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Broads safety warning.

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Front page of the EDP today regarding safety on the broads following four deaths this year.They also have two page spread on a day with the rangers on Breydon during a Spring tide and the fact that people wont take advice regarding safety :o .Good to see the handovers get a thumbs up ,mentioning Ricos in a good light ,but it is what happens when they get down the river when Holiday mood kicks in. ? :party2::Stinky :piratetwo guns:Sailing

LINK

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/lifejacket_ ... _1_1000375

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I do think one of the main issues with life jackets on hire craft is the ugly, uncomfortable large vests supplied.

They are uncomfortable to wear, especially when sitting and bulky to store close to hand.

If you become a regular visitor perhaps it would be worth investing in some life jackets that you would be comfortable wearing.

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Maybe worth mentioning that I popped a specific post about someone who NEARLY fell off a boat last year over Breydon and recall the many comments saying that it was quite acceptable behaviour. PPE is not a joke, regardless of how it looks it saves lives, however, the hire companies MUST update their equipment - modern autoinflates cost next to nothing and the refil cartridges and valves are cheap as chips so to use the reply that was aired on that thread from last year that they may have been accidentally inflated or inflated deliberately - for the cost of the valves and cartidges, this cost could easily be covered by the deposit - so why isn't safety higher on the hire companies agenda? There is no excuse for it - update your equipment to the less bulky modern alternative, then maybe more people would wear it (after all it is their own choice) and then maybe less people would die and they wouldn't have bad press

The Norfolk Broads aren't big and a portion of those rivers are not accessible by hirers - so the number of deaths are representatively very high statistically and so it is 100\% in the interest of the hire companies to address this before the HSE step in and make the decisions for them

Last year I was also criticized for posting a photo - some said that 'naming and shaming' wasn't good, however, this guy FELL from the boat and barely hung on in a fast flowing and choppy Breydon!!! BUT isn't that exactly what the EDP have done by publishing the very pictures that have apppeared today?

Lastly I would like to reproduce one part of that article;

The moves have been announced in the same week that the EDP went on patrol with Broads Authority rangers on Breydon Water and discovered a shocking disregard for safety among holidaymakers on hire boats.

It revealed an estimated 80pc of hirers shunning lifejackets and widespread ignorance of tides and other fundamental such as how to moor safely.

All four tragedies this year involved people not wearing lifejackets and it is believed that three of the victims might still be alive if they had been wearing one.

Enough said

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I do think one of the main issues with life jackets on hire craft is the ugly, uncomfortable large vests supplied.

A lot of yards do already supply the auto-inflate type, but not all by any means.

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Anyone know what type of jacket Richardsons supply? On a 4 day break from Monday.

I've got my own auto life jacket but my wife is not too keen on the bouyancy aid style!! I've told her she's got to wear it, at least until I upgrade her life insurance!!!

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A lot of yards do already supply the auto-inflate type, but not all by any means.

Having been a big topic of conversation due to the Acle Bridge tragedy before we went away.

I was more aware of life jackets & noticed that it was always the Faircraft Loynes boats who's crews, all (not just kids) that always seemed to be in lifejackets.

They supply the Red & Blue flat type.

There were less adults wearing the big orange floaty type on other hire boats, but I did see most kids wearing the waistcoat type

of floaty lifejacket.

I understand the flat type are expensive & would be a huge expense to hire yards to change the jackets they had, but maybe

as they replaced their jakects due to wear & tear they could invest in the flatter types & hire them to customers for an extra fee as an alternative.

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I understand the flat type are expensive.

Actually that is a myth - no they are not, however it would mean that they had to carry a stock of spares and have one of their engineers certified to change the cannisters when deployed (You can do it yourself on your own boat) - a typical cannister and valve replacement is less than a tenner and a GOOD QUALITY jacket will cost around £70, however, as people are paying thousands for a week on the water, it is time for the hire companies to invest - what price is a life?

The eye on safety is very much on the Broads now - 4 deaths through drowning in one year on such a small area is way way way over what is deemed as 'acceptable' in the big picture, and represents MORE THAN 1% of all UK drownings for last year (That includes suicides, offshore and UK nationals drowned on foreign soils!) and of the UK drownings so far this year - nearly 2%!! That is a massive figure given the small footprint of water the Broads covers.

more here: http://www.rospa.com/leisuresafety/statistics/

Given to that these 4 people all fell from hire craft, and the news that RoSPA have, according to todays Anglia news, asked for an urgent investigation into safety, it wont be long before all hirers will have to wear jackets as a condition of hire and operation of the craft, unless something is done positively by the companies (As some have as mentioned above) that give people a reason to wear them, ie not obtrusive, not unfashionable looking and you know what - the more people who wear them, especially at crucial times like mooring etc, the more people will!!!

THE BALL IS IN THE HIRE COMPANIES COURT - surely now the hire companies must want to be seen to ive customers the best they can for safety, after all a death from one of your fleet is not good for advertising or future business in any way, let alone the fact that they can HONESTLY say they have the customers safety at the fore of their operation

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a typical cannister and valve replacement is less than a tenner

Dunno where you get yours from Gav, but they are £23 in Norfolk Marine. I have just found though that ther have started selling the Plastimo re-arming device (without the gas canister) for just over a tenner. Quite glad about that as I found out last week that three out of the four I carry on board were out of date!

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Dunno where you get yours from Gav, but they are £23 in Norfolk Marine. I have just found though that ther have started selling the Plastimo re-arming device (without the gas canister) for just over a tenner. Quite glad about that as I found out last week that three out of the four I carry on board were out of date!

We have Seago jackets - the kits are between £9 and £19 for the largest automatics - of course the yards would buy in bulk at a far better price

http://www.crew-safe.co.uk/acatalog/Sea ... ories.html

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The front page article was mostly about the the life jacket issue,but the inside spread had more issues about the disregard of advice regarding safety through Gt Yarmouth ,Breydon with kids on the roofs ,going under Haven bridge and a general relaxed attitude to safety A mention was of foot ware was made and bare footed leaps on to banks.We had a hire boat coming in to our basin and in trying to fend off a lad run down the boat in bare feet and split his toes apart on a cleat :roll::shocked:o:naughty: and ended up rushing to James Patchett hospital to be stitched up.If only he had worn shoes??? :(

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Or, as a step in the right direction re. big and bulky, these fit the bill http://www.hellyhansenonlineshop.co.uk/ ... floatation and if bought in bulk by the hire yards would be much less than £20 each.

I've got three of these and are ideal for inland waterways. They're like wearing a small body warmer and are comfortable to wear all day plus they also look the part.

On the subject of life jackets, I always thought that to be 100% effective, you had to wear a crotch strap to stop them riding up when inflated? Can't see hirers doing this :norty:

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The problem with the buoyancy aids though is that they are just that, a simple aid to buoyancy. You still have to swim, which means you still have to be concious. They are most suited to canoeists and sailers but still useless if you pass out or a knocked unconcious. Still better than nothing though.

On the subject of crotch straps, you are completely correct and they should always be worn to stop the LJ riding up when inflated. We always use ours when wearing the LJ's, but I do know some people cut them off!

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On the subject of the HH vest I feel I have to disagree and agree with Mark, unfortunately this is replacing the orange ones with more of the same, far too hot to wear and just simply would not be worn. I feel genuinely that the only way forward is the auto inflate slimfit type

On the subject of cutting of the crotch strap that is probably even more dangerous than not wearing at all as when the jacket rides up when inflated as your body weight falls down, the inflated panel at the rear will push the head forward completely blocking the airway! Not good at all!

What tiotally bemused me is why, again on this subject, those involved with the hire companies are totally silent?

Come on - you know you have a duty of care to your hirers and safety has to be at the heart of that so isn't it about time you bummed the 'this is what we have to provide accoring to the law' and start providing something that is infinitely more suitable as I for one nor anyone else I know would like to rescue anyone or any pet again (see another post from last year) or have to provide life saving care. I've had enough of that over the past few years and certainly don't want to be doing it in my leisure time!

Hire companies - act now! You know it makes sense

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On our last hire from a Wroxham boatyard we were asked at check in who could swim well in our party, and who were the non swimmers. The swimmers were issued with the new style slim life jackets, whilst the non swimmers were given the bulky box orange ones, including the 3 yr old in our party who really hated his, and had to be bribed with sweets and treats before he would wear it :naughty:

All the salt side trips we have made have also issued us with the big bulky type life jackets, including the P&O cruise ships who could quite easily afford to buy the best on the market given the price they charge per ticket, and jolly uncomfortable they are too when you have to stand for an hour or so doing lifeboat drill with your head in those stiffened collars :norty:

We have just returned from a flying trip to the broads staying a couple of weeks on the north Norfolk coast, the biggest horror we have seen is the amount of children sitting on the rear bathing platforms whilst the boat was underway, no life jackets on, and dangling various inflatable toys, kids fishing nets, or even their feet into the water as the boat was underway, whilst their parents sat oblivious to the danger at the helm, and it wasnt just hireboats where we spotted this happening either :o

Julz :wave

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Being a salty (sailing) type, I have my own automatic jacket, and am used to wearing it whenever going on deck, and usually have it on all day whilst underway in a yacht, so t becomes almost instinctive to put it on when getting ready to depart when on the Broads.

I therefore take my own jackets with me on the Broads,and have recently let the three older kids wear "auto's" for their latest trip.

The youngest two are

a) Still too young to trust with a cord that they could pull, (the 5 year old)

B) Just simply too small for even a "Junior" auto (both the 5 year old and his little brother)

As I have my own jacket on then it is easier to get the kids to wear theirs, and my thigh straps (I prefer them to a single crutch strap) are always done up, ao again it is easier to get them do do up theirs.

Now, if only it was as easy to get the other adults in the crew to follow suit....

On a recent sailing trip to Greece I did have an accidental discharge of my jacket, put it in the bottom of the dinghy after I beached it, and someone moved the dinghy which had some water in it....

On my trips the closest I have had to having a crew member go overboard was when someone decided to swab the decks when the yacht was doing over 7 knots. He threw the bucket in, but luckily was able to let go of the lanyard before it dragged him off the bathing platform. (And of course he wasn't wearing a jacket!)

I also remember seeing a family arrive at a Greek harbour, all kitted out properly, with kiddy netting around the guardrails as well so they couldn't fall through. They moored up and got ready to go ashore. 10 yards along the harbour wall and their littlest one saw some fish in the water, "Mummy , mummy, look at the fishies" whilst pointing over the side, was followed by a shreik and a splash.

Their jackets were, of course, all back on the boat, but luckily mum was a good swimmer!

More yachties drown in Britain whilst trying to get back ON their boat having been ashore than lose their lives at sea...

And the most common cause of falling in whilst out at sea? Relieving oneself over the stern rather than going down below to the heads!

Sea going yachts tend to have guardrails all around the deck, jackstays that you can clip onto whilst moving around etc.

Broads cruisers on the other hand tend to have no rails, and little narrow side decks, so it is far easier to fall in.

So why do people habitually wear jackets at sea and yet want not to when on an inland waterway? :Sailing

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So why do people habitually wear jackets at sea and yet want not to when on an inland waterway? :Sailing

I believe it is simply that it all looks so benign Martin, nothing more complex than that, most seagoing boaters would wear a lifejacket even when visiting the broads, we did scale down to 150n from our seagoing jackets as they are a lot less bulky but still wore them.

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this seems a bit of a one sided hire company/ hirer bashing, I did not realise all 4 deaths were hirers and that the private boater never fails to wear a buoyancy aid. :?

I see no point in wearing a 'pull to inflate' jacket and the auto inflates would need to be serviced every turnround (roughly 500-700 jackets a day)

again I feel it is a case of bashing us (hire yards) when there is little knowledge of what we do do.

why when people are told of the dangers and given the jackets is it the hire companys fault that they are not worn? is it too much for people to be responsible for their own actions or the actions of their children?? :roll:

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and the auto inflates would need to be serviced every turnround (roughly 500-700 jackets a day)

I quit agree Clive, something that I've been saying all along, but have been shot down on each occasion. (not all here though ;) )

I think most people have no idea how intolerant of misuse that auto life jackets are, intentional or accidental.

They are excellent for personal use, but I would be very nervous of using one that was being used in a hire situation, if it failed to inflate it would act as a sinker instead, strapped on as well.

I bet most owners have no idea what the mechanism consists of inside.... :roll:

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Giving them and advising on the wearing is all you can do Clive, together with making it as easy as you can. Anybody that thinks otherwise is possibly just not thinking it through, you can lead a horse to water etc. What is quite interesting is to hear you say that each jacket would need a service between handovers though, although I note you limit that comment to auto inflate types, surely a quick inspection by a trained member of staff would suffice. Or would that be a legal requirement, surely a pull cord CO canister would need a check over just the same, as will presumably solid types if only to check security of buckles and straps.

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I feel that after concussing yourself on the way in some may have difficulty in pulling a cord :-|

the problem with auto inflate is that kids/ idiots messing about will let them off. if we charge a deposit to stop this behaviour then the jackets will be folded back up and handed back in.

I know that there is a 'breakable tab' on the mechanisms of the cord type but on the 2 types I looked at the clip pinged off and was able to be snapped back on which would mean unscrewing the canister on every jacket.

Dont get me wrong, it is a good idea but one we need to spend more time on, it is a shame peole think we dont do anything or take these matters seriously.

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In my experience hire yards take this very seriously indeed. DRL for example, insist that each hirer wears the lifejacket during the handover. Obviously when you have set off down river there is little they can do but at least they try. Swancraft are equally vigilant and their staff wear lifejackets at all times when on the boats and doing demonstrations.

Incidentally DRL use the inflating ones.

I think as David says, its horses and water etc. Once the hirer has disappeared round the corner, what more can you realistically do? Should the matter ever get to court, I’m sure any hire yard would be totally exonerated as they have done everything in their power to make the hirer wear the jacket provided. .

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All the salt side trips we have made have also issued us with the big bulky type life jackets, including the P&O cruise ships who could quite easily afford to buy the best on the market given the price they charge per ticket, and jolly uncomfortable they are too when you have to stand for an hour or so doing lifeboat drill with your head in those stiffened collars Julz :wave

Firstly this is a rediculous comment to make as all vessels operating in this area carry jackets that are designed to support the body mass for two reasons - firstly to keep you fully afloat - secondly, they will not deterioate after time in the water allowing recovery of bodies - a far more likely outcome if you find yourself in the water for a protracted length of time at sea. Harsh as it may sound, that is an entirely different topic, and all ships have crews trained that will ensure you are wearing a jacket prior to disembarking into the far more dangerous 40 foot lifeboat!

Clive - Thank you for entering the discussion, although I disagree with your comments to a degree. The common reason people give (and is now being fully investigated) is that the protection equipment is either bulky, uncomfortable or ugly! The auto inflate jackets have been around for about 20 years now and are fully certified to every standard. Why is it some companies have happily made the switch? To say "to not understand the working of a hire yard" is rediculous as the RoSPA investigation should be taken very seriously as if recommendations are made to the HSE then it may be a case of enforced application!

Secondly, whilst I agree not all private owners wear safety equipment - a FAR HIGHER percentage do - especially when mooring etc

Lastly for those who feel this is another thread bashing hire companies, it is not, it is a response to an article published in the EDP following an investigation they undertook into safety after 4 people have died this year. Having 1% of all UK drownings on the Broads is a very very bad statistic, given the very small area navigable by hirers.

Why is it that other countries also have no problem updating equipment? - France especialy whew the auto-inflate types are issued as the norm! And whilst some companies have happily embraced change - as reported above - others maintain that 'it is too expensive' and carry on regardless. The fact is the hire companies do have a duty of care to their hirers, and as also said above, you can lead a horse to water...that is also true, however if more people are seen to be wearing them, a situation emerges where people will not feel so different by wearing theirs too.... So isn't it time to change???

Also no one is at all implying the yards DON'T take this matter seriously as no one wants their name associated with a death from drowning, but maybe just maybe it's time, if the research suggests such, to take the bull by the horns.. however, the research may show an entirely different reason - in which case the yards may have to look elsewhere for a solution - however, I get the sneaky feeling it wont....

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Ok, I dont really want to get into this too deeply but I would disagree that all French hire yards use auto inflate as some bases frogot to remove the buoyancy aids from the boats we brought over!

Well done to the companies who have made the switch, perhaps they have a procedure or different insurance or are getting it wrong, as I have said we do what we do and may change after careful consideration which as I have stated we are doing.

do you think the various authorities know what we do? perhaps that is why they are doing the audit - because they dont.

I did not realise that a 'far higher percentage' of private owners wore jackets, I have not seen a survey and guessed it was 'roughly the same or thereabouts'

Also please bear in mind this is an article in a newspaper probably made without leaving the office, I see nothing in that report with anything positive in it, it looks asif the whole thing has been made by speaking to just one person. I do take this as seriously as every body else but it seems as sensationalist as the blue green algae scare we have every year, it seems this is a safety warning but at the same time every year it puts people off coming on holiday which is not very productive..

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