Menu of tactical options (community engagement)
This is a menu of tactical options which we have developed to carry out effective community engagement and inturn spread our key safety messages. We are continuously looking to refine and refresh innovative ways to spread the key safety messages:
- Beach Clean Community Safety
- Dog Owner/Walker Engagement
- Coastal Activity or local Community Group Talks
- Respect the Water Pop-Up stalls at community events
- Lifejacket clinics
- Incident Prevention Engagement (IPE)
- Community Responder (aka throw bag) training
- Business partnerships
- Supporting other drowning prevention campaigns
- Joint Tidal Cut-Off Patrols
- Transport Hubs pop-up engagement
Further more indepth informaton on each tactical option can be found below:
1. Beach Clean Community Safety
From time to time out of season our team are involved in local beach cleans including supporting the Broadstairs Town Team and Walpole Bay Tidal Pool Swimmers. Not only are we helping clean the beaches of litter we are also handing out literature and advice on how to stay safe at the coast. A recent blog has showcased a recent beach clean with the fabulous Broadstairs Town Team.
2. Dog Walker/Owner Engagement Sessions
Our dog owner/walker engagement events are really popular, where we hand out free doggie treats and tennis balls and chat to dog owners about not to enter the water if their dog won’t leave, cold water shock and how to call the Coastguard in an emergency.
3. Coastal Activity or local Community Group Talks
Broadstairs and St Peters Sea Angling Society safety briefing at Sandwich
We are frequently asked to visit sailling, angling and other local community groups to deliver safety talks to their members. Recent talks have covered coastal walking, ‘calling for help‘ devices and lifejackets.
4. Respect the Water Pop-Up stalls at community events
Community events which attract a significant number of people from our priority groups are brilliant to attend so we can speak with a good cross section of the public to spread our key safety messages. One of our recent pop-up stalls was held at Thanet Wanderers Rugby Club, Broadstairs which was massively successful. Recently we teamed up with the Gravesend Team to hold a safety advice stall at the fabulous Gravesend Gurdwara.
5. Lifejacket Clinics
Lifejacket clinics can be run at the invitation of a sailing club or Lifeboat Station open day. The qualified team will be on hand to check the overrall integrity of the individual lifejacket, gas cylinder and firing mechanism. They are unfortunately unable to conduct a full service or inflate a life jacket. Further informtion on lifejackets can be found at a previous blog post.
6. Incident Prevention Engagement (IPE)
Incident Prevention Engagement (IPE) is conducted where an incident has already taken place and engagement is required to deter a repeat incident. Recently, two incidents of persons being cut off by the tide, involved the team deploying to two respective beaches to engage and issue safety advice.
7. Community Responder (aka throw bag) training
We have recently signed up a number of harbour based businesses and a Street Pastor group to undertake our free Community Responder (throw bag training). This is delivered by a qualified RNLI trainer at a location close to the business venue. If you are situated close to a harbour, marina, river or canal you may be eligible to sign up and receive the training.
8. Business Partnerships
We are very lucky to have formed some exciting partnerships with really great local businesses including Vet2U, Ride bike Hire, Central Cars and a vast array of harbour based businesses who are stocking our Float not Swim leaflets and Respect the Water literature.
9. Supporting other organisations
From time to time we support other organisations and agencies drowning prevention and water safety campaigns. Namley: RLSS Don’t Drink and Drown initiative, National Fire Chief’s Be Water Aware; Kent Search and Rescue teams Safe and Dry campaign; the HM Coastguard; and West Mercia Search and Rescue Home and Dry.
10. Joint Tidal Cut-Off Patrols
In recent months the Lifeguards, RNLI and HM Coastguard have received numerous calls to tidal cut-off’s at Botany Bay, Kinsgate Bay and Dumpton Gap. In response to this issue, we are currently developing a Joint Tidal Cut-Off Patrol tactic so that a Lifeguard will patrol in collaboration with a member of our team to deter and detect beach visitors from getting cut-off by the tide. More details to be released soon.
11. Transport Hub Pop-Up Engagement
Recently our team have been visiting Margate seafront and railway station to conduct a pop-up engagement session with railway and coach passengers to highlight key safety messages. This is an exciting development as we have seen a significant proportion of people who have been rescued this season from outside the coastal footprint.