New river safety film launched

As part of its commitment to improving safety along the River Avon, Bath & North East Somerset CouncilRiver Avon has produced a short film about the new river rescue cabinets.

river safety14 new river rescue cabinets, specially designed for the Council to protect the life buoys inside from vandalism, have been positioned along the stretch of river from Windsor Bridge to Pulteney Bridge in Bath.

The film shows the location of the cabinets and explains simply how to use them.

The film can be seen here or on YouTube

The Council wants as many people as possible to view the film and to share it with their friends on social media sites. People are also being encouraged to follow @bathriversafety on twitter.

Councillor Martin Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North) Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “The idea behind the film is to help ensure people recognise the cabinets, know how to access the life buoys inside them and use them effectively should the need arise. We would like everyone to take a few minutes to watch the film and to share it with others – it really could be life-saving.”

The film, produced by Bath video production company Suited and Booted, has been very well received by various members of the River Safety Group, including RoSPA.

David Walker, Leisure Safety Manager with RoSPA, said: “The film is part of an innovative project to place and secure public rescue equipment, making sure it’s ready when needed most. The video highlights key information of how to stay safe around our waterways, raise help and safely rescue others. A quick watch might save yours or another’s life.”

The River Avon between Pulteney and Cleveland bridges.
The River Avon between Pulteney and Cleveland bridges.

It is being distributed as widely as possible; shared with partner organisations and on social media sites, screened at large public events and shown to students as part of a roadshow visiting freshers’ fairs this month. This starts today (September 17) at Bath City College; then goes on to Bath University on September 25 and Bath Spa University on September 30.

The locked grey and orange cabinets containing the lifebuoys can be opened with a code provided by the Fire and Rescue Service Control when callers dial 999.

How to use:
· If you see someone in the river, dial 999 and ask for Fire.
· You will be given a code to open the river rescue cabinet.
· Once open, you can take out the lightweight yellow life buoy which has a long rope attached.
· Holding on to the rope, throw the life buoy to the person in the water.
· They need to hold tight to the buoy while the rope is used to pull them to the edge.

The cabinets are just one of the safety measures introduced by the River Safety Group to help make Bath a safer place. The group, formally established in 2014, and supported by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), has implemented a number of safety measures along the River Avon.

Since 2011 Bath & North East Somerset Council has spent in the region of £500,000 on river safety; it plans to spend £150,000 on the river corridor in the 2015/16 and will be seeking partner contributions to increase that figure.