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Old 28 July 2010, 17:33   #1
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Can you help the RNLI with feedback on SEA Check please

I am a Lifeboat Sea Safety Officer (LSSO) who is a member of a working party set up by RNLI Sea Safety to review the organisation's SEA Check together with how we promote and market the scheme.

One of the the remits of this review is to get feed back from as many boat owners as possible, so I would very be grateful if you could spend a few moments to answer the following questions:-

1. Have you had an RNLI SEA Check - do you have any suggestions on how it may be improved?

2. If not, have you previously heard of RNLI SEA Check?

3. If you have heard of SEA Check but not had one, what has stopped you?


All feed back will be taken into account, but all comments will go into the review anonymously - so please be as open and frank as possible with your answers - if you would rather your answer was not public, please feel free to answer via PM.

As I said, we want to get feed back from as many boaters as possible so if you have any boat owning friends who have any comments, please feel free to add those in as well.

On behalf of the RNLI, thank you very much for your time.

In the meantime if anyone would like to arrange a SEA Check, please let me know the location of your boat and I will PM the contact details of your nearest LSSO.
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Old 28 July 2010, 17:55   #2
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Originally Posted by RNLI Sea Safety View Post
1. Have you had an RNLI SEA Check - do you have any suggestions on how it may be improved?
Not had one
Quote:
2. If not, have you previously heard of RNLI SEA Check?
yes
Quote:
3. If you have heard of SEA Check but not had one, what has stopped you?
Firstly I think there is a perception that these are really for yachts / larger boats rather than "open day boats". However if I am honest there are probably some other reasons:

(1) I know there are possibly some weaknesses in my "safety" armory, where it at least falls short of best practice. My personal "risk assessment" says that these are risks I understand and will possibly improve on when time or funds allow but right now I am happy to accept. I don't want to be made to feel guilty for not addressing those weaknesses now.

(2) This might sound a bit arrogant, but I don't really expect them to tell me anything I don't already know so it will be a waste of my time and theirs. Of course I may be missing an unknown risk, but I think from RYA courses, here, the MAIB reports, and magazines - I'm familiar with the things most likely to go wrong.

(3) I've never met a Sea Safety adviser in person, so this sweeping generalisation is purely an "expectation": anyone who chooses to spend their time going round "nit picking" other peoples safety arrangements is likely to be an 'elf and safety type person - which may not be the sort of person I would chose to spend my leisure time with. I'm sure they are not (or not all) like that.
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Old 28 July 2010, 18:30   #3
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Polwart,

The SEA Safety advisors are friendly people, the reason i became a Sea Safety Advisor is to help people and give something back to the community...

Not living in a live boat station town, prevented me from every being Crew, so being a SEA check advisor, is my way in giving something to the sport that I enjoy.

We do not lecture, a SEA check is just friendly chat, i have learnt things from doing SEA checks.

You will be surprised that how few people who do not get training, register the boat on CG66 etc, if you want to a SEA check I meet you at your boat and do one myself...

Working in a stall last year i was asked, "how do you contact the coastguard in Emergency!" my answer was 999.

A SEA check might actually put your mind at ease, that piece of safety equipment you might think is essential is NOT really essential because the type of boating you do.

You should look at the Sea check as a one to one talk with an RIB netter...they are quite a few LSSO's & SEA check Advisors floating around on RIB.net...a lot of them are RYA Instructors or Trainers.

If you come to Elie on the 7th August you meet at least two SEA check advisors myself and Linda , LSSO of Broughtyferry Lifeboat Station.

If anybody wants a SEA check in Fife, PM me...

regards

Scott


The New RNLI Sea Safety Guide can be downloaded:RNLI Complete Guide and the accompanying CD can be downloaded from: http://www.rnlimedia.org.uk/completeguideair/
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Old 29 July 2010, 00:03   #4
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Quote:
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anyone who chooses to spend their time going round "nit picking" other peoples safety arrangements is likely to be an 'elf and safety type person - which may not be the sort of person I would chose to spend my leisure time with. I'm sure they are not (or not all) like that.
Polwart, I think that in your case you are right - you are well informed and a SEA Check would probably not benefit you a great deal (except maybe to find out that the Sea Safety guys are advisers, not auditors).

For the benefit of readers who may not know this, a SEA Check (not available to commercial users, it's for leisure boaters only) does not have a Pass or Fail outcome, it's simply a friendly discussion about safety on board your own boat.

Cards on the table ... I have an interest to declare. I am the LSSO for Oban Lifeboat Station, so my opinion is biased! However, I would be rather concerned if I thought that my team were nit picking or making anyone feel guilty about their safety arrangements. There are 5 of us here at Oban and between us we have over 100 years of experience crewing lifeboats at different stations, as well as our personal boating backgrounds. We've seen (too often) the consequences of a lack of knowledge and our intention is simply to share our experience with others and sometimes - as you say - to help people know what they don't know. We've talked to 400 or so people this year so far and the overwhelming feedback we get is that what we do has been helpful. At Oban we don't do a great deal of SEA Checks, it tends to be more ad-hoc discussions about various safety aspects with boaters, and in a number of cases, we learn something ourselves through the process.

In my view, and I think this would be shared by the other LSSOs I know, the lifeboat service must be accessible, approachable, and supportive. If people start to think that we might judge them or make them feel guilty about contacting us for help (either for a Sea Safety chat or for a rescue) ... we're getting something wrong. I'm sorry that something we've done, or maybe not done, has created the wrong impression with you and I hope you're in a small minority. If you're up in our neck of the woods sometime, we'd be very happy to do a SEA Check with you (not that I think you need one, just so that you can find out what it's really like!).

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Old 29 July 2010, 01:45   #5
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Scott / Ian,

This might warrant spltting into a separate thread so it can stay "on-topic" for the OP. He want's to know about perceptions not the "facts". I'd suggest people are more likely to give their perceptions if they don't think they are likely to be told immediately that their perception is wrong.

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Old 29 July 2010, 02:56   #6
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I think the sea check would be of much more use to the average "ebay special" owner that we get round here at weekends than the average well informed boater who generally has a clue about what could go wrong and what kit to carry. These people often go out with no safety kit what so ever and are totally oblivious to what the potential dangers are. Generally I suspect they're the sorts of people that don't get training or read boaty publications.
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Old 29 July 2010, 02:59   #7
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Neil - your first post was a brilliant answer, probably the best we've had so far - as you say above, it's perceptions we're after, whether they're right or wrong is immaterial, if people have wrong perceptions, it's what this review of SEA Check is aimed at addressing.

We have no problem if people are critical of SEA Check or praiseworthy in this thread - it's what people think that counts for the purposes of this survey.

If misconceptions of what SEA Check is or isn't crop up in posts I will address them all when the thread appears to be at the end of it's life - I don't want to address any as we go as it may skew subsequent answers.
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Old 29 July 2010, 03:19   #8
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I think the people who use sea safety are generally the people who are safety conscious, granted they will benefit from it but not as much as other.
I know the following would take up alot of time but have an LSSO at a slipway asking people if they wanted a check or making them aware of what should be carried might get the message across to more people.
Yesterday afternoon a boat called the CG to see if he and his crew were ok to have a few cans whilst out on a fishing trip!
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Old 29 July 2010, 04:36   #9
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Yesterday afternoon a boat called the CG to see if he and his crew were ok to have a few cans whilst out on a fishing trip!
That's outrageous! Surely any experienced dayfisher skipper would be aware that this is Mandatory?
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Old 29 July 2010, 04:38   #10
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That's outrageous! Surely any experienced dayfisher skipper would be aware that this is Mandatory?
Thats what I thought the live bait well was for, less risky than dangling them over the side.
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Old 29 July 2010, 05:05   #11
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our local fire service will come out and fit a free smoke alarm in any room that needs one as well as giving you a quick fire safety check on your home ,escape and potental hazards ,,all free ,but people still die in house fires in our area ,
and the same goes for sea check ,

Just before seacheck started in 1998 3 of us in our area became seacheck advisers were given all the kit ,but within the first year non of us had done one ,
it seems that the free scheme dident take off in some areas as as expected by the rnli ,we were told to expect to do around 4 a week ,i now work voluntry on the rnli education side of things beach/ sea safety in schools /youth groups,events

some possible excuses,

1, the experienced boater,/yachtsman ,,,including lifeboat crew ex or otherwise ,,,retired fisherman /ships captain ,with the ill be bollaxed if someone is telling me what i should have after all my experience ,,

2 the fleabay/ free ads brigade or the had a speedboat with the redband engine given by the fatherin law as its taken up room on the drive for the past 18 years ,get the boat on saturday and use it on the sunday ,,and were just testing the engine so we are only messing about at the bottom of the slip ,,,,till the engine seems ok and at 30 knots they are a mile out to sea when the engine then stops for good ,leaving the occoupants drifting with only teeshirts /shorts, a bored girlfriend and a worn out cross head screwdriver.

