RNLI and Helly Hansen announce strategic partnership to help save lives

Lifeboats News Release

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Helly Hansen have today – Wednesday 21 March – announced a new strategic partnership that will support the lifesaving charity’s aim of defeating drowning.

Crew members on the deck of the lifeboat in very rough conditions

RNLI/Nigel Millard

Crew on Lowestoft RNLI's all-weather lifeboat in the new Helly Hansen kit

Helly Hansen, the global technical sailing brand founded in Norway in 1877, has committed to supporting the RNLI for the next five years through a variety of life-saving activities. These include delivering drowning prevention messages to their customers, generating income, supporting fundraising and safety campaigns, product innovation and supplying the very best kit to the RNLI’s lifesavers.

Combining almost 350 years of rich heritage, innovation and expertise at sea, the RNLI and Helly Hansen share core brand values, history and experience – making this the perfect partnership for both organisations.

Supplying the RNLI with new all-weather lifeboat crew kit, Helly Hansen has worked with the lifesaving charity to ensure the professional-grade gear will meet the demanding needs of the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews. The new clothing is due to go on service from September 2018.

RNLI Chief Executive, Paul Boissier, said: ‘We are delighted to announce this partnership with Helly Hansen, a highly respected and trusted global technical apparel brand. Through this new alliance, we’ll be able to reach even more people with our vital safety messages, with Helly Hansen committed to helping us achieve our ambition of reducing drowning.

‘Helly Hansen will provide our lifesavers with the very best kit to wear when they’re saving lives at sea. Our new all-weather lifeboat kit is due to start going on service from September and our beach lifeguards will receive their new kit next year.

‘In addition to sharing our drowning prevention advice and supplying lifesaving kit, Helly Hansen has pledged to generate income, fundraise for us, provide us with preferential financial terms and make a very generous gift in kind donation, to which we are extremely grateful.’

Paul Stoneham, Chief Executive Officer, Helly Hansen, said: ‘As a brand that defines itself through its work with professionals for over 140 years, Helly Hansen has a tremendous amount of respect for the RNLI’s mission, heritage and the individuals that have built and continue to sustain this critical institution.

‘We are both proud and humbled by the serious nature of supporting those who willingly help others in their time of need, and we are motivated by the shared ambition of broadening water safety awareness and the reduction of drownings. We look forward to our work together and the continued development of a long-term partnership that we can all be proud of.’

Designed to allow greater freedom of movement, the new all-weather lifeboat kit provides better endurance levels and comfort for the charity’s crew members.

Waterproof, breathable and considerably lighter than the kit it will replace, the technical layering system will ensure crew members will keep warm and dry when they’re out saving lives in all conditions. The kit comes in a wide range of sizes, with versions tailored to fit male and female crew members.

Alice Higgins, volunteer at Weymouth Lifeboat Station, was one of 60 crew members from six lifeboat stations across the UK and the Republic of Ireland who trialled the new Helly Hansen gear. She said: ‘The new all-weather lifeboat kit is absolutely fantastic. It’s much lighter than the old kit and uses breathable fabric, which is ideal for the more demanding tasks we often need to carry out. While trialling the kit it was great to find out that it kept you both warm and dry, even while out at sea in some harsh conditions.

‘The new kit has a version tailored for female crew members. This ensures the clothing fits better and is comfortable to wear, which is important as we can be out on a shout for hours at a time searching for casualties.’

The new kit will be rolled out to all RNLI stations with an all-weather lifeboat, as well as two stations on the Thames (Tower and Chiswick lifeboat stations). The new lifesaving gear was judged to better meet the unique challenges crew at these stations face.

As well as the new all-weather lifeboat crew gear and the lifeguard kit, Helly Hansen will also supply corporate clothing and uniforms for RNLI staff.

ENDS

Notes to editors

The following people are available for media interviews:

o Will Stephens, Head of Lifesaving at the RNLI.

o Paul Stoneham, Helly Hansen’s Chief Executive Officer.

o Alice Higgins, volunteer crew member at Weymouth Lifeboat Station who trialled the Helly Hansen kit.

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact Luke Blissett, RNLI National Media Manager, on 01202 336497/ luke_blissett@rnli.org.uk. Alternatively, call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email pressoffice@rnli.org.uk.


Helly Hansen media contacts

For further press information please contact Beki Sharman: beki@adpr.co.uk, Jenny Walford, jenny@adpr.co.uk or Samantha Palen: samantha@adpr.co.uk, or call the ADPR office on 01460 241 641.

RNLI online

For more information on the RNLI please visit www.rnli.org.uk. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre www.rnli.org.uk/press.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. 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 142,200 lives.


About Helly Hansen

Founded in Norway in 1877, Helly Hansen continues to develop professional-grade apparel that helps people stay and feel alive. Through insights drawn from living and working in the world’s harshest environments, the company has developed a long list of first-to-market innovations, including the first supple waterproof fabrics almost 140 years ago. Other breakthroughs include the first fleece fabrics in the 1960s, the first technical base layers in the 1970s, made with Lifa® Stay Dry Technology, and today’s award winning and patented H2Flow™ temperature regulating system.

Helly Hansen is a leader in technical sailing and performance ski apparel, as well as premium workwear. Its ski uniforms are worn and trusted by more than 55,000 professionals and can be found on Olympians, National Teams, and at more than 200 ski resorts and mountain guiding operations around the world.

Helly Hansen’s outerwear, base layers, sportswear and footwear are sold in more than 40 countries and trusted by outdoor professionals and enthusiasts around the world. To learn more about Helly Hansen’s latest collections, please visit: hellyhansen.com.

Two crew members in the new Helly Hansen kit stood in front of the sea

RNLI/Nathan Williams

Swanage RNLI crew members in the new Helly Hansen kit
A close up photo of a female crew member pulling the collar up on her jacket

RNLI/Nathan Williams

The new Helly Hansen kit on a Swanage RNLI crew member
Female crew member stood in full helly Hansen kit on a white background

RNLI/Nathan Williams

Weymouth RNLI crew member Alice Higgins in the new Helly Hansen kit
Three crew members stood in full Helly Hansen kit in front of a white background

RNLI/Nathan Williams

New Helly Hansen kit on three crew members
Crew member stood inside an all-weather lifeboat

RNLI/Nathan Williams

A crew member from Tenby RNLI in their all-weather lifeboat in new Helly Hansen kit

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.

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 or by email.

 

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