RNLI volunteers were at the Royal Norfolk Show. The Community Safety Team and RNLI Education spent 2 days in the Broads Village, working with the Broads Authority to inform visitors on how to stay safe near water and help others who find themselves in trouble in the water.
The volunteers were talking to children, parents and grandparents, informing them how to stay safe near water; sadly around 150 people drown each year and 50% of these had no intention to go into water when they left home. So the first message they got over was FLOAT FOR YOUR LIFE – if you fall into water, fight your instinct to swim until the cold water shock passes, float to live.
If you fall unexpectedly into water:
- Fight your instinct to thrash around
- Lean back, extend your arms and legs
- If you need to, gently move them around to help you float
- Float until you can control your breathing
- Only then call for help or swim to safety
The practical part was education on using Throw Line:
Dave is in trouble! He’s fallen in the water, he doesn’t have a life jacket or buoyancy aid on and he’s getting cold, can you help? Grab a throw line and see if you can HELP.
With the help of RNLI volunteers and Broads Rangers they were shown what a throw bag is and how to get help by phoning 999 and asking for the Coastguard then how to use the throw bag and have a go.
Throw Bags are at all Broads Authority moorings on the broads; a lot of people had seen them but did’t know what they were for or how to use them. After their talk and practice throwing they were happy to use them and help save a life.
People were very interested in the throw line, not only people who own boats but those who live by or near water; these people were given information on how to obtain throw lines. This puts more aids near water to save lives.
Robert Mann, Community Safety Officer at Happisburgh RNLI, said “It was a very worthwhile 2 days; the number of people of all ages who were aware of our FLOAT campaign was very pleasing and shows the message is getting out and hopefully the number of drownings will fall. The large number of people trying the throw lines who would be happy to use them to help people in trouble, will also help save lives”.
Jim Page, Education Officer at Cromer RNLI said “Being able to interact with so may people was the best way to get our message over, especially with the hot weather on its way and the likelihood of more people being near the water”.
At the end of the second day the RNLI Vounteers took part in the Sunset Parade in the main ring.