£915,000 boost to water rescue charities

Almost £1 million has been awarded by Maritime Minister Robert Goodwill today (18 February 2016) to 51 UK charities to support water rescue services in local communities.

The government scheme gives voluntary groups crucial funding for new equipment and training to support their rescue efforts on and around inland and inshore waterways.

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The money is for the purchase of lifeboats, launch vehicles, rafts and safety gear, as well as going towards training and other costs to support lifesaving efforts.

This is the second year of the 5 year scheme. In January 2015 more than £800,000 was awarded to 21 charities across the UK.

See the full recipients at www.gov.uk

 

 

NWSF News & Updates

Boating & Watersports Participation Surges to Highest Level Since 2007
Participation rates in core boating and watersports activities surged in 2013 according to research released by by BMF, MCA, RNLI, RYA, BCU and MMO.
A total of 3.5 million adults (7.1% of the population) took to the water across a number of activities including power boating, sailing, canal boating and rowing/skulling.
This reflects an increase of 23% in the number of participants from 2012 when 2.8 million adults, took part in at least one of the activities. Within this total, canoeing and kayaking in particular proved popular, recording an all-time high of 1.5 million adults (3% of the population). Read more: http://www.britishmarine.co.uk/news__press/press_article.aspx?ArticleId=4282
Water sport safety information from the NWSF: http://www.nationalwatersafety.org.uk/professional/advice.asp

Neknominate ‘game’ leads to a false emergency call
After receiving reports from that a teenager was threatening to jump into the rough seas, Humber Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre sent the Redcar RNLI Lifeboat to Saltburn Pier. When the teams on scene couldn’t find the teenager further investigations revealed that he was at home. He had posted his intention to jump from the Pier on social media. Humber Coastguard Watch Manager Bev Allen said;
“If you have been drinking, your judgement will be impaired and you will be more likely to be overcome by the cold, dark sea. Your acceptance of the dare is highly likely to be life threatening. Alcohol is a contributory factor in a significant number of coastal drownings every year. Alcohol and sea water really don’t mix” http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/mcga07-home/newsandpublications/press-releases.htm?id=96B5848B506AE7DC&m=2&y=2014

National Watersports Month
The British Marine Federation (BMF) and strategic partners the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), British Canoe Union (BCU) and British Rowing are working together on a new initiative, to encourage the nation to get on the water this coming May.
National Watersports Month will focus on promoting events across the country providing a variety of boating and watersports activities. Sailing, windsurfing, rowing, canoeing, kayaking, inland waterway cruising events and more will be taking place – to find out more and to get involved visit: http://www.watersportsmonth.co.uk
Water sport safety information from the NWSF: http://www.nationalwatersafety.org.uk/professional/advice.asp

MAIB Safety Bulletin 1/2014 – Eshcol
Carbon monoxide poisoning on board the scallop-dredger Eshcol in Whitby, North Yorkshire resulting in two fatalities. Read the report: http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/Safety%20Bulletin%201_2014.pdf

MAIB Safety Bulletin 2/2014 – ECC Topaz
MAIB Safety Bulletin on the fire and subsequent foundering of workboat ECC Topaz 11nm east of Lowestoft on 14 January 2014, was published on 26 February 2014. http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/Safety%20Bulletin%202_2014.pdf

Accident Investigation Report 6/2014: Sirena Seaways
MAIB Report on the investigation of Sirena Seaways’s heavy contact with the berth at Harwich International Port on 22 June 2013. Download report: http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/SirenaSeaways.pdf

Accident Investigation Report 7/2014 Prospect
MAIB Report on the investigation of the fv Prospect grounding on Skibby Baas and foundering in the North entrance to Lerwick Harbour, Shetlands Islands.Read more: http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/Prospect.pdf

Accident Investigation Report 8/2014 Danio
MAIB’s investigation into the grounding of the general cargo vessel Danio in the Farne Islands nature reserve, off the east coast of England. Read more: http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources.cfm?file=/Danio.pdf

News and Updates May ’13

Fisherman Launch new film titled – Lifejacket: A Fisherman’s Friend
Two Bridlington fishermen have made a short film to encourage their fellow fishermen to wear lifejackets whilst at sea. The two minute film, entitled "Lifejacket: a fisherman's friend" is available at
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The decision to make the film came after a panel of experts concluded that 26 fishermen could still be alive today had they been wearing a lifejacket when they were involved in an incident at sea (2007-11 figures). The Fishing Industry Safety Group (FISG), were so alarmed by the new statistic that they put the idea of a short film forward to fishermen Dylan Silverwood and Christopher Stewart. They then made the film, with some help from FISG members.
"I wouldn't like to go to sea without a lifejacket", says salmon fisherman Dylan Silverwood. "When you hit the water, you start gasping like a fish, so unless you've got your lifejacket on, you could be in real difficulties. If you're a fisherman, please watch our little film and consider buying a lifejacket and using it whenever you set to sea. It really is quite easy to wear one – a lifejacket isn't heavy or cumbersome – and it could save your life."
This is the first in a series of films that fishermen will be making about buoyancy wear for different types of fishing.

Southwold Pier-to-Pub Swim: Dozens rescued from the sea
Dozens of people taking part in a charity sea swim off Suffolk had to be rescued after getting into difficulty.
More than 130 swimmers in Southwold had problems, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) confirmed. Four RNLI lifeboats and a rescue helicopter were involved from about 13:00 BST, after initial reports that up to 90 people were missing.
Two people were taken to James Paget Hospital in Gorleston with suspected hypothermia, the MCA spokeswoman added. The organisers of the race have not yet commented on the rescue operation.
The MCA spokeswoman said it was unclear how the swimmers got into trouble as weather conditions were fine, but the water was “very cold”. Some swimmers were rescued by lifeboat while a number of people swam to the shore themselves, she said.
Eyewitnesses spoke of exhausted swimmers coming out of the sea and being wrapped in towels, while a lifeboat hut close to the pier was turned into a makeshift emergency centre.
Organised by Active Outdoor Sport, the swim started north of the pier and was due to finish a mile down the coast. Read the full story: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-22674418

Scrapping of HSE offshore division will undermine safety, survey finds
A survey released today of 5000 North Sea oil and gas workers has found that 75% believe the Governments decision to scrap the Health and Safety Executive’s offshore division will undermine offshore safety.
The survey, released by OilandGasPeople.com, also found 62% were worried that the scrapping of the unit would lead to another Piper Alpha disaster. The oil and gas workers questioned the timing of the decision to close the division two months before the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha Disaster. The setting up of the dedicated HSE offshore division was a key recommendation of Lord Cullen’s report into ways to prevent another disaster taking place. The decision also comes at a time when oil and gas workers are feeling more at risk. 72% believe that it is the worst possible time to close the Health and Safety Executive’s offshore division, given recent concerns over ageing platforms and closures of platforms due to safety issues, such as the recent leak at the Cormorant Alpha platform.

“While there is no doubt that safety on North Sea oil and gas rigs has improved immeasurable since Lord Cullen’s report into the Piper Alpha disaster, our survey clearly shows that rig workers are concerned by the timing of the decision to cut one of Lord Cullen’s key recommendations, in the year of the 25thanniversary of the disaster itself,” said Kevin Forbes, CEO of Oilandgaspeople.com.

“What’s more, the decision comes at a time when workers are feeling greater concern because of ageing platforms and recent leaks, such as on the Cormorant Alpha platform. It isn’t surprisingly that the combination of the cutting of the HSE dedicated offshore division and ageing platforms has left many offshore workers feeling more at risk,” he said.
Read the full story: http://www.oilandgaspeople.com/news/717/scrapping-of-hse-offshore-division-will-undermine-safety-survey-finds/

News and updates – March ’13

Search and rescue helicopter contract signed

The Department for Transport (DfT) announced this week (wb 25/03) that it has signed a contract with Bristow Helicopters Ltd to provide search and rescue helicopter services in the UK.  In his written statement to the House Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin MP said that the new £1.6 billion contract for search and rescue helicopter services will see the UK benefit from improved flying times and better coverage of high-risk areas.

Helicopters will be able to reach a larger area of the UK search and rescue region within one hour of take-off than is currently possible, and based on historic incident data it is estimated that there will be an overall improvement in flying times to incidents of around 20% (from 23 to 19 minutes).

Presently, approximately 70% of high and very high risk areas within the UK search and rescue region are reachable by helicopter within 30 minutes. Under the new contract, approximately 85% of the same area would be reached within this timeframe.

The full statement from DFT can be found here.

Via RYA news.

Corporate manslaughter charge over death of 11-year-old girl

A watersports club in Middlesex has been charged with corporate manslaughter in relation to an incident in which an 11-year-old girl died after falling from a banana boat ride. Prince’s Sporting Club in Bedfont, Middlesex, has also been charged with an offence under section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Section 3 requires all employers to conduct their business in a way that ensures, so far as is reasonably practicable, that others are not exposed to risk.

Mari-Simon Cronje died during a birthday celebration at the club on September 11, 2010, after falling from the banana boat and being struck by the boat that had been towing it. Elizabeth Joslin, specialist prosecutor in the Special Crime Division of the Crown Prosecution Service said: “I have carefully reviewed all of the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police and the Hounslow Environmental Health Department during their investigation into the tragic death of Mari-Simon Cronje. “I have concluded that there is sufficient evidence to charge the Prince’s Sporting Club Ltd with both corporate manslaughter and an offence under section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.”

A director of the Prince’s Sporting Club Ltd has been charged under section 37 of the Health and Safety at Work Act. An initial hearing took place at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on February 19. The case has been referred to Southwark Crown Court for a plea and case management hearing on April 26. Via RoSPA journals

Merlin Attractions loses appeal following fall death conviction

Merlin Attractions Operations — a subsidiary of Madame Tussaud’s — was convicted of two healthy and safety offences in April this year following a seven-day trial, and was fined £350,000 plus £145,000 in costs.

The case followed the death of George Townley in December 2007, who suffered fatal head injuries after falling 14 feet from the castle’s Bear and Clarence Bridge.

Via HSW.

2011 WAID water related fatalities report released

Drowning and immersion deaths from accidents or natural causes across the UK in 2011 remained static with over 400 deaths.

The report from the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF) identified 407 water-related fatalities throughout 2011 with the majority – 219 (54 per cent) – taking place in inland waters including rivers, canals, lakes, streams, lochs, ponds and reservoirs. Data from the NWSF’s Water Incident Database (WAID) also shows that just over a quarter of deaths – 105 (26%) – happened at the coast or harbour, such as at beaches, marinas or docks.

You can read the blog, and access the report in full here.

 

Coastguard rescue two families cut off by tide in N.Yorkshire

Two families have been rescued from Primrose Valley beach after being cut off by the high tide last night. Humber Coastguard received a 999 call at 6.45pm from a local security guard, telling them that three adults and three children had gone out for a walk along the beach, but had become lost. They couldn’t find their way back in the dark and were cut off by the high tide.
After setting off flares to light up the area, the RNLI inshore lifeboat managed to locate one of the adults and two of the children and get them safely onboard. The other two adults and the other child were rescued by RAF Leconfield, and winched to the top of the cliff where the Filey Coastguard Rescue Team was waiting. They were all checked over by paramedics, and although cold they didn’t require any medical attention. Lynda Hillerby, Humber Coastguard Watch Officer, said:

“We strongly recommend you check the weather and tidal conditions before you set out. You should consider whether you could become cut off and do not take risks by going out in the dark. You should also make sure you’re wearing warm clothing and sturdy shoes or boots. If you get into difficulty, call 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

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 

Sea cadets on a sponsored row rescued by Fraserburgh Lifeboat

The volunteer crew of the Fraserburgh Lifeboat “The Willie and May Gall” interrupted a routine training exercise last Thursday evening. They went to the assistance of nine sea cadets who had got into difficulties while taking part in a sponsored row from Fraserburgh to Sandhaven. A series of fortunate circumstances culminated in the lifeboat arriving at the rescue scene just as the party from the local sea cadet unit were about to call for assistance. For the full story visit the RNLI website… 

