RNLI safety advice and lifejacket clinic at Ullswater Yacht Club

Lifeboats News Release

Three RNLI safety advisors set up a free advice and lifejacket clinic at Ullswater Yacht Club on Sunday May 8.

Derek Tunstall and John Dennis, who are part of the Lake District National Park Lake Patrol Team, and Tony Clare of the RNLI were kept busy all day checking the lifejackets of club members and giving safety advice at their stand on the front lawn of the club.

The clinic is part of a national RNLI campaign Respect the Water helping water users to stay safe and maintain their equipment.

Of the 27 lifejackets checked at the club, just one was found to be perfect, with no faults.
Safety advisor and volunteer National Park Ranger Derek Tunstall, who can often be found patrolling on Ullswater, said he was not surprised at the results.

‘Some lifejackets had minor faults and we advised all the owners on what they need to do. I think some people were shocked at what we had found,’ he said.

He emphasised that lifejackets should not only be worn, but they also need regular maintenance checks.

‘We want everyone to enjoy the water, but to respect it too. By maintaining and wearing a lifejacket properly, boat-users will give themselves the best possible chance of survival in the case of an emergency.’

The RNLI advises that there are three simple steps that could help to save your life - check that the gas canister is in good condition and screwed in properly, the firing head is within its expiry date and that a crotch strap is attached securely.

The club’s cruiser class representative Ian Priestley, of Kirkby Thore, thanked the three advisors and said that club members were all very grateful to the RNLI team for giving their time to run the day-long clinic.

The RNLI safety team is holding another free clinic on Sunday, May 29 ,10am-4pm at Derwentwater Marina. For full advice on choosing, caring and wearing your lifejacket visit: www.rnli.org.uk/seasafety
For more information contact Derek Tunstall by email tunstallderek@gmail.com

Photo captions

1.  UYC cruiser class representative Ian Priestley of Kirkby Thore has his lifejacket checked by RNLI safety advisor and National Park Ranger Derek Tunstall
2.  Left to right, National Park Rangers and RNLI safety advisors John Dennis and Derek Tunstall and Tony Clare of the RNLI. Photos by Sue Giles

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.