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Forty two lifejackets found defective at Eastbourne RNLI safety event.

Lifeboats News Release

A lifejacket clinic held recently by the RNLI in Eastbourne's Sovereign Harbour discovered more than half of the lifejackets checked to see if they were still working properly were defective, potentially rendering them useless.

RNLI volunteers ready at event

RNLI/Carl Pocock

RNLI volunteers ready at event
The event, held by Eastbourne RNLI Water Safety Team in conjunction with the Sovereign Harbour Berth Holders Association (SHBA) normally takes place annually, however the 2020 event was cancelled due to the COVID pandemic and this was the first event held since the start of the epidemic.

Over 70 lifejackets were presented and the RNLI volunteers, adherring to social distancing, verbally guided the owners thorough how to check for wear and tear and how to maintain their lifejackets.

Not surprising, given the lack of recent use, some 42 lifejackets were found to have defects, potentially rendering them useless.

David Phillips of Eastbourne RNLI Water Safety Team said:

‘A lifejacket is a vital piece of lifesaving equipment for those engaged in water activities. If you are unfortunate enough to end up in the water, a lifejacket will keep you afloat until our volunteer crews are able to rescue you.
It is crucial therefore that these are maintained in working order'.

'I’d also like to thank SHBA for donating the £90 collected from teas and coffees to the RNLI. We are a charity and rely on donations to be able to carry out our lifesaving operations’.

Sue Sidney, chairman of SHBA said: ‘This was a win/win situation for us, with members being shown out to check an maintain lifejackets. We hope to hold a similar event later in the year’.

Media contacts:

Craig Robinson, Eastbourne RNLI Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer (07956) 638924 [email protected]

Daniel Baldock, Eastbourne RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer (07895) 369688 [email protected] [email protected]

Paul Dunt, RNLI Regional Media Officer London London and South East (07785) 296252 [email protected]

David Phillip, RNLI Volunteer preparing for event

SHBA/Sue Sidney

David Phillips, RNLI Volunteer preparing for event
RNLI Volunteers giving instruction on checking lifejackets


RNLI Volunteers giving instruction on checking lifejackets

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 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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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.