3 we buy eveything brand new every couple of years ,, ,, lifejackets are still in the shop packaging ,, lifejacket straps have not been adjusted and the gas cylinders unscrewed its self out , or the flares still in the hard to open with cold hands blister packaging ,

4 we use the clubs dive boat and have a dedicated member to sort that out,

5 not much experience but done all the rya courses so i dont need a sea check it as i know it all ,.

6 we only use the boat 3/4 times a year ,even then we only go a mile or so out to sea .

our marine club has about 130 members and even though we have a sea check adviser as a club member very few perhaps for the first excuse get a sea check ,granted a good few are commercial boats ,
for the past 2 years now though taking the sensible and and responsible approach any new members will have to have a sea check before they can bring or use their boat at the club.

it perhaps may work better if boat insurers gave out a much better premium for having a sea check.
kindest regards martin
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Old 29 July 2010, 06:00   #12
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Part of the problem might still be the name; "CHECK" sounds a bit like checking up on people, raking through all their kit and potentially embarrassing the ones who do try.

The people who really need it are least likely to even consider the idea and usually live in blissful ignorance for some time or have a major incident first time out.

To hit this group if it were me - I'd stake out slipways, recruit some totty (highly experienced mariner type totty) and then if there are any kids home in on them first with some freebies "look what the nice lady gave us dad", " Oh hello nice boat where were you thinking of going? that's about 5 miles from my station what radio do you use" then you are into a dialogue.

I know about SEA check but have not put our boat through it, we have addressed many of the aspects ourselves and may have gone over the top in some areas. If we have time next time we are out I'll see if there's anyone about.
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Old 29 July 2010, 06:10   #13
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SeaCheck is MeCheck

I know a couple of the SeaCheck lads here - all sound as a pound and very diplomatic - no issues there. The SeaCheck itself seems to be fairly basic and nothing to be worried/embarrassed about.

Therein lies what I see to be the problem. SeaCheck is a safety measure, only likely to be taken up by those aware of safety/risk. So already they probably won't benefit much ('cos they're a safety type)

It's really people's heads, not their boats that need a SeaCheck, and the tea-chest drivers won't see the need. After all, they're only going [points vaguely] "out there a bit, and y'know, it's all sunny and safe, like".

I'm convinced the entire thing is down to how people perceive risk and subsequently react to that perceived risk. If they don't think it's dangerous - how will you engage them? They certainly won't welcome a doom and gloom analysis of their actions - which is pretty much what it's going to be...

An recent example I had was during a safety brief (which was quick and concise for a mostly experienced crew) where the newbie on board (an intelligent engineer/mathematician) laughed when I indicated the location and demonstrated use of the spare killcord. I was taking it fairly seriously as we had a 40Nm trip in poorish conditions offshore. I was asked "are you planning to go swimming?" They just couldn't see the risk - i.e. big waves, no seatbelts, no doors, handsfree throttles...
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Old 29 July 2010, 06:22   #14
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recruit some totty (highly experienced mariner type totty)
The "willk Recruitment Agency" is available to interview potential candidates

More seriously, I'd suggest older more "Captain Birdseye" jovial types who look like they have "The Knowledge".

Totty is used to encourage reckless spending, not to encourage wreckless boating...
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Old 29 July 2010, 06:25   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RNLI Sea Safety View Post
I am a Lifeboat Sea Safety Officer (LSSO) who is a member of a working party set up by RNLI Sea Safety to review the organisation's SEA Check together with how we promote and market the scheme.

One of the the remits of this review is to get feed back from as many boat owners as possible, so I would very be grateful if you could spend a few moments to answer the following questions:-

1. Have you had an RNLI SEA Check - do you have any suggestions on how it may be improved?

2. If not, have you previously heard of RNLI SEA Check?

3. If you have heard of SEA Check but not had one, what has stopped you?


All feed back will be taken into account, but all comments will go into the review anonymously - so please be as open and frank as possible with your answers - if you would rather your answer was not public, please feel free to answer via PM.

As I said, we want to get feed back from as many boaters as possible so if you have any boat owning friends who have any comments, please feel free to add those in as well.

On behalf of the RNLI, thank you very much for your time.

In the meantime if anyone would like to arrange a SEA Check, please let me know the location of your boat and I will PM the contact details of your nearest LSSO.

I'd have to support everything in Polwart's post.

