Respect the Water

Respect the Water is the RNLI’s national drowning prevention campaign.

Over 160 people die each year at the UK coast with a further 60 in Republic of Ireland – around half didn’t even set out to enter the water. The casualty figures show a clear gender divide, with adult men accounting for over two-thirds of coastal deaths.

As part of this campaign the following interventions are available free of charge on request to the RNLI Penlee lifeboat station’s Volunteer Community Safety Officer and bespoke presentations can often be developed to suit the needs of clubs and organisations.

Each presentation or talk is supported with free publicity material and resources, in some instances including a Club Pack (details are available by email request), click here for contact details

How to stay safe if you are going on the water

  • Always wear an appropriate lifejacket or buoyancy aid.
  • Always have a means of calling and signalling for help.
  • Ensure there is an emergency action plan in place and everybody has an appropriate onboard briefing (in particular on the location and use of the safety equipment, including the spare kill cord for powerboats).
  • Undertake the appropriate level of training for your craft.
  • Always check the weather and tide times.
  • Make sure someone ashore knows where you are going and who to call if you don't return on time.
  • Always drive your boat at a speed that is appropriate to the weather conditions and to the environment you are operating within.

Advice Onboard (AOB)

An AOB visit entails an open discussion with any boat user (sailing, kayaking, angling etc.) on how to use safety equipment, how to maintain it (particularly lifejackets) and how to plan for things that might go wrong out at sea. These visits take place wherever the users boat happens to be – a harbour, marina, boatyard or on the back of their trailer at home. Please bear in mind that these sessions are free and completely confidential.

Lifejacket Clinics

A lifejacket clinic can happen at a variety of locations, harbours and boat clubs. This clinic provides users with a chance to bring their lifejackets along and for you to show them how to check for faults, how to correctly wear the jacket and what they should be doing for a monthly, and annual check. Over the years, on average, we find that 30% of inflatable lifejackets (automatic and manual) would not have worked if the wearer accidentally fell into the water. The cause of these failures is easily identified and often remedied.


For more information on the 'Respect The Water' campaign click here


Click here for details about the RNLI Penlee Lifeboat Station Community Safety team