Sister of kayaker who died at sea attends Buckingham Palace party

Lifeboats News Release

Ellie Jackson, the sister of Dominic Jackson – the kayaker who died at sea last year – was a guest at Prince Charles’s garden party along with her father for what they have done to save lives with the RNLI.

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Ellie and Jeremy Jackson outside Buckingham Palace

Working with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), whose lifeboats from Macduff, Buckie, Fraserburgh and Wick were involved in the search for Dominic, Ellie and her father Jeremy, have shared their family’s tragedy to remind kayakers of vital safety advice which could save lives.

In February 2017 Dominic Jackson lost his life when he got into trouble while kayaking around the coast of Scotland. He was wearing a buoyancy aid but was unable to call for help when he got into difficulty because his phone was stored in his kayak in a place he couldn‘t access whilst paddling.

Ellie and Jeremy have helped the RNLI to create two powerful films which call on kayakers to always carry a means of calling for help and, most importantly, to keep it within reach at all times while at sea.

More than 400 charities and organisations which Prince Charles supports were represented at the event on Tuesday for his 70th birthday. Many volunteers and staff from the RNLI also attended having been nominated for their service to the charity.

Ellie, said:

‘It was a great honour for my Dad and I to be invited to be part of the RNLI's group at Buckingham Palace but it was also a very emotional day for us remembering Dom and how we both wished he was still with us.

‘I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through what our family have been through. I want people to learn from Dom’s death and understand that taking a few extra steps before going on the water can make the difference between life and death.’

Jon Oxenham, Community Safety Manager, said:

‘We cannot thank Ellie, Jeremy and their family enough for all that they have contributed despite the grief they are enduring. They have been a huge support with our safety campaign to try and prevent kayakers from getting into the potentially life-threatening situation of being in the water but having no way of calling for help.

‘Our lifeboat volunteers and lifeguards are there to help, but we can’t come to the rescue if we don’t know you’re in trouble.

‘Our advice for kayakers is to always carry a means of calling for help, and keep it on you at all times when you’re kayaking. This means that if you capsize and get into trouble, you can call for help and increase your chances of survival.

‘Remember also to wear a personal floatation device (Buoyancy aid) and check the weather and tides before you go out. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back, and get the appropriate training or experience so you can enjoy your time on the water and stay safe.’

For more information go to rnli.org/kayaking

Ends

Notes to editor:

Media contacts

For more information please contact: Oliver Wrynne-Simpson, National Media Officer on 07795 127351 or oliver_wrynne-simpson@rnli.org.uk or the Press Office on 01202 336789.

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Ellie and Jeremy Jackson outside Buckingham Palace

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 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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