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Old 14 March 2005, 10:20   #1
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Slipway tragedy

One for all to read.

It brings up the subject of safety on slipways and pontoons.

Littlehampton Marina have posted notices and sent letters out to all users stongly recommending that all users wear lifejackets at all times whilst on the slipway and pontoons. This is a good, proactive safety step.

A sad event so early in the year.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/n...re/4346361.stm
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Old 14 March 2005, 11:30   #2
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Already posted this - it looks like they were just watching the waves - not actual slipway users so highly unlikely to have been wearing lifejackets.

I think it is a little unreasonable to suggest people should get kitted up for a stroll.

It seems just the one boy was swept away and the rest of the deaths occured when the family tried to save him - so tragic!!!
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Old 14 March 2005, 11:50   #3
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This is obviously a tragedy and my sympathies go out to the families involved but I can’t help but feel that the press have a disproportionate interest in ‘tragedies at sea’ and leave the public with the view that it is a dangerous place.. Although the figures varies from year to year as a general rule, of the total number of people drowned each year 19% drown at sea, 71% drown on land (rivers, pools etc) and 10% drown in their baths. And yet you do not see the press pushing for walkers wearing life jackets or fitting life rings in every bathroom. Des
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Old 14 March 2005, 12:35   #4
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So true - one good point though is that so many people only put on their lifejackets when conditions get bad - it is when you are LEAST expecting it you will really need one - walking along a pontoon can be far more dodgy than when you are actually safe inside the boat!!!
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Old 14 March 2005, 12:55   #5
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Very true and I think people get a false sense of safety when on a pontoon too.

I was on the safety committee for the 2002 Tall Ships race for Royal Clarence Yard. One of the things that came out of the meetings we had was the thought that we should put barriers along the pontoons for public safety as there would be so many members of the public out on them.
It was felt that this would be more of a hinderance as there was more chance of someone suffering an injury due to crushing against a barrier than drowning if they fell in.

Still not sure about the logic of this but we risk assessed the problem away by having plenty of lifeguards on site during the public hours.

Our Berth Holders Association Treasurer rescued someone from the water between 2 boats at Littlehampton Marina on Boxing Day.

He happended to be on his boat for an hour that afternoon and heard a cry for help. The man he rescued had just slipped off the bathing platform of his boat and didn't have the strength to climb back up.
He was hypothermic by the time he was found and he had only been in hte water for 15 minutes.
He was wearing no life jacket at the time and, should he have lapsed into unconsciousness he would surely have drowned.

He was lucky.
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Old 15 March 2005, 14:07   #6
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The more publicity the better! The sea IS a dangerous place for folk walking along wave dodging or whatever. We have it here down the road at Blackpool so regularly. One person goes in and understandably his family/mates go in and try to save him. Sometimes the original casualty gets out but his would be rescuers die. Twenty five years or so ago we lost a number of our local PCs/WPCs who were trying to save a man who went in after his dog!
Here it is often, but not always, the result of a party atmosphere/too much booze combined with HW on a spring tide which unfortunately is always an hour or so either side of midnight here. So it corresponds with pubs and clubs chucking out time, somebody decides it is a good idea to dodge the waves crashing over the sea wall and history repeats itself. We get called out in the early hours as a CG rescue team, the lifeboats are paged and everyone knows that you are unlikely to be on anything more than a body search. Our lads are working on the edge of the same sea wall from where the poor soul has been swept away and the lifeboats are working in breaking seas in the shallows. Sorry but it is a dangerous place and the more publicity the better! It may save a life.
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