Merchant Navy Association (MNA) Boat Club joins forces with the RNLI to promote the RNLI’s Respect the Water Campaign on the UK’s inland waterways On behalf of the MNA Boat Club I’m delighted to announce the launching of a 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 Water 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 Water Safety Partner. It has now been agreed that members of the MNA Boat Club should be invited to take on the role of RNLI Water Safety Volunteers (WSVs) for all the inland waterways of the UK and Ireland – e.g. rivers, canals, lakes, The Broads, The Fens, etc. At the same time any members of the MNA interested in joining an existing RNLI Water Safety Team attached to a Lifeboat station will be offered an opportunity to do this’ So what exactly does being an RNLI WSV entail? Essentially being an RNLI WSV 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’ extensive professional expertise and experience in terms of giving relevant maritime safety advice to these organisations and, where appropriate, also to members of the public. WSV’s will also seek out opportunities e.g. boat shows, boat jumbles, regattas etc. to promote the RNLI’s safety messages. As an RNLI Water Safety Volunteer, MNA Boat Club members will normally be affiliated to an RNLI Water Safety Team based at an RNLI lifeboat station. For further information please contact: MNA Boat Club Commodore and Weymouth RNLI Water Safety Officer Clive Edwards.or go to www.seafarersafloat.com Tel: 01305 781725 Email: clivecgedwards@gmail.com or commodore@seafarersafloat.com
Why the MNA is supporting  the RNLI? The RNLI’  s mission is to reduce accidental drowning by 50% by 2024; around 190 lives are still lost at the coast  every year. Through a combination of   communication, products and face - to - face interaction, the RNLI’s Water  Safety Team is driving behavioural change in and around the water. These interventions are delivered at a local level  by some 500 Water Safety Volunteers across the UK and Irel and.   Most of   these volunteers are based in coastal communities, close to RNLI lifeboat stations and lifeguarded beaches.  However, two in three accidental drowning fatalities take place at inland waterways.    The RNLI is joining forces with the MNA to reach  these inland communities and coastal areas where they currently  don’t have representation and/ or require additional support.    Working in collaboration with the MNA’’ s Boat Club   members   and SeaVue Surveillance Scheme will enable the RNLI  to reach wider audi ences with their safety messaging and signpost water users to  additional  resources and support  available. In doing so, the MNA will play a valuable role in helping the RNLI reduce accidental drownings by 2024.   #PreventingDrowningTogether The role The RNL I is asking MNA Volunteer Advisors to promote safe practice on inland waterways and around the coast by  communicating guidance  to  boat owners,  watersports enthusiasts,  marina operators, boat - hire companies, waterside  pubs/ restaurants and walkers. Using yo ur maritime skills, knowledge and experience, you will be essential  ambassadors for the RNLI’s safety messaging and Respect the Water campaign. This could be through  passing   conversation with fellow water users ,   discussing the latest means of calling for h elp and encouraging lifejacket use to  distributing leaflets and posters to operators and venues.   Prior to getting out and about, the RNLI will discuss your locality with you to ensure there is no crossover with other  volunteer   networks.   Please note : there  is no requirement to deliver safety presentations; should an individual/ organisation require  further advice, an RNLI Water Safety Volunteer will be available to deliver Advice Onboard sessions, Lifejacket  Clinics etc . S ee Time commitment As much or as little as you can offer
RNLI  Respect the Water  campaign Respect the Water (RTW) is the RNLI’  s national drowning prevention campaign. RTW is aimed at  promoting safety  advice to all who visit the coast and inland waterways, from walkers to commercial fishermen. RTW aims to show  those most at risk the potential dangers of water, to encourage them to reconsider their actions, and adopt safer  behaviour. Sin ce 2017, it has focused on asking the public to fight their instincts and remember two memorable  skills:   •	floating which could save lives from drowning;     •	and to call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.   The 2019 campaign will launch on 22 May and run throu gh to the end of August with radio, cinema and print  advertising and social media content with partners such as LADbible. Support and resources  available On  agreeing   to be an MNA Volunteer Advisor you will receive a pack with further guidance, key safety   messages and  printed materials (leaflets and posters) to distribute in your agreed areas. You will also be sent a tally sheet to record  conversations / interventions   to enable the RNLI to monitor reach   and impact . Additional resources can be requested  at a ny time.    The links below provide additional information and downloadable resources.   •	www.respectthewater.com :  public facing campaign website with practical advice on how to float with stories of  survivors who  have followed the advice   •	www.rnli.org/rtwresources :   here you will find all the resources you need to support the national  RTW  campaign  and advice on key ‘at risk’  activities (angling, boating, walking, kayak ing, scuba diving , commercial fishing   and  walking) plus ‘ ‘How To’   videos on fitting, checking and maintaining your life jacket.  •	www.rnli.org/safety :   essential safety advice   so you can make the most of your time on the water   •	www.rnli.org/safety/what-can-we-do-for-you : additional safety advice provided by RNLI Water Safety  Volunteers MNA contact For further information on the MNA Boat Club and its collaboration with the RNLI, please contact  Clive Edwards :   clivecgedwards@gmail.com RNLI contact If you are interested in becoming a n   MNA Volunteer A dvisor, please contact  Katie Beney ,  National Water  Safety Partner  in the first instance:   katie_beney@rnli.org.uk     If you are based near a RNLI Lifeboat Station, Katie will put you in touch with the rele vant contact at the station. If  not, she will remain your point of contact and be able to provide assistance and resources to support your role.   Should you be interested in becoming a RNLI Water Safety Volunteer, working alongside your local RNLI  Lifeb oat Station, Katie will be able to  make the relevant introductions.
Become an RNLI Volunteer Adviser
Partnership Sealed Note: Community Safety Volunteers (CSV’s) have been re-designated as Water Safety Volunteers (WSV’s)
From Towpath Talk March 2019