HM Coastguard remind divers to stop! Beware of decompression sickness

After two divers suffered decompression sickness this afternoon following rapid ascents, HM Coastguard would like to remind all divers of the importance of regular stops as they come to the surface.

Although separate incidents, both divers were treated and had to be rushed to hyperbaric chambers. H.M Coastguard advises that dives requiring decompression stops should be planned beforehand and taken. Any diver who has missed planned decompression stops could suffer from decompression illness.

Divers are also advised to make sure they are adequately qualified and experienced for the diving they plan to undertake, with a close eye on weather and sea conditions. Their personal fitness is a top priority for safe diving and they should be familiar with new or different gear before planning deep dives. If you are operating a dive boat check do a radio check with the Coastguard before heading out tell the Coastguard your planned destination and expected return time. If one of your divers has a problem contact the Coastguard straightaway. Read more on the MCA website…

Investors urged to keep pressure on firms to prepare for climate change

Less than half of major UK companies have plans in place to protect them from climate change even though over 80 per cent of businesses say climate change is a substantial risk to them, new research commissioned by DeFRA has found. Less than half of major UK companies have plans in place to protect them from climate change even though over 80 per cent of businesses say climate change is a substantial risk to them, new research commissioned by DeFRA has found.

Environment Minister Lord Taylor has today called on investors and shareholders to keep the pressure on their business interests to prepare for climate change so they can achieve long-term growth. The research, carried out on behalf of DeFRA by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), found that while 80 per cent of FTSE 100 companies surveyed identified substantial risks to their business from climate change, only 46 per cent said they have included adaptation plans in their business strategies. Read more on the DEFRA website…

Well Done Frank! Frank Skinner Makes a splash for sport relief

Frank Skinner has conquered his lifelong fear of water, by swimming 25 metres as part of his ‘Frank Skinner Dipping Challenge’ for Sport Relief.

The comedian put himself to the ultimate test, undergoing eight weeks of physical and psychological training to help him overcome his phobia to be able to take on the challenge. Entering the pool at Barnet Copthall Leisure Centre at 10:16am today, Frank was cheered on by a very supportive audience including Adrian Chiles, Clare Balding and Karen Pickering.

Halfway through the swim, Frank swallowed water and began to panic. He said: “Towards the end I had one of my little panics that I often have – but I could hear the crowd and I just thought ‘no, no, I can’t stop now’ and I kept going. I was half drowning, half choking -It was a good advert for terror!”

However, despite a tense start, Frank managed to complete the swim in his first attempt and was greeted at the sidelines by Karen and trainer, David Tatler, with a congratulatory hug.

Upon completing the challenge, Frank said: “I’m absolutely knocked out. I’m so relieved and excited. I lay in bed last night thinking about all the different ways I wouldn’t finish that length. I want someone to learn to swim because of this. I know it looked really tough and frightening but I’ve had a good laugh and it will stay with me forever.”


Read more on the Swimming.org website…

Watch Frank learning to swim on Youtube…

Frank Skinner completes his Dipping Challenge for Sport Relief 2012…

 

Show how much you ‘Love’ your river

The ‘Love Your River’ campaign is being launched and backed by DeFRA, the National Trust, the Environment Agency, the Wildlife Trusts, Keep Britain Tidy, water companies and Waterwise, to promote the value and benefits of our rivers to our everyday life. The need to protect our rivers has become more urgent in light of droughts being declared in various parts of the country, with some of southern Yorkshire joining the list of drought affected areas today.

  • The campaign will concentrate on the issues that affect rivers and encourage people to think about:
  • How the water we use in our homes or businesses affects the water in our local river;
  • How the pollutants we dump down our drains harms our local water;
  • The fact that there is likely to be less water available for people and businesses in the future and the knock-on effect this will have on the natural world around the river; and
  • How we could get by with less in the event of drought measures in our areas.

