Vital training for pier staff

  • 17 July, 2023
  • On the pier


Staff at Clacton Pier have undergone vital training which could help
save lives and assist visiting families.

Employees across a number of departments undertook two sessions, one of
which was run by the RNLI.

The aim was to give greater confidence in dealing with incidents and
issues which could arise on any day.

Two members of the RNLI visited the pier to hand out a couple of hours
of life-saving instruction, especially involving key equipment kept on site to
help those getting into difficulty in the sea.

Pier Communications Manager Nigel Brown there have been several occasions
in recent years where staff have successfully helped out.

“Although those did not involve visitors to the attraction, our teams
have spotted swimmers in difficulty and successfully gone to their aid,” he

“The work they did with the RNLI was good team-building and increased
their knowledge of what to do in an emergency situation.”

Last summer a group of six people had problems after being swept towards
the east side of the pier after going into the sea from an adjoining beach.

Pier staff used life rings on ropes to hold onto four casualties until
Tendring District Council Beach Patrol and two Clacton lifeboat teams picked
them up. Unfortunately, a fifth person had disappeared before the cries for
help were heard and did not survive.

“There was a tragic loss of life on that occasion but it could easily
have been so much worse without the efforts of our staff,” added Mr Brown.

Another group of employees underwent two hours of online Makaton
training – a simple aid for communicating with those with communication
difficulties and needs – provided by the Makaton Charity.

Fifteen staff were involved and it means they can now deal more
confidently with visitors such as those on the autism spectrum and with
learning disabilities.

More work is to be undertaken to improve accessibility for all at the

Pier director Billy Ball said that staff are the businesses greatest
asset and it is important to invest in their development.

“Both these courses will have provided them with new tools to improve
their ability to deal with various situations in the course of their work with
us,” he said.


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