SAFETY – BRING THE BEST ADVICE ONBOARD
Every year, RNLI volunteer crews rescue hundreds of people on yachts and motorboats. Rescue crews will always be there to answer the call, assisting you without judgement and no matter the cause. But today we look at how the RNLI can help you before you get into difficulty.
“As anyone who enjoys our coastal waters knows, things can change quickly at sea,” says Jon Oxenham, RNLI community safety manager. “Even the most experienced skipper or crew can get caught out, and there’s no shame in that. All it takes is a broken down engine plus strengthening winds, or a fall from your tender without a lifejacket, and suddenly a minor issue becomes very dangerous. We’d much rather people call us before situations become serious, but it’s even better to keep yourself safe and know what to do in the first place.”
In 2016 alone, 1,585 RNLI lifeboat call-outs were due to machinery failure – the single biggest cause. A further
138 launches involved a man overboard situation, and 95 were to people whose boats had run out of fuel.
“We just ask you to take a few extra steps to think about your safety,” Jon continues. “Fortunately the RNLI offers a range of free services to help. Thanks to almost 200 years of search and rescue experience, we’ve seen most of the things that can catch you out – and can help you avoid them!”
We all know the benefits of lifejackets, but if yours has a serious fault you’re wearing a dead weight. At one recent free clinic, 80 per cent of lifejackets checked had faults – many with serious defects.
Trained RNLI volunteers will show you how to check your lifejacket for wear and tear, replace service items (like firing heads and gas bottles) and maintain it to keep it working properly.
To find out clinic dates and locations, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the RNLI’S supporter care team on 0300 300 9918.