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Annual safety at sea refresher

We would like to thank Amble RNLI again for a valuable safety session with members at the Boat House recently.

With around 20 members attending, our local RNLI Representative ran through some of the essential basics we all need to remember every time we head out onto the water.

Life jacket detail

There was a demonstration on how to check our lifejackets to ensure that they are in a seaworthy condition and to get a correct fit when wearing one. All members should be aware, but we received an important reminder, that automatic jackets have an expiry date on the firing mechanisms. We were shown how to check the date.

The Club’s blue life jackets are manual, i.e not self-inflating.  Members who didn’t attend the briefing need to check their own jackets for good condition.

Cold water survival

Another valuable reminder for all was the effect of being in cold water and how long you can expect to survive. Chillingly, it’s a very brief  few minutes, and a winter wetsuit only buys an extra few minutes.  An added advantage of wearing a wet suit is extra boyancy, which can save valuable energy when required to keep afloat. An additional tactic shared was the benefit of starfish floating, should you end up in the water, to help minimise fatigue.

We had a short quiz based on the information on the club website, which worked well, making us get some useful research done.  It was a great reminder that there is a lot of information available on our site and it is helpful to refresh your memory periodically. The worthy quiz winner won an R.N.L.I. hat!

Calling the coastguard using emergency channel 16

Members were split into groups for discussion topics which included the following:

  • Heart attack at sea (allergic to aspirin)
  • Contents of the Safety ‘black bag’
  • Use of the radio – it was suggested that all members when out rowing be given the opportunity to use the radio
  • Coxes making themselves heard.
  • Flares: two types are carried. Smoke flares for use when someone is trying to locate you e.g. helicopter. Smoke flares help an aircraft determine the wind direction for their approach. Starburst flares for use in the dark

Don’t forget that there is a Crew Competence Record on this website along with the safety information you will generally need to organise and attend rowing events.