Ramsgate RNLI work as one team to spread their water safety message.
On a rainy, cold evening in January, Ramsgate RNLI Water Safety Team shared their knowledge with students completing their RYA ( Royal Yachting Association )Day Skipper navigation courses.
The twenty four mature students and three of their tutors from the Royal Temple Yacht Club in Ramsgate were welcomed to the station by Neil Morgan, a volunteer RNLI lifeboat crew, who is in charge of Community Water Safety for Ramsgate Lifeboat station, and his volunteer team.
His team was supported by the wider RNLI team, including two other volunteer crew, and representatives from the Ramsgate RNLI management team.
As part of their syllabus the students are examined on different aspects of water safety, including how to identify if a life jacket is safe, how to fight a fire onboard a ship, and how to use flares safely.
This was a perfect match for the RNLI Water Safety Team as this is very much their area of expertise. The students were split into three groups and were taken onboard the All Weather Lifeboat to be instructed on fire safety, then given a demonstration on how to identify problems with life jackets ,how to use and dispose of flares and how to deal with cold water shock and float to survive.
Afterwards one student from each group took part in a fun activity, putting on a full RNLI wet weather suit, life jacket, boots and helmet against the clock. Although this caused much amusement, they were impressed to learn that from the moment the pagers go off, to the crew arriving at station, then fully suited leaving on the boats, the duration is only ten minutes. They were even more impressed when they realised they were all volunteers.Our volunteer shop manager and staff had created a pop up shop in the station so they were able to purchase a memento of their evening.
Andrew Beaumont-Hope, Head of the Navigation School at the RTYC said, ‘We are so grateful to Ramsgate RNLI for giving up their time on a cold evening and allowing our students to have some hands on experience which is the best way to teach water safety. For some of them, this was their first introduction to the RNLI and they felt privileged to have been allowed onboard the boat, and to meet these courageous people who volunteer to save lives at sea.’
Neil Morgan said ‘ This is the first time we have done something on this scale at the station, and we were delighted with the reception our messages received. It was lovely to be able to work as One Crew, with different parts of the organisation working together. If any other local Navigation Schools or organisations are interested in holding similar events then please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] ‘
Karen Cox Volunteer LPO Email [email protected] Tel 07779848431.
Paul Dunt RNLI Regional Media Officer London and South East Emil [email protected] Tel 07785296252.
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.
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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.