Lifeboat members drink to a plastic-free future
As well as being ready to save lives at sea, Cowes RNLI lifeboat station is also now set to play its part in saving the planet – by cutting down on plastic.
Rather than using hundreds of disposable plastic water bottles through the year the lifeboat crew members will in future be drinking tap water from reusable bottles.
The change, suggested by boathouse manager Dave Davies, was readily adopted by everyone at the station – both crew and onshore members. “Apparently over 480 billion plastic drinking bottles were sold across the world in just one year,” said operations manager Mark Southwell. “Many of these will either end up in the sea, causing major environmental problems, or in landfill.
“Our crew members generally take water with them when on exercise or a ‘shout’, especially during the warm weather. Although they never throw anything overboard, they still have to end up in landfill.”
In future the only plastic bottles carried aboard the Cowes Atlantic 85 RIB, Sheena Louise, will be reserved for rescued casualties.
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.