9 January 2014, London Boat Show - TV personality and sailor, Nick Knowles and Shipping Minister, Stephen Hammond MP endorse new safety initiative from the RYA, the national body for leisure boating.
A key element of the initiative is the issue of an annual Safety Advisory Notice - a clear, easily accessible digest of current, critical safety issues.
This is the first safety awareness publication of its kind for the leisure boating community and will build on the RYA's existing structure for offering advice on safety. The Notice will be circulated to a broad range of water users.
Other elements of the initiative include the promotion of four key safety messages - look after yourself, have a plan, keep in touch, know your limits. These will feature on an updated safety page on the RYA's popular web site and will form part of an ongoing safety education campaign to its 100,000 plus members and the wider boating public.
An RYA Safety Advisory Group, which includes the Head of Legal and Government Affairs, the Training Manager, and the Cruising Manager, will examine safety concerns and incidents throughout the year, consolidate lessons learnt and issue further advice. The Notice will be reviewed annually but where safety concerns are more immediate the RYA will issue periodic Safety Update alerts.
The RYA also continues to work closely with other UK agencies responsible for safety on the water and with the marine trade to progress its policy of information and education, which the RYA believes is a powerful tool in fostering safe attitudes and behaviour on the water.
RYA's Chief Executive, Sarah Treseder "Safety is a state of mind, an attitude, an ethos of self-reliance and responsibility. It's not simply down to the equipment or the boat you have. It's about what we do to prepare and safeguard ourselves. This new Safety Initiative consolidates the RYA's advice and information for leisure boaters in what we hope will be a thought provoking way".
Nick Knowles TV personality and keen sailor "My message to boaters is to read this year's Safety Advisory Notice, and take action. Check your on board appliances, register your EPIRB or PLB if you have one, give your lifejacket the once over, and if its relevant to you make sure you have a kill cord and that it's in good condition.
"Then when you get out on the water for the season follow the four safety messages for every trip you take however big or small and use the information and advice that the RYA provides on its website".
Stephen Hammond MP Shipping Minister "Boating is a leisure activity enjoyed by many but we should never lose sight of the risks inherent in any waterborne activity.
Keeping abreast of safety information is paramount and this annual update being launched by the RYA will allow the boating community to remain well-prepared."
To read the RYA Safety Advisory Notice 01/2014 and get information on safety related topics go to www.rya.org.uk/go/safety