Local Conservative MP for Fareham, Suella Braverman, visited Warsash Sailing Club on Friday (01 July) and met with the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) to discuss safety initiatives within the sport. The visit came ahead of Maritime Safety Week, an annual event held by the Department for Transport to encourage the sharing of safety knowledge within the sector and to highlight the importance of following best practice when spending time on the water.
RYA representatives took the opportunity to show Suella the RYA SafeTrx app, the handy vessel tracking app which alerts emergency contacts should the user not arrive at their destination on time. The representatives showed how the app can also work as a practical tool, providing the knowledge to be safer at sea with weather information, port and marina contacts and VHF details based on the vessel’s location.
Whilst at the Club Suella praised the work of the RYA in highlighting the message of safety amongst RYA members and the wider boating community.
Commenting on the visit, Suella said: “I have had a wonderful afternoon meeting with the RYA and Warsash Sailing Club members, vibrant sports clubs such as this are vital hubs in our communities. It is important that people get trained and follow safety best practices whilst enjoying being on the water, joining a club or undertaking a training course is a great way to get started. Having the chance to get afloat myself today was a fantastic experience.”
During the visit, Suella was delighted to take up the offer to join Ian Walker MBE, RYA Director of Racing and Warsash Sailing Club member, and Rachel Andrews, RYA Chief Instructor - Power, for a taster session out on the water in a RS dinghy.
Ian said: “We have welcomed the opportunity to meet with Suella Braverman MP today to discuss some of the key safety initiatives, such as the RYA SafeTrx app, that the RYA is doing to actively support safe and fun recreational activity on the water.
“Going afloat is a great way to learn new skills, grow in confidence and to meet new friends. However, as more people head to the coast and the inland waterways this summer, it is also vital that we continue to highlight the benefits of following good safety practice whilst afloat.”
Based at the mouth of the River Hamble, Warsash Sailing Club is a member run club and is also an RYA accredited training centre and a RYA British Youth Sailing recognised club. The Club has around 1,500 members and regularly runs training sessions and other activities throughout the year.
Warsash Sailing Club were excited to host the MP’s visit ahead of what is expected to be a busy summer season on the water. Vice Commodore of Warsash Sailing Club, Nigel Rennie said: “It was fantastic to be able to showcase the facilities available at our Club and to be able to share with Suella the positive impact that sailing has on participants. Club activity is about more than just the activity itself and I hope that we displayed that today.”