Selsey RNLI lifeboat launched to three swimmers in trouble

Selsey’s RNLI inshore lifeboat launched to assist three young swimmers who were in trouble North East of Selsey Lifeboat Station. The lifeboat Betty and Thomas Moore and crew were quickly on scene and conducted a search. The casualties were approximately 250 yards from the water’s edge and caught in the ebbing tide amongst the local moorings. Two of the youngsters were found at the end of the lifeboat slipway, both of whom then swam back to shore. The third youngster had already swum back to the beach safely. When all three lads were safe and Solent Coastguard had been informed, the lifeboat returned to station.
Pete Delahunty said:
“If it hadn’t been for the prompt and swift action of another member of the crew, who heard the boys shout for help, this incident could have a very different outcome as the boys were quickly being swept out to sea.”

Girl in kayak swept out to sea

A 7-year-old girl was rescued from the bay at Derbyhaven this afternoon after being swept offshore by South Westerly winds. The Ronaldsway Airport Inshore Rescue Boat brought the girl and her kayak back to shore. Volunteers in the Castletown coastguard team spoke to the parents of the girl and gave some safety advice about the dangers of offshore winds.
Paul Parkes, Liverpool Coastguard Watch Manager said:

“When undertaking any leisure activities on the water with young children we would always recommend that they are accompanied by a capable adult. As this incident shows, offshore winds can be extremely hazardous to children in inflatables or any craft where they are not able to make it back to shore unaided”.
Read more on the MCA website…

The Coastguard warns beach users to beware of RIP currents following two near misses

Coastguards are issuing a strong safety message this afternoon as tragedies were narrowly avoided on the Northumberland and South Wales coastlines.
David Jones, Swansea Coastguard Watch Manager says:

“If you are visiting the beach, try to go to one which is patrolled by lifeguards and swim between the flags. Take notice of any warning signs. In an emergency tell the lifeguard if one is available or if on a unguarded beach call 999 and ask for the Coastguard”.

At 13:30hrs, multiple 999 calls where received from onlookers at St Aidans Beach, Seahouses, as two teenage girls got into difficulty in a rip current. Battling the strong current, one of them managed to get to safety but with one girl still in the water, her brother attempted the rescue himself. Both Inshore and All Weather RNLI Lifeboats and the Seahouses Coastguard Rescue Teams were requested to attend. Rescue Helicopter 131 from RAF Boulmer was also diverted to the scene. As the 999 calls continued, it emerged that the father of both boy and girl had also gone into the water but had abandoned his rescue as he could not fight the tide. Though exhausted, the boy and girl managed to get ashore themselves but required some urgent medical attention. Being cold, shocked and having swallowed a lot of sea water, the three teenagers are now being treated at the Wansbeck Hospital, Newbiggin and Humber Coastguard cannot stress enough the importance of awareness of tides and currents when on the beach especially if visiting the area on holiday.

At 14:00hrs, Swansea Coastguard received a 999 call from a woman on a beach at Three Cliff Bay on the South Gower coast. Her three young children and their father were in difficulty in the water and were battling with a rip current. The rescue helicopter from RAF Chivenor was scrambled, the Mumbles Inshore Lifeboat was launched and the Oxwich Coastguard Rescue Team were sent to the scene. The Coastguard also broadcast a distress message to which several vessels responded. One of the children had managed to make it to rocks and was rescued by the lifeboat from there. The other two children and their father were picked up from the water by the lifeboat. All four were airlifted to Morriston Hospital suffering with water ingestion and shock.
Mike Puplett, Humber Coastguard Watch Manager says:

“These children, teenagers and adults have been extremely lucky today, and we are thankful of a safe outcome. Strong currents are unforgiving, and I urge all beach users and bathers to be aware of the inherent dangers. Two men attempted self rescue, and were also overcome themselves”.
Read more on the MCA website…

Read more about Rip currents…