Gravesend RNLI teach lifesaving techniques to Port of London Authority staff

Lifeboats News Release

On Friday 4 August Gravesend RNLI’s Water Safety Team were invited to the PLA to deliver Waterside Responder Training to the workforce.

A lifesaving throwline bag


A lifesaving throwline bag

The PLA's operations cover 95 miles of the River Thames, from Teddington to the North Sea. They work to keep commercial and leisure users safe, protect and enhance the environment, and promote the use of the river for trade and travel.

RNLI Water Safety Officer John Robinson said: ‘Gravesend RNLI’s actually based at the PLA’s Royal Terrace Pier, so it’s the perfect setting to hold training, showcasing techniques that could help save a life.

‘The training from our volunteers included dealing with cold water shock, calling for help and practical sessions on throwing a throwline to a casualty in the water.'

Anything below 15°C is defined as cold water and can seriously affect your breathing and movement, so the risk is significant most of the year.

The sudden cooling of the skin by cold water also causes an involuntary gasp for breath. Breathing rates can change uncontrollably, sometimes increasing as much as tenfold. All these responses contribute to a feeling of panic, increasing the chance of inhaling water directly into the lungs.

John Robinson added: ‘I’d like to thank the Port of London Authority for inviting us to hold this training session and shine a light on the importance of these water safety tips and advice.’

If you enter the water unexpectedly:

  • Take a minute. The initial effects of cold water pass in less than a minute so don’t try to swim straight away.
  • Relax and Float to Live.
  • Keep calm then call for help or swim for safety if you’re able.

For further information, please contact:

Ashley Bard, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Gravesend RNLI email [email protected]

Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (London and South East), on 07785 296 252 or email [email protected]

Julie Rainey, Regional Media Manager (South East), on 07827 358 256 or email [email protected]

RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email [email protected]
RNLI volunteers teaching throwline techniques at PLA

RNLI/Ashley Bard

RNLI volunteers teaching throwline techniques at PLA

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