Please help us create something positive from Katie-Lou’s accident. Help us get the law changed so that 1) public beach operators must by law conduct risk assessments aimed at keeping the public safe 2) a minimum level of life saving equipment is in place at our beaches. Sign the petition to show the UK parliament you care about this issue.
In June 2012 our 15 year old daughter, Katie-Lou MacLean, went into the sea at Eyemouth beach during horrendous conditions (pictured opposite). She sustained severe brain injuries and is now quadraplegic, cannot speak and we are unsure of how much sense she can make of the world around her.
Her brain injuries were caused by her going many minutes without oxygen. The horror and severity of her accident was compounded by an inability to pull her from the water as there were no life rings or other safety equipment at or near the beach/bantry wall. Members of the public were using dog leads and lorry straps to try and reach her and some people even risked their lives by venturing into huge waves to grab her. This should not happen.
Since her accident, backed by public pressure, the local council have conducted a risk assessment and have now fitted life saving equipment where Katie-Lou had her accident and have undertaken other measures to try and prevent this ever happening again.
We’ve since discovered that:
There is no legal obligation for public beach operators (mostly local councils) to undertake beach risk assessments aimed at keeping the public* safe.
There is no legal obligation for public beach operators to provide life saving equipment at, on or near public beaches (unless they have conducted a risk assessment, which says equipment is required).
In 2007 The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) sent a 50 page report about how to evaluate the need for, and types of, life saving equipment to all public beach operators in the UK. Clearly this has been ignored by some. The RNLI are happy to assist and advise on the implementation and maintenance of risk assessments.
The RNLI have stated “Much of the public rescue equipment (PRE) found on UK beaches is not fit for purpose. In some case, this has led to drownings.” (Source: RNLI.org).
* All employers must conduct workplace risk assessments. If public beach operators have staff that work on beaches they must by law have undertaken a risk assessment.
AIM OF THIS PETITION
1) Change the law to make it a legal obligation for public beach operators to conduct risk assessments that evaluate the risks to the public.
2) Change the law to make it a legal obligation for public beach operators to provide a minimum level of life saving equipment regardless of risk outlined in the risk assessment.
This WILL prevent drownings and near drownings around our coast.
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION & SHARE WITH EVERYONE YOU KNOW
Andy & Nikki MacLean