South West Water strengthens partnership with RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI and the communities in the south west will benefit once again from the generosity of South West Water as the company continues to support the RNLI for another year as one of its charity partners.

RNLI/Nigel Millard

RNLI lifeguard on duty

South West Water and the RNLI have a long history of working together. Over the last three years, the funding provided by South West Water has enabled the RNLI to engage with schools across the region, educating around 25,500 young people on important water safety and how to stay safe when using the beach or visiting the coast.

In the South Devon area, funds have directly supported the lifeboat stations at Torbay and Exmouth, funding the volunteers training and equipment.

With the continued support from South West Water the RNLI are looking to launch new and exciting education and safety initiatives in Devon and Cornwall. This will include an education tool called Beach Buddies. A seaside puppet theatre that delivers beach and water safety messages to children, the puppet theatre is a fun and interactive way of reaching our younger audiences and has seen fantastic success with children and adults.

The support will also enable the RNLI to pilot a trial of digital signage at the entrance to beaches enabling the charity to provide specific area information on the local hazards and how to stay safe and weather conditions with an appropriate weather warning. For example: not to use inflatables above a certain wind speed.

The charity will be able to use the digital signage to activate up to date content to inform visitors such as beach closures, water quality and other important announcements.

Ellie Walker RNLI Community Fundraising Manager says:

‘We are extremely grateful for the continued support of South West Water. Based on a poll of its staff, over the last three years South West Water has donated £45,000 to the RNLI in support of our ongoing lifesaving work across the South West region, enabling us to train and equip our volunteer crews and educate the next generation in essential water safety.

We are really excited to be able to roll out our successful Beach Buddies educational puppet show, which was first initiated in the south west by one of our talented education volunteers and has proved a really fun and interactive way to get the beach safety message across to young children.

The digital signage is a really innovative solution to providing beach goers with the most up to date safety information and we are delighted that South West Water are helping us to trial its success on beaches in the south west. ’

South West Water’s Head of Community Relations Alan Hyde said:

‘Transforming our region’s bathing waters from polluted seas 25 years ago to some of the finest beaches in Europe today has been a key priority for South West Water’s for over two decades.

‘The RNLI enables residents and visitors to enjoy many of our region’s beautiful beaches safely, so we are delighted to continue to support the charity’s important work again this year.’

RNLI media contacts

For more information contact Emma Haines, RNLI Regional Media Relations Officer, on 07786 668847 or

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.