Amidst all the doom and gloom about Covid 19 it’s a really nice change to have something positive to announce!
Over the past year or so The Merchant Navy Association (MNA) and their Boat Club have agreed an operational partnership with the RNLI whereby MNA Boat Club members have been encouraged to join forces with the RNLI to promote the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign to reduce the almost 200 fatalities as a result of drowning in and around the UK every year; 70% of those drownings occur on inland waterways where the RNLI has no lifeboat stations and hence no Water Safety officer or Advisers either so the MNA Boat Club have taken the initiative in the form of launching their new “MNA WaterWatch” scheme.
MNA WaterWatch, along with the recent introduction by the RNLI of their micro-volunteering “Local Ambassadors” scheme means that all members of the MNA and MNA Boat Club now have the opportunity to become Local Ambassadors for the RNLI to actively promote the Respect the Water Campaign. Initially the RNLI Local Ambassadors initiative is focusing on promoting safety on and around the UK’s beaches where as a result of Covid 19 many of these beaches have become crowded to a far greater extent than is usual even at this time of year with the result that the RNLIs Lifeguards, and the Coastguard Rescue Service’s resources are being hugely stretched.
However the RNLI are well aware that many of the MNA’s members live inland and are quite often situated close to our rivers, canals, lakes or the Broads and the Fens and are ideally located to act as Local Ambassadors in those areas, so the MNA Boat Club is working with the RNLI to develop a Local Ambassadors focus aimed specifically at promoting safety on and around our inland waters.
In the meantime the MNA Boat Club is already working with various organisations to promote the Respect the Water campaign on the coast and inland waterways of East Anglia and the new RNLI Local Ambassadors scheme, with its very simple and straightforward on-line registration process provides the ideal vehicle for delivering water safety messages both for those taking a holiday either at the coast or afloat on, or near to, our many inland waterways such as the Broads and the Fens.
Further information is available on the MNA Boat Club website at www.seafarersafloat.com and on the RNLI website at www.rnli.org.uk or by email from Clive Edwards at Commodore@seafarersafloat.com