Whitstable RNLI with Kent Fire and Rescue run Water Safety Training Course

Lifeboats News Release

Representatives from several Whitstable waterside businesses took part in a water safety throw bag training session at Whitstable Lifeboat Station on Friday afternoon.

Participants from various Whitstable businesses and organizations with Chris Phipps of Kent Fire and Rescues Water Safety Unit and Whitstable Lifeboat's Andy Mayo during the throw bag training session held at Whitstable Lifeboat Station on Friday.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Participants from various Whitstable businesses and organizations with Chris Phipps of Kent Fire and Rescues Water Safety Unit and Whitstable Lifeboat's Andy Mayo during the throw bag training session held at Whitstable Lifeboat Station on Friday.

The one-hour course, held in conjunction with the Kent Fire and Rescue Water Safety Unit, was run by Andy Mayo, Community Sea Safety Officer at Whitstable Lifeboat Station, assisted by Chris Phipps of Kent Fire and Rescue and members of the lifeboat crew.

Said Andy, “around 400 people drown each year, either in the sea, rivers or lakes, and if we can train people to act as first responders to a potential drowning incident then hopefully we can go some way to reducing that number. To help facilitate this, we have distributed a number of throw bags to waterside businesses around the harbour and seafront”.

“Our short course on Friday was the first in a series of throw line training sessions we will be holding. We considered the various things to be aware of when deploying a throw bag or line and the deployment techniques that first responders can use in a situation involving a casualty in the water”.

“Naturally, we included matters relating to their own safety and that before attempting a rescue to dial 999 and call the emergency services”.

“The course covered the selection of a site to deploy a throw bag, and to land a casualty, the correct stance and types of throw, such as over arm, under arm, side arm or drop bag, and also the timing of a throw and aim, for instance in a current, downstream from the casualty in case you miss”.

“We also gave advice on communication with the casualty, throwing again in the event of a miss, landing a casualty and first aid advice on how to deal with someone who has been immersed in, or swallowed, water whilst awaiting the arrival of emergency services”.

“The RNLI will provide throw bags free of charge to any waterside business or organisation and we hope that the short training session has equipped those who took part with the confidence, skills and knowledge to respond to an emergency situation and, as being involved in such a situation can be traumatic, how to look after themselves and colleagues following the event”.

“If representatives of any business, club or organisation near to water in the area covered by Whitstable Lifeboat would like to be involved in a training session and be supplied with a throw bag, then please contact me at andy_mayo@rnli.org.uk

Notes to editors

Whitstable RNLI Lifeboat Station was established in 1963 by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and is one of 237 lifeboat stations around the shores of the UK and Ireland. The volunteer crews provide a maritime search and rescue service for the Kent coast. They cover the area between the Kingsferry Bridge on the Swale, in the west, around the south-eastern side of Sheppey and along the coast through Whitstable and Herne Bay to Reculver in the east and outwards into the Thames Estuary.

The station is equipped with an Atlantic 85 lifeboat named Lewisco, purchased through a bequest of a Miss Lewis of London who passed away in 2006.

She is what is known as a rigid inflatable inshore lifeboat, the boat’s rigid hull being topped by an inflatable sponson. She carries a crew of four people.

RNLI media contacts

  • Chris Davey, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Whitstable Lifeboat Station.
    07741 012004/ nativephoto@hotmail.com



  • Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer London/southeast/east Tel: 0207 6207416 Mob: (07785) 296252 Paul_Dunt@rnli.org.u

  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789


Jo Youll of Whitstable Dreams Beach Hut Rental and Chris Phipps of Kent Fire and Rescues Water Safety Unit during the throw bag training session held at Whitstable Lifeboat Station on Friday.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Jo Youll of Whitstable Dreams Beach Hut Rental and Chris Phipps of Kent Fire and Rescues Water Safety Unit during the throw bag training session held at Whitstable Lifeboat Station on Friday.
Charlotte Perriss, Community Warden for Whitstable and Seasalter attended the throw bag training session held at Whitstable Lifeboat Station on Friday.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Charlotte Perriss, Community Warden for Whitstable and Seasalter attended the throw bag training session held at Whitstable Lifeboat Station on Friday.
Whitstable Lifeboat's Craig Sidders and Stuart Enderby watch Jackie May deploy a throwline during the throw bag training session held at Whitstable Lifeboat Station on Friday.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Whitstable Lifeboat's Craig Sidders and Stuart Enderby watch Jackie May deploy a throwline during the throw bag training session held at Whitstable Lifeboat Station on Friday.
Whitstable Lifeboat's Oz Warren instructs David Sullivan of the Creating Life Savers charity in the use of a throw line during the throw bag training session held at Whitstable Lifeboat Station on Friday.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Whitstable Lifeboat's Oz Warren instructs David Sullivan of the Creating Life Savers charity in the use of a throw line during the throw bag training session held at Whitstable Lifeboat Station on Friday.
Steve Randall of the Harbour Market deploys a throw bag during the training session held at Whitstable Lifeboat Station on Friday.

RNLI/Chris Davey

Steve Randall of the Harbour Market deploys a throw bag during the training session held at Whitstable Lifeboat Station on Friday.

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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 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.

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