SEAFARERS AFLOAT home of The Merchant Navy Association Boat Club Supporting the RNLI ‘Respect the Water’ Campaign
Unique opportunity for members of the MNA and MNA Boat Club to act as official RNLI Community Safety Volunteers Fellow members of the Merchant Navy Association, as you will no doubt have seen, the MNA Executive Report for 2018 includes a reference to the new joint working relationship between the MNA Boat Club and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI). I am delighted that the hugely respected RNLI has recognised the experience, skill and knowledge of MNA members by choosing to work with the MNA Boat Club. The RNLI has now extended the opportunity to all members of the MNA with an invitation for them to play a part in promoting the RNLI’s “Respect the Water” campaign aimed at significantly reducing the 200 plus fatalities each year as a result of drowning. “I am delighted to be working alongside the MNA with this initiative. We have a variety of ways of promoting our safety messages, but nothing beats a face to face conversation with a knowledgeable person. MNA members acting as RNLI Community Safety Volunteers will be able to pass on their experience and knowledge to others in order to save more lives around our coasts and waterways.” Steve Instance, RNLI Community Safety Partner. It has now been agreed that all members of the MNA should be invited to take on the role of RNLI Community Safety Volunteer (CSVs) for all the inland waterways of the UK and Ireland – e.g. rivers, canals, lakes, The Broads, The Fens, etc. Anyone interested in joining a team in a coastal area will be offered an opportunity to join with their local RNLI Community Safety team. So what exactly does becoming an RNLI CSV entail, and why should we be encouraging MNA members to get involved? Essentially being an RNLI CSV involves establishing and maintaining good relationships with organisations involved in activities on or around our inland waters, such as boatyards, marinas, boat hire operators, sailing clubs, lock-keepers etc. and affording them the benefit of our members’ expertise and experience in terms of giving relevant maritime safety advice to these organisations and, where appropriate, to members of the public. CSV’s should also seek out opportunities e.g. boat shows, boat jumbles, regattas etc. to promote the RNLI’s safety messages. As an RNLI Community Safety Volunteer you will be affiliated to an RNLI Community Safety team either closest to you or a team that is relevant for the activity you are involved with. For example, all CSVs in the Broads area would be affiliated to Happisburgh as the RNLI’s primary team for Broads Water Safety. What benefits would our members get from becoming a CSV? All CSVs would be provided suitable training relevant to the position, both on-line and face-to-face. Some of which are week-end residential courses at the prestigious RNLI College at Poole in Dorset. Where required, the RNLI also provides corporate clothing, usually a jacket and a polo shirt, and pay reasonable travelling and subsistence expenses too. Also being a CSV has other less tangible benefits – such as meeting new people in your local community, the satisfaction of “giving back” something to the community, gaining charity sector contacts within a supportive environment, including being eligible for an emergency services “Blue Light” discount card. What do you need to have to take on a role as a CSV? The time commitment is completely flexible, depending on how much time you want to devote to it! CSVs do need to have good people skills, good communication skills and maritime experience. It is also useful if they have some prior knowledge of the boating activities in their area. The MNA Boat Club has already been praised by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency and by the Maritime Volunteer Service for their “SeaVue” Maritime Safety “watchkeeping afloat” services. It has become apparent, however, that there are now too few Boat Club members actively involved in using their boats and submitting incident reports. Working with the RNLI provides the potential to involve the whole of the MNA, not just Boat Club members. Please consider this opportunity to make a contribution to the RNLI “Respect the Water” campaign and help to achieve the RNLI’s aim of reducing the 200+ deaths each year resulting from drowning by 50% by 2024. For further information please contact MNA Boat Club Commodore and Weymouth RNLI Community Safety Officer Clive Edwards. Tel: 01305 781725 Email:
MNABC and RNLI Collaboration
RNLI Respect the Water Campaign - What is it?
Respect the Water is an RNLI campaign that puts drowning prevention at the heart of everything. By 2024 the RNLI aims to halve the average number of yearly coastal fatalities that happen as a result of accidents and natural causes. The starting point is 190, which is broken down as 165 in the UK (WAID analysis 2011-2015) and 25 in Ireland (Irish Water Safety Forum 2010-2013). This target does not currently include inland fatalities, or those as a result of suicide or crime. The RNLI are aiming to make it the nationally recognised water safety campaign in the UK and Republic of Ireland. By collaborating with the MNABC, the RNLI intends to extend the scheme to inland water ways as well. Full details are contained in the RNLI publication ‘COMMUNITY SAFETY - Key Message Booklet’ which can be read HERE
RNLI Webinars
Throughout the year the RNLI hold a series of live on-line presentations relevant to the activities of an RNLI Community Safety Volunteer called “Webinars”. Every Webinar is recorded and available for reference or download in perpetuity. The following is a list of Webinars held during 2017 and 2018.
2017 Webinars
Coastal Restructure Outcome
35 minutes
Resources & Documents
60 minutes
Events Training
30 minutes
RTW Resources
45 minutes
RTW Launch Preview
30 minutes
Lifejacket Observation Survey
20 minutes
Electronic AOB Update
45 minutes
2018 Webinars
Community Safety Events Update
30 minutes
Importance of reporting and how to
60 minutes
GDPR - General Data Protection Regulation
35 minutes
2018 RTW Update
30 minutes
Lifejacket Observation
20 minutes
CS Assurance Levels
40 minutes
2018 End of year round up
35 minutes
The Links have no expiry date
MNA Boat Club members can download a recording of these RNLI webinars using this link: or watch the recording on the Facebook Group here:
RNLI Resources
RNLI Community Safety Volunteers help reduce drowning by communicating key safety messages in their local community through face- to-face engagement, and promoting and installing lifesaving products. The RNLI publishes a ‘Community Safety Guidebook’ to let community safety volunteers and staff know what resources are available and how to request or order them. It is also for anyone who is interested in understanding the scope of the RNLI’s prevention work, providing a guide to how risks are measured and prioritised, the theory behind the prevention work and what preventative actions can be put in place to help encourage safer behaviours in our communities. A copy of the Guide can be read HERE. Amongst the resources listed in the Community Safety Guidebook are a series of leaflets designed to inform the General Public of the inherent risks which exist around the water and how to avoid them. An example can be viewed HERE.
This publication has been produced by two experienced members of the Merchant Navy Association Boat Club with the aim of providing basic information for anyone venturing onto the water for the first time. The idea is to help make the experience more enjoyable and safer, both for you the reader and for other users of the waterways. As we anticipate that most of those likely to benefit will be planning to hire a boat on inland waterways, rather than taking to the sea, we have concentrated on how to handle a boat on rivers, canals, lakes, the Broads etc. but many of the practices we describe would apply equally when taking to the sea. When we first published this guide we were delighted to have been contacted by several boat-hire companies both in the UK and in France with a request to purchase a quantity of these guides on CD to give to their clients, especially those clients with no previous boat-handling experience, when they book a hire cruiser. We are happy to continue to supply this guide on CD at cost plus a small donation to our Boat Club funds - for further information please contact: