RNLI lifeguard patrols finish for Summer the season

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The RNLI is advising people to take care around the South West coastline this autumn as lifeguard cover officially comes to an end on Sunday (30 September).

As lifeguards prepare to pack up for the winter, the charity will maintain patrols at weekends and half term in October on the region’s 12 busiest beaches. This weekend (Sunday 30 September) sees the official end of the RNLI lifeguard season in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Jersey. Lifeguard cover will continue on 12 of the busiest beaches across the region during weekends in October and throughout the school half term break. These beaches include Praa Sands, Gwithian, Porthmeor, Porthtowan, Perranporth, Polzeath, Widemouth and Summerleaze in Cornwall and Bantham, Croyde and Woolacombe in Devon.
For the second year running Fistral will have full time cover during October and will also be patrolled during weekends in November by volunteer lifeguards.
RNLI Lifeguard Inspector Steve Instance says;

“This year has been another busy season for RNLI lifeguards on beaches around the south west as the teams have dealt with a range of incidents from major and minor first aids, lost children, and numerous rescues of people in difficulty in the water. Thanks to additional funding from local authorities and private beach owners, the charity is again able to extend the lifeguard season into October on a selection of beaches providing safety cover for those looking to prolong the summer season and enjoy the favourable surf conditions that autumn brings. We encourage people heading to the coast at weekends and during half term to visit these beaches where the charity’s lifesavers will be on hand to keep people safe, offering useful advice to help prevent accidents and a rapid reaction if something does go wrong”.

The charity’s volunteer RNLI lifeboat crews remain on call 24 hours a day ready to respond to anyone in difficulty around the coast.

It is essential that people are aware of the dangers and know how to look after themselves in the water to prevent incidents.
We’d recommend that people take note of the safety signage at the entrance to the beach, always go with a friend or tell someone on the shore where they are going and be aware of the conditions and their own capabilities in the water.

If water users should find themselves in difficulty they should keep hold of their surf or bodyboard as it’ll help keep them afloat. Walkers should also find out about the local tide times and avoid visiting more remote parts of the shoreline when the tide is coming in.
More beach safety advice can be found at www.rnli.org.uk 

Two new MAIB investigations begun

An investigation was launched following the sinking of the fishing vessel Sarah Jayne with the loss of one life off Brixham on 11 September. In another accident a small ferry with six passengers onboard sank in Loch Lomond on 19 September. All passengers and the crewman were rescued. MAIB inspectors were deployed to both scenes to gather evidence and interview those involved.

RNLI Memorial in Poole has 28 lifesavers names added

The names of 28 people who lost their lives saving others at sea have been added to the RNLI memorial at the charity’s headquarters in Dorset. The memorial, first unveiled in Poole in 2009, originally carried the names of 778 RNLI lifesavers who died at sea. Additional names were found through further research and friends and family telling the stories of loved ones. They include Lyme Regis’s John Gerrard, killed in 1861, and Weymouth’s Cdr J R Pennington Legh, who died in 1944.
RNLI chief executive Paul Boissier said the memorial at the home of the RNLI “is designed to be a beacon of hope”.

New Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) Regulations 2012

The Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) Regulations 2012 came into force on 31 July 2012. The new Regulations contain some minor procedural changes to its predecessor but are primarily designed to transpose into UK legislation the requirements of Directive 2009/18/EC which introduce common standards for the investigation of marine accidents across the European Economic Area. The Regulations were subject to a focused consultation conducted in January and February 2012. The MAIB would like to thank all those who contributed to this consultation process. The new Regulations and a response paper detailing the results of the consultation are available below.
ARI Regulations 2012 (309kb)
Consultation Response Paper (35kb)

Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre closes

Forth Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, (MRCC), will close on 28 September. There will be no reduction in front line rescue resources, which remain unaffected by the modernisation of HM Coastguard. The Coastguard Rescue Service will continue to provide coastal search and rescue, the search and rescue helicopters and RNLI Lifeboats will also continue to be available for maritime search and rescue operations.
In November 2011 the Government announced the new structure for the nationally networked Coastguard Service which will become fully operational in early 2015. When Forth MRCC closes this week, Aberdeen MRCC will assume responsibility for this part of the coastline and sea.
Sir Alan Massey, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said,

“Safety is our top priority and I am confident that HM Coastguard will maintain the same high quality search and rescue service as they always have done”.

