RNLI ‘lifejacket locker’ Hampshire initiative will take the stress out of safety

Lifeboats News Release

Lifesaving charity, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, is aiming to take the stress out of safety at a popular Hampshire destination with the help of special ‘lifejacket lockers’ for boaters.

An RNLI volunteer with an example of the type of lifejacket lockers installed at Buckler's Hard Yacht Harbour

RNLI

An RNLI volunteer with an example of the type of lifejacket lockers installed at Buckler's Hard Yacht Harbour

Working together, the RNLI and Buckler's Hard Yacht Harbour on the Beaulieu River have installed a set of lifejacket lockers, to encourage people to wear lifejackets on board their tenders when going ashore.

The aim is to offer short-term secure storage for people who visit Buckler’s Hard Yacht Harbour, and comes in the wake of research by the RNLI that showed many boat users can often be put off wearing their lifejacket aboard their tender because of the ‘hassle factor’ of having nowhere secure to store them once ashore.

The feedback suggested people are less likely to wear the important safety measure because they don’t wish to carry their lifejacket once ashore.

The initiative is being run by the RNLI in conjunction with Buckler's Hard Yacht Harbour, and is the first of its kind in the Solent area. The roll-out follows a successful trial in the south west, with the other locations being in Devon and Cornwall.

The RNLI supplies the lockers to harbours and locations free of charge providing they meet the criteria, along with signage. It’s hoped the scheme, aimed at visiting sailors and motor cruisers coming ashore in tenders, will help curb preventable accidents between moored vessels and the shore.

The eight lockers will be located at the visitors’ pontoon from now until mid-September. Each locker is big enough to hold four lifejackets.

Jon Oxenham from the RNLI’s coastal safety team is leading the trial. He said:

‘It’s not only important to wear a lifejacket whilst on your boat, but also while in your tender and going to and from your vessel. We know that equipment can be bulky to carry around once on land and that’s why we provide these lockers. It’s really positive to know that more boat users are taking the RNLI’s advice and not removing their lifejackets before they reach the shore. It will help towards the charity’s goal of ending preventable loss of life at sea.’

Beaulieu River Harbour Master Wendy Stowe said: ‘While the Beaulieu River is one of only a few privately-owned estuaries in the world and we are keen that it remains an unspoilt natural haven, we are also introducing changes for the future. We are proud to be chosen by the RNLI as the first harbour to have these lockers in the Solent area.’

For more information on lifejacket lockers, and tips for staying safe on or near the water, visit www.rnli.org/boatingor or www.beaulieuriver.co.uk

RNLI media contacts

  • Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 tim_ash@rnli.org.uk
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207416, 07786 668825, paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

Beaulieu River Buckler’s Hard Yacht Harbour media contacts

  • Jane Riddiford, Beaulieu River Public Relations Manager on 01590 614603 pr@beaulieu.co.uk

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland