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RNLI to Blame?

Robin

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home again, where democracy needs no guns
In all the years we had childhood holidays in Cornwall, I don't remember ever hearing about a lifeguard being anywhere, or of any casualties. I know Treyarnon fairly well as we used to surf there, an activity which was invariably carried out while lying prone in those days. Everyone knew that it was dangerous until there was an incomng tide. Before that you could swim in the wonderful natural rock pool there. We also played around in small boats and inflatable dinghies. Have people just become more stupid?
Me too, maybe we met there sometime, I was the prat trying hard to paddle out to catch a wave but rarely succeeding. Still never needed a lifeguard.

IIRC councils asked the RNLI to get involved, initially paid for them then reneged and the RNLI got lumbered permanently with a Baywatch sideline.
 

Motor_Sailor

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Norfolk
It's not so much a responsibility they've adopted as a commercial opportunity they've spotted. Councils pay through the nose for RNLI life guard services.
No they don't.

Originally the local authorities (and other beach owners) paid enough to cover costs . But with the local government cut backs the level of funding from local authorities has dropped year on year. As the RNLI didn't want to be seen abandoning beaches as the public had now got used to there being a coherent lifeguard provision in many areas, the RNLI opted to spend many millions of pounds each year to run the service themselves.

And just as the RNLI feared, when circumstances conspired this summer to prevent the usual service being provided, they have got the blame for accidents.
 

JumbleDuck

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SW Scotland
No they don't.

Originally the local authorities (and other beach owners) paid enough to cover costs . But with the local government cut backs the level of funding from local authorities has dropped year on year. As the RNLI didn't want to be seen abandoning beaches as the public had now got used to there being a coherent lifeguard provision in many areas, the RNLI opted to spend many millions of pounds each year to run the service themselves.
Thanks for the correction. Well, they shot themselves in the foot there, didn't they? £19m last year (I just checked) to lkeep something going which was supposed to earn them money. Mind you, charities are odd. A report some years ago showed that most Oxfam shops are a net drain on the charity's funds.
 

Praxinoscope

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Aberaeron
As the local councils make money on their tourism, (business rates, car park charges etc.) I that it is more their responsibility to maintain beach safety, not rely upon a charity that was not intended as a lifeguard provider.
 

dom

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As the local councils make money on their tourism, (business rates, car park charges etc.) I that it is more their responsibility to maintain beach safety, not rely upon a charity that was not intended as a lifeguard provider.

Indeed, but the RNLI charge for Lifeguard services at a price point that turns it a small profit.
 

penberth3

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As the local councils make money on their tourism, (business rates, car park charges etc.) I that it is more their responsibility to maintain beach safety, not rely upon a charity that was not intended as a lifeguard provider.
Do councils really have any responsibility for this?
 

dom

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#22 suggests that RNLI no longer get paid for this service

Not during the lockdown period when Local Councils no longer wished to pay for it or handle the complicated personal safety issues it would involve.

I don't think one can seriously blame the RNLI for the current sorry state of affairs. The problem is squarely one for Local Councils and their fumbling Westminster bosses. Tragic that more lives are needlessly being lost this way.
 

penberth3

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As the Health & Safety officers of local councils seem to insist on various signs and other safety aspects of areas under their jurisdiction I think they do.
That still doesn't mean councils have legal responsibility for lifeguarding.
 

Halo

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Wetherby
The BBC reported that RNLI has asked Government to close beaches and then showed an interview with RNLI CEO which said nothing of the sort. He merely asked for people to stay well with their competence and to be extra careful.
 

RivalRedwing

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Medway, UK, boat in SYH
The RNLI have a duty of care towards their employees, developing a route to safely do mouth to mouth resus (or not, on employee safety grounds) in Covid times must be a challenge..
 

Hacker

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4 Nov 2015
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Falmouth
RNLI have a duty of care to their employees. PPE for beach rescue is at best tricky but more likely impossible. Warning signs are on beaches. People are responsible for their own actions. Whilst tragic those that died can’t blame anyone else.
 

ylop

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10 Oct 2016
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1. The area where the RIB capsized is not traditionally serviced by beach lifeguards AIUI.
2. The people pulled from the water at the other incidents were reportedly recovered by off-duty lifeguards / members of life saving clubs.

Its not clear that even if the RNLI service had been operating as usual the outcome would be different.
I have no issue with the RNLI providing life guard services on beaches - it seems a reasonable way to save lives at sea - but I've also absolutely no issue with them not providing the service either because they can't protect their staff, or indeed because they believe it encourages people do congregate on those beaches and increase the Covid risk.

All the RNLI lifeguards are seasonal workers who didn't qualify for furlough, so are unlikely to be quickly brought into service. Not to mention that many of them are not UK based all year round (indeed many are not UK nationals) and so may not even be in the country. If the council really thought there was an unacceptable risk they could have looked at how else to reduce that risk themselves rather than wagging their finger. e.g. how many of their swimming pool staff are qualified to provide beach cover? are any of their harbour staff or outdoor centre staff competent to operate small rescue boats etc...
 

penberth3

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The RNLI have a duty of care towards their employees, developing a route to safely do mouth to mouth resus (or not, on employee safety grounds) in Covid times must be a challenge..
That was dealt with weeks ago - RNLI, Mountain Rescue etc, etc, have all been advised on resus and Covid.
 

Comrade Red

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21 Mar 2009
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Kernow
The RNLI are a large organisation with so called professional management.

They have over £700m of reserves apparently.

Their excuse, repeated by the Chief Exec today on BBC Radio Cornwall, was that they were taken by surprise by the lockdown and unlocking.

Fact: lockdown came just one week before they were due to deploy across Cornwall.

Fact: they have had 2 weeks to do what every other business has been doing: emergency rapid planning.

I think it is reasonable to expect that at that stage they had their training done (they had), their resources in place (they have and still do), and their lifeguard staff, many of whom have done the job for many years as their "summer" job, ready to start (they were, and most still are).

If the Chief Exec spent as long kicking butt of his slack managers (who haven't been able to get things going again despite their over large salaries) , as he has spent justifying why they can't and won't, perhaps the deaths and the life changing injuries sustained this weekend would not have happened.

In one of the incidents (which resulted in serious life changing injury) oxygen had to be flown to the accident by helicopter and brought by lifeboat (20 mins plus) when supplies were apparently a 2 minute quad drive away, locked in an RNLI lifeguard hut. The outcome would probably not have been as severe has it been available quickly.

Local surf lifesaving clubs and currently not-wanted RNLI lifeguards have done their best to fill the gap, and have done a far better job locally despite being volunteer organisers, than the shower of sh##$ the RNLI call "managers".

The RNLI are still saying that at best they can only fulfill 30% of the beaches they are CONTRACTED to cover, at some stage this summer, and this weekend coming there will be 7 or so beaches covered.

The Chief Exec thinks that is good.

Well Mr Chief Exec, if you set your expectations so low, your vision so clouded by corporate BS excuses, no wonder your managers aim so low.

On the ground the people that normally do the lifeguard job for the RNLI cannot understand why they cannot start, and many have not even been contacted to see if they could start.

Sorry RNLI, but your management is appalling, and until it gets sorted I won't be donating any more. The greedy RNLI aggresively hoovered up the lifeguarding contracts, and have failed to deliver.

And 3 families will never be the same.
 

Comrade Red

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RNLI have a duty of care to their employees. PPE for beach rescue is at best tricky but more likely impossible. Warning signs are on beaches. People are responsible for their own actions. Whilst tragic those that died can’t blame anyone else.
They aren't blaming anyone, they are dead.
 

Comrade Red

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The BBC reported that RNLI has asked Government to close beaches and then showed an interview with RNLI CEO which said nothing of the sort. He merely asked for people to stay well with their competence and to be extra careful.
RNLI CRO.wrote a letter saying that the RNLI couldn't close beaches, but that Government could.

He backtracked on that today.
 

Comrade Red

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Not during the lockdown period when Local Councils no longer wished to pay for it or handle the complicated personal safety issues it would involve.

I don't think one can seriously blame the RNLI for the current sorry state of affairs. The problem is squarely one for Local Councils and their fumbling Westminster bosses. Tragic that more lives are needlessly being lost this way.
Cornwall council have basically had to beg the RNLI to cash the cheque. It isn't a problem of Cornwall Council's making.
 
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