05 November 2018
David Corstorphine, RNLI Community Safety Officer, was guest speaker at our 5th November club meeting.
David started his interesting illustrated talk with some statistics. These included 190 deaths a year in UK and Irish waters and 8436 lifeboats called out last year - 24 a day. Many of these ‘shouts’ are preventable and David, who is a retired teacher and a sailor, sees his role as one of education and communication - publicising the dangers that exist and providing advice on how to safely enjoy the sea and the coast. We heard too of the importance of properly maintaining safety equipment like lifejackets
Key messages are to ‘be safe, have fun’ and ‘respect the water’ David spoke in some detail of the danger of cold water shock and of current advice about ‘floating to live’
Anstruther Rotary is a supporter of our local lifeboat station, which has two boats and it was revealing to be told of the number of call outs they receive as a result of the particular danger posed by ‘the Chain Walk’, which is located on the coastal path route. The chain walk is an energetic and adventurous scramble along a cliff face - but one that needs to be treated with respect and only attempted with proper clothing and footwear.
David concluded his talk by describing the difficulty that emergency services often have in accurately locating an injured person in the event of accident. This is difficult when many miles of coastline are involved and where access roads are limited and often narrow and challenging. He described a local plan that is being developed to install permanent marker or location posts. The plan envisages 30 posts being needed to cover the coastline from Shell Bay to Fife Ness - at a cost of around £100 per post.
This was an interesting talk and one that is very relevant for our coastal communities. Following considerable debate and questions a vote of thanks was proposed by Ian Kennedy.
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