RNLI joins forces with emergency services in Scotland

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI is teaming up with Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), HM Coastguard and Police Scotland to offer potentially lifesaving water safety and rescue training to employees at establishments along the River Nith in Dumfries.

RNLI/Ray Cunningham

RNLI in collaboration with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service

The charity’s Waterside Responder initiative has proven to be a success in other areas of country and is being rolled out across Dumfries and Galloway to promote water safety.

Staff from various businesses, such as restaurants, pubs and shops, along the River Nith are being offered training by the RNLI and SFRS on the dangers that cold water poses to their customers, providing them with the knowledge and equipment to help rescue people safely.

The scheme will teach these employees how to use a throw bag and what to do when people get into distress in or next to the water. The potentially lifesaving throw bags, a 20-metre float line used to pull a casualty to safety, will be supplied to these establishments.

Recently, the charity has been delivering sessions for members of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, who will then also help to pass on the charity’s training and messages to these waterside businesses.

Ray Cunningham, Water Safety Delivery Support Scotland, said: ‘This partnership approach to water safety has allowed us to work with the emergency services to deliver a Waterside Responder course to key businesses in Dumfries along the River Nith.

‘Staff at these venues will now be better prepared to respond to incidents in the Nith. They are the ones most likely to be there when the risk of accident is most prevalent. It could be someone taking a seemingly innocent swim and suffering cold water shock, or it could be through an accident where someone never intended to be in the water.

‘The idea is that these businesses will be able to encourage good behaviour in these environments by giving the public knowledge and advice as well as assisting if someone did get into difficulty.’

If you spot someone in difficulty in the water, you should not enter the water yourself. Dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard and try to reassure the casualty by calling out to them and informing them to stay calm and float on their back.


Notes to editors

· The following businesses located near the River Nith have been trained by the RNLI and SFRS so far: Levanti, Knox Sports, Tourist Information, The Worlds End, The Bank Bar and Tapas, Coach & Horses Bar.

RNLI media contacts

For more information contact Claire Thomson, RNLI Media Engagement Placement for Scotland, 07929 673286, [email protected]

Natasha Bennett, RNLI Regional Media Officer for Scotland, 07826 900639, [email protected] or Martin Macnamara, RNLI Regional Media Manager for Scotland, 07920 365929, [email protected]

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 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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.