By 2015, HM Coastguards new network will be operational with a national Maritime Operations Centre at its core. We will deliver a more resilient search and rescue coordination service for the UK, taking full advantage of modern communications technology and enabling any centre to support others across the network during busy periods, thus sharing the work load. Read more on the MCA website…

RNLI reveals advanced lifeboat that will save 1,500 lives

Today (Tuesday 25 September) the RNLI will reveal its latest and most advanced class of lifeboat that will shape the future of lifesaving for the next 50 years – the Shannon class. The Shannon is the first modern RNLI all-weather lifeboat to be powered by water jets, not propellers, and capable of 25 knots the Shannon is 50% faster than the lifeboats it replaces – ensuring that those in need are reached even faster. The charity will need to build over 50 new Shannons within the next ten years to replace the older classes of lifeboat. Once the newly designed Shannon class is rolled out, all RNLI all-weather lifeboats will be capable of 25 knots.

Surf’s up! Jersey school children take to the waves with RNLI lifeguards

School children on Jersey headed to the beach with RNLI lifeguards this summer to learn vital lessons about how to keep themselves safe in the surf. A total of 170 children from four schools took part in the charity’s unique Hit the Surf scheme which was delivered on Jersey for the first time this year. The programme sees RNLI lifeguards give surf safety sessions to youngsters aged between 7 and 11 – combining theory and practical lessons, which aim to make the children more capable and confident in the water.

Dave Gorman, the RNLI Lifeguard Manager who runs the programme, says:

“We were delighted to introduce the Hit the Surf programme to schools on Jersey. Hit the Surf is a fun and active programme for the children to get involved in but it also carries some very important messages about how to stay safe in the surf and what to do should they find themselves in difficulty”.

Roads and rail hit by flooding, communities urged to be prepared for further disruption

The Environment Agency is warning communities across England and Wales to remain vigilant and alert for flooding as heavy rain is set to continue today and into Tuesday. Heavy rain overnight in the south west of England caused travel disruption and resulted in 14 flood warnings and 46 alerts across Devon and Somerset, and 4 flood warning and 14 flood alerts across the Midlands. Read more on the Environment Agency website… For Flood warnings in your area go to http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/31618.aspx

Are there new swimmers at your club or pool?

The ASA would like to know if in your opinion your swimming pool or club has experienced an increase in enquiries and new members. London 2012 promised to deliver a genuine and lasting sports legacy, inspiring a generation to get active and join their local sport club. The Games certainly sparked an exciting and optimistic atmosphere in London and throughout the country, sparked by the success of Team GB who showed us that if you believe enough and work hard enough, anything is possible. So, has your facility or club seen an increase in people coming through the doors? Are there families enquiring how their little ones can become the next Tom Daley or Ellie Simmonds? The ASA would like to know if in your opinion whether your swimming pool or club has experienced an increase in enquiries and new members.
Complete this short survey and let us know how London 2012 has created a legacy in your pool.

Communities urged to prepare for flooding as heavy rain hits Britain

The Environment Agency is warning residents and emergency responders across England and Wales to prepare for an increased risk of flooding over the next two days. The Met Office is forecasting up to 80 mm (three inches) of rain for parts of the south west, south east, Midlands and north east over the next 48 hours. Warnings are likely to be issued for river and surface water flooding. People in the south west and south east are urged to prepare for possible flooding before going to bed tonight. Significant disruption, including disruption to travel and flooding of properties and communities, is possible. Strong winds will increase the risk of flooding as wind-blown debris has the potential to block watercourses and drains.   Read more on the Environment Agency website…
For Flood warnings in your area go to http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/31618.aspx