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News - 11/11/20

Top five reasons for calling out the RNLI to boaters

The RNLI shares a new video highlighting their top 5 reasons for a call out to boaters plus tips on how to avoid them and we catch up with the Cowes RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager for some local advice. 

The RNLI was called out over 13,000 times to boaters from 2017 to 2019. A new video, produced with the RYA, reveals the top five reasons lifeboat crews were called into action along with tips on how to avoid the need to call for help. They include human error, sinking, running aground and equipment failure, but the top reason for an emergency call out in the last two years was machinery failure, with more than 4,000 incidents. 

Stuart Carruthers, RYA Cruising Manager, said: “Following lockdown, the water has been re-established as a fantastic place to exercise, relax and re-charge in the great outdoors. However, it is important to remember the seriousness of safety when going afloat, especially if you have not been on the water for some time or are using new equipment for the first time.”

Samantha Hughes, RNLI Water Safety Partner, added: “We want everyone to enjoy their time on the water whilst staying safe. By highlighting the common call outs our volunteer lifeboat crews attend, as well as giving some top tips, we hope it will get viewers thinking about what they could do to maximise their time out on the water. Before you head out make sure you are prepared and have checked the weather conditions, wear a lifejacket and have a means of calling for help should you need it.”

Cowes Lifeboat is one of the dedicated Search and Rescue resources for the Solent, covering the area between Yarmouth and Ryde. Mark Southwell, Cowes RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: “When things do go wrong, being able to tell the Coastguard who and where you are and exactly what’s happened is the key thing. If you only have a mobile phone, please make sure it’s fully charged and in a waterproof case. A handheld marine VHF should be easy to get to and again fully charged. Make your call early, when things go wrong at sea the situation can change rapidly.

“The waters off Cowes are some of the busiest in Britain, with huge commercial ships. Strong tides combined with high winds can change sea conditions noticeably. You may have set off in good weather, the wind picks up, the tide turns against it and all of a sudden that enjoyable day out has become a big problem. Within the RNLI video is the message to be prepared to go to sea; it’s fun but has its own challenges.”

You can watch the new RNLI safety video on YouTube or below: