat crew take part in multi-agency event for schools
RNLI volunteer crew partnered with several agencies to teach children about the dangers around water as part of National Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week between 29 April and 5 May 2019.
Supported by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service (MFRS), The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) National Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week saw a series of events across Merseyside with children from New Brighton and Hatton Hill Primary Schools taking part in an interactive RNLI segment on Mersey Ferries’ Royal Iris.
The youngsters listened to a water safety talk from RNLI lifeguards ahead of RNLI lifeboat crew attending a simulated passenger emergency on Wednesday 2 May.
Radioed by a young pupil, the RNLI lifeboat pulled alongside the moving ferry before Crew Members Mark Daly and Helen Siggins boarded the vessel to demonstrate casualty care procedures for Lifeguard-turned-casualty Ellen.
Mark Daly said: ‘As our lifeboat approached the ferry we couldn’t help but hear the terrific sound of cheers and waves from all onboard, especially the schoolchildren. We got the children involved in helping us ‘assess and treat’ our lifeguard ‘casualty’ so that they understood the need for basic first aid and water safety. The children’s knowledge was excellent and the questions they raised were superb.
'Our RNLI New Brighton volunteer crew always welcome the opportunity to take part in these types of events alongside our partner agencies. Knowing how crucial water safety messages are ahead of summer when our beaches will be packed with people, as the charity saves lives at sea, we want to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time when visiting our Merseyside coastlines.'
Members of Merseyside Police, Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and MFRS were also onboard the ferry.
Working with Merseyside Police, Southport Lifeboat, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS UK), Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Mersey Ferries, MFRS also delivered a series of briefings and demonstrations to children from local schools at the Pier Head in Liverpool as well as that on the Mersey Ferry. A number of other live demonstrations and educational events took place at various locations across Merseyside including Hoylake RNLI Lifeboat Station, the Royal Albert Dock, Southport Lifeboat Station and Carr Mill Dam in St Helens.
'The latest figures showing water-linked fatalities make shocking reading and demonstrate just how serious the risks are for people who go near to or into water', said MFRS Area Manager Guy Keen. ‘Nearly 50% of people who accidentally drown in the UK never intended to enter the water originally so it’s imperative that you are aware of the risks and take action accordingly.
'We would urge people engaging in activities near water such as running, dog walking or angling to be especially careful to stay safe. If you are involved in water sports or activities, make sure that you are well prepared, with the correct safety equipment and a good idea of weather and tidal conditions before you enter the water. If you have been for a night out, bear in mind that if you have been drinking, your judgement of risk may be affected, so take a safe route home away from water.’
The annual National Drowning Prevention and Water Safety Week is an 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.
RNLI is a member of the MFRS-formed Merseyside Water Safety Forum alongside RLSS, Merseyside Police and local authorities, forming part of a continued commitment to reduce drownings across Merseyside.
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.