Read more on the Defra website…

More illegal cocklers target Dee Estuary

Environment Agency Wales is warning that illegal cockling on the Dee Estuary is on the rise, as the 2011 Dee Cockle Fishery annual report is released. Licensed cocklers on the Dee may be celebrating one of their most successful years on the fishery, but the Agency reports that the number of prosecutions against illegal cocklers has soared. This last year alone, the Agency has brought about 12 prosecutions of illegal cockling and suspended 15 licences. As a result of enforcement operations undertaken by the Agency, it is estimated that approximately 20 tonnes of illegal cockles were seized. Read more on the Environmental Agency website… 

Water company fined for offences at sewage treatment works

South West Water has been ordered to pay £11,406 in fines and costs for discharging poor quality effluent into a Devon river. The case was brought by the Environment Agency. The water company’s sewage works at Lee Mill near Plymouth receives and treats sewage from homes and businesses in the surrounding area. Treated effluent is discharged into the River Yealm, an important fishery for salmon and sea trout. There is also a shellfishery further downstream.

The effluent, which undergoes biological treatment, must be of a certain quality before it is discharged from the treatment works. The precise standard is laid down in the Environment Agency permit for the site. Levels of ammonia, suspended solids and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) must be kept within certain limits to minimise any impact on the environment.

Over a 12 month period from January 28, 2011 samples of treated final effluent at Lee Mill exceeded permitted levels on five occasions and were found to be of an unacceptable standard. These breaches included samples containing excessive biochemical oxygen demand and suspended solids.

‘Operators of sewage treatment works must make every effort to remain compliant with their permits. This is especially important where effluent is discharged into catchments like the River Yealm that hold important numbers of salmon and sea trout. These fish are more susceptible to pollution and need much cleaner water than other species,’ said Ted Pritchard for the Environment Agency. Appearing before Plymouth magistrates, South West Water of Peninsula House, Rydon Lane, Exeter was fined a total of £10,000 and ordered to pay £1,406 costs after pleading guilty to five offences of breaching a condition of its permit at Lee Mill sewage treatment works contrary to Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010. The case was heard on March 19, 2012. Read the full story on the Environment Agency website…

It’s not too late to do your bit for Sport Relief

Over a million people took to the streets on Sunday 25 March to run a mile for Sport Relief, but it’s not too late to do your bit, as in just a month’s time you can take part in the first ever swimming mile for Sport Relief too!

Raising money for Sport Relief – Simply sign up to take part in the Big Splash Mile for Sport Relief, taking place at 650 pools across the country from 27 to 29 April as part of the Swimathon Weekend. It’s your chance to do something amazing by raising funds for projects across the world’s poorest countries. The money you raise could provide swimming lessons to children in Bangladesh where 50 children die every day during the monsoon season. Read more on the Swimming.org website…

Sign up for the Big Splash Mile for Sport Relief as part of the It’s part of the Swimathon weekend which starts on 27th April 2012…

Bangladesh Sport Relief video on Youtube highlights the problem

Fifty children a day die due to drowning in Bangladesh. Help support a project which teaches children to swim, a valuable skill that saves lives. The money you donate to support Sport Relief will help people living unimaginably tough lives, both on your doorstep in the UK, and across the world’s poorest countries. Watch the Bangladesh Sport Relief video on Youtube… 

UK beaches blighted by balloons and discarded bags of dog poo

Marine Conservation Society is concerned by rise in bagged excrement despite overall fall in amount of shore litter. Dog poo wrapped in plastic bags discarded by careless owners has emerged as one of the biggest single threats to the health and safety of beach visitors, a marine conservation charity has warned.

The finding is in the latest beach litter data collected by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) last year and published on Thursday in its Beachwatch Big Weekend Report. The charity says the volume of dog excrement in bags left on UK beaches rose 11% between 2010 and 2011. MCS Beachwatch officer Lauren Davis says “Leaving a bag full of poo on the beach will result in preserved excrement, protected from the elements for years by a bag which could take a long time to break down.” Read the article on the Guardian’s website…

See how you can help keep Britain’s beaches clean, on the Marine Conservation Society’s website…