1. No I've never had a SEA Check
2. Yes I have heard of them
3. I've been boating for 40 years, almost all of it in Poole. Every weekend I'm out I pass the RNLI HQ, which does remind me to be safe, life Jackets, Kill cords on, Dry suit if appropriate, etc, etc. But my perception of an LSSO would be an 'elf and safety policeman, one that would be wagging his finger at every infraction from the safety code. I accept that boating is a risky activity, I assess the risks before and during the activity and act according to the experience and training I've had. I'd not particularly want to have someone "nit-picking" my boat.
Finally, my sister joined the ebay boaters club a few months ago, I gave her several pieces of advice which included getting a SEA check. Despite trying to arrange one it proved too difficult and she gave up and went to sea with out doing it. She lives near Oswestry. She tried using the RNLI web-site but with no success.
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Old 29 July 2010, 14:08   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RNLI Sea Safety View Post
1. Have you had an RNLI SEA Check - do you have any suggestions on how it may be improved?

2. If not, have you previously heard of RNLI SEA Check?

3. If you have heard of SEA Check but not had one, what has stopped you?
1- no I haven't

2 - yes I have

3 - When I go to my boat it is to use it or fix it - so its usually a planned thing around family /timings etc. I have taken the details of the local guy to do it, but just never get round to it. As has been said if several people turned up the local slipway saying 'I'll do it now for you' I'd welcome them on as I guess would others. You get loads of boats lauching from Baiter Park (Poole) and Christchurch/ Mudeford that I feel would benefit greatly.

The other thing to maybe stick in the blurb is if its a 10 minute or hour long process ????

I can't think any of the people doing this would be powercrazed types - if so they wont be on many boats for long........
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Old 29 July 2010, 14:47   #17
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SeaCheck

No, not yet
Yes
I have being offered a Sea Check but I have deferred it until I am happy I have everything sorted. Which of course I haven't.
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Old 30 July 2010, 02:38   #18
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Sea Check

My experience, for what it is worth!


1. Have you had an RNLI SEA Check - do you have any suggestions on how it may be improved?

No I haven't

2. If not, have you previously heard of RNLI SEA Check?

Yes. At exhibitions and in adverts

3. If you have heard of SEA Check but not had one, what has stopped you?

I have applied three times and it has come to nothing!


Whilst I am pretty confident that the boat is capable and well equipped and maintained, a second pair of eyes seems sensible. I would like it done, but despite having asked three times, no response!

My impression: Not good, I am afraid!
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Old 30 July 2010, 03:11   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RNLI Sea Safety View Post
I am a Lifeboat Sea Safety Officer (LSSO) who is a member of a working party set up by RNLI Sea Safety to review the organisation's SEA Check together with how we promote and market the scheme.

One of the the remits of this review is to get feed back from as many boat owners as possible, so I would very be grateful if you could spend a few moments to answer the following questions:-

1. Have you had an RNLI SEA Check - do you have any suggestions on how it may be improved?

2. If not, have you previously heard of RNLI SEA Check?

3. If you have heard of SEA Check but not had one, what has stopped you?


All feed back will be taken into account, but all comments will go into the review anonymously - so please be as open and frank as possible with your answers - if you would rather your answer was not public, please feel free to answer via PM.

As I said, we want to get feed back from as many boaters as possible so if you have any boat owning friends who have any comments, please feel free to add those in as well.

On behalf of the RNLI, thank you very much for your time.

In the meantime if anyone would like to arrange a SEA Check, please let me know the location of your boat and I will PM the contact details of your nearest LSSO.
My reply

1. Have you had an RNLI SEA Check - do you have any suggestions on how it may be improved? - No not had one yet.

2. If not, have you previously heard of RNLI SEA Check? - Yes have heard of it through the guys at Powerboat Training in Poole who mentioned it.

3. If you have heard of SEA Check but not had one, what has stopped you? - I probably think im upto speed and Ok, however I am considering getting one done incase im being too big headed. Will be in touch to arrange one.
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Old 30 July 2010, 05:26   #20
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The "willk Recruitment Agency" is available to interview potential candidates

More seriously, I'd suggest older more "Captain Birdseye" jovial types who look like they have "The Knowledge".

Totty is used to encourage reckless spending, not to encourage wreckless boating...
I like "Captain Birdseye" types, they can teach you a lot, using other advisors to target certain groups is worthwhile and for some necersarry, I watched a bloke load his family into a small speedboat so it was overloaded and head off shirtless and not a single lifejacket in the boat, it struggled to start and then broke down in the bay getting towed back in. His demeanour was fairly clear in terms of listening to advice - These chaps are the mobile tragedy merchants who often survive the mayhem they create.
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