RNLI Launches Trial Of Safety Signage on Thames

Following tragedies suffered by water users unfamiliar with local dangers

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The new safety sign at Putney slipway with Chiswick Lifeboat in the background

Chiswick Lifeboat web site

Following concerns about tragedies suffered by water users who are unfamiliar with local dangers, the RNLI has started a trial of safety signs to be put up at popular launching sites and beaches.

One of the trial sites is at Putney Embankment in the stretch patrolled by the RNLI Lifeboat from Chiswick. Station manager Wayne Bellamy has been involved with the development of the scheme with the team at RNLI headquarters in Poole, the local authority, the PLA and major river users.

This project is dedicated to the memory of Ryan Pitney, who died tragically in June 2004 at a beach in Cornwall. Ryan was 4 years old.

Ryan drowned doing one of those things he loved the most: playing by the water. That day, there were no warnings seen by Ryan's mother informing her that the water could be dangerous. "If only we had known, I would have been much more aware and cautious. I hope these new signs prevent other families going through the same thing as we have. The more places that take up the new signage standard, the less Ryan's death was in vain."

The RNLI has 233 lifeboat stations including four on the Thames. Chiswick RNLI lifeboat became operational on the 2nd January 2002. Since then it has responded to over 1,100 emergency calls. The four Thames lifeboats together have responded to over 3,500 calls. The RNLI is entirely supported by voluntary contributions.

August 16, 2007