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RNLI’s Chief Exec welcomes new lifesaving kit for volunteers at Salcombe

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteers from Salcombe Lifeboat Station have received their brand new lifesaving kit, as the national roll out of the RNLI’s new all-weather lifeboat crew kit reaches its conclusion.

RNLI Chief Exec and Helly Hansen's UK MD shake hands with Salcombe RNLI crew in their new kit in the background and the station's all-weather lifeboat visible

RNLI/Richard Clayton

RNLI Chief Exec and Helly Hansen's Managing Director with Salcombe RNLI crew in their new kit

The RNLI’s Chief Executive, Mark Dowie, was at the station as the kit was supplied to the volunteer lifeboat crew. Mark, who took up the role of Chief Executive in May after spending two years in the voluntary role of Lifeboat Operations Manager at Salcombe RNLI, was delighted to see the kit arrive at his former station.

Mark said: ‘It’s great to see this fantastic new kit arrive at the station. The crew members here at Salcombe are among the very last to receive this new all-weather lifeboat crew kit, which has been supplied to over 125 lifeboat stations now. Our volunteer crews across the UK and Ireland have worn this amazing kit in all kinds of conditions when they’ve been out saving lives at sea, so we know it’s up to the challenges our crews face.’

The new kit is supplied by Helly Hansen as part of their strategic partnership with the RNLI and has been issued to the RNLI’s 128 all-weather lifeboat stations since the programme began in September 2018. The kit is also worn by the charity’s crew members at Tower and Chiswick lifeboat stations on the Thames.

The new kit is lighter, more comfortable and designed to allow greater freedom of movement than the kit it is replacing, ensuring the charity’s volunteer crew members have the very best kit to wear when they go out to sea in all weathers.

Specially designed with the RNLI to ensure it meets the demanding needs of its volunteer crews, the new kit uses state of the art waterproof and breathable Helly Tech fabric which provides increased comfort compared to the previous non-breathable fabric of the old kit. The light but strong kit is reinforced for exposed areas and its technical layering system ensures crew members will keep warm and dry while out at sea.

The kit comes in a wide range of sizes and has bespoke designs to fit both male and female crew members, unlike the kit it is replacing. The new bib, midlayer and baselayer garments have a specific fit for female crew members, enabling better comfort and freedom of movement.

Chris Winzar, Coxswain at Salcombe Lifeboat Station, said: ‘We’re delighted to have received this new all-weather lifeboat crew kit. The new gear is absolutely fantastic. It’s much lighter than the old kit. It’s waterproof and it uses breathable fabric, which is ideal for the more demanding tasks we often need to carry out on the lifeboat. Even in the harshest conditions, we know this kit will help to keep us warm, dry and safe when we’re out at sea.’

Piers Barnes, General Manager for Helly Hansen in UK and Ireland, said: ‘This is a momentous milestone in our partnership that the teams across both organisations have worked incredibly hard to achieve. We are immensely proud of the collaborative work that has gone into the joint testing, development and delivery of this professional-grade gear, which is supporting the demanding needs of the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews.

‘We are also honoured to have received the RNLI’s Direct Supplier of the Year Award, which recognised the outstanding product, service and collaboration between Helly Hansen and the RNLI. We thank all those involved across both organisations for being fully engaged in the partnership and we look forward to continuing this journey for many years to come, not just by supplying this life-saving kit, but by supporting the RNLI with their water safety messaging, and fulfilling our joint aim of reducing drownings.’

As part of the strategic partnership with the RNLI, Helly Hansen has committed to supporting the RNLI 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.


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.

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 more than 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.

Salcombe RNLI crew members in their new Helly Hansen kit stood in front of their all-weather lifeboat

RNLI/Richard Clayton

Salcombe RNLI crew members in their new Helly Hansen kit
Helly Hansen's Piers Barnes with Salcombe RNLI crew members and the RNLI's Chief Exec Mark Dowie with the lifeboat in the background

RNLI/Richard Clayton

Helly Hansen's Piers Barnes with Salcombe RNLI crew members and the RNLI's Chief Exec Mark Dowie
RNLI Chief Exec and Helly Hansen's Managing Director shake hands with Salcombe RNLI crew in their new kit behind them

RNLI/Richard Clayton

RNLI Chief Exec and Helly Hansen's Managing Director with Salcombe RNLI crew in their new kit

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.

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 or by email.

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