A call for help could save your life

Lifeboats News Release

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Aquapac are urging anyone planning a coastal visit or an activity on the water to carry a means of calling for help and to keep it on them.

Whether you are planning a coastal walk, looking to paddleboard for the first time or are an experienced sailor heading out on the water, having a means to call for help should you get into difficulty and dialling 999 or 112 for the Coastguard could save your life.

Around 150 people lose their lives at the UK and Irish coasts each year highlighting the importance of this vital lifesaving message as the charity and Aquapac announce their new partnership.

Aquapac are a world leader in manufacturing and supplying waterproof pouches including cases for any mobile phone, so it’s a natural coming together with the RNLI whose aim is to stop preventable drownings at sea. The RNLI and Aquapac strongly encourage people to take a means of calling for help that is most suitable for their activity. Make sure you know how to use it, keep it on you and within reach at all times.

Julie Heylings saved her daughter’s life because of her decision to take a mobile phone when they went kayaking as a family. Julie, her 17-year-old daughter Megan and Megan’s two friends were paddling in a bay in Anglesey, a place they knew well. They were enjoying the water when suddenly Megan and her friend’s kayak capsized after being hit by a freak wave. Megan’s friend managed to climb higher up on the rocks to safety but Megan was in serious danger. Unable to move, breaking waves pummelled her against the rocks.

Luckily the kayak was within reach and she held it as a shield to protect herself against the force of the sea. Knowing her life was in danger, Megan managed to drag herself out of the water but was in too much pain to reach the higher rocks. With an incoming tide, she was soon being buffeted by waves again and desperately needed help if she was to survive. Seeing her daughter’s life in danger, at the mercy of the unpredictable sea, Julie had to act and was able to call for help which duly arrived from the RNLI lifeboat crew.

Julie Heylings, said:

‘The sea had a chaotic half hour. A large wave came out of nowhere, lifted Megan and her friend’s kayak right up and crashed it down near the rocks.

‘It was horrific to see Megan in such danger. The swell was so bad I couldn’t reach them, I knew I couldn’t rescue them myself and had to seek help. I was so grateful to see the RNLI lifeboat arrive. Without a mobile phone with us that day, there would have been no way of getting help. A couple more minutes and we could have lost Megan to hypothermia.’

RNLI lifeguards have been using Aquapac waterproof pouches for 20 years, enabling them to communicate with each while on their beach patrols, essential to keeping beach visitors safe.

RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor, Georgia Landy, said:

‘As lifeguards we work in small teams on beaches, observing visitors and monitoring sea conditions from different spots such as the lifeguard hut, shoreline and in the water so having a high-quality waterproof pouch is vital so we can continue to communicate. This is an exciting new partnership which will see us work together to deliver a vital safety message – always carry a means of calling for help, keep it on you and within reach. The money Aquapac aim to raise through the partnership will also enable us to continue our drowning prevention work and save lives at sea.’

Aquapac will be sharing the RNLI’s water safety messages and estimate they will reach millions of people with this vital lifesaving activity during the partnership. Aquapac will also donate a percentage of sales to the RNLI on selected products and have a calendar of fundraising activity planned during 2022 to support the charity.

Max Malavasi, Aquapac Founder, said:

‘We are grateful for the opportunity to work with the RNLI to promote greater safety at sea. Our products are designed to keep people in touch wherever they are and to help them enjoy being on the water practically and safely. We will be running various campaigns to raise money for the RNLI this year which is a privilege as they are such a wonderful institution that relies entirely on donations.’

Aquapac are a world leading sustainable waterproof case manufacturer and supplier who aim to protect and empower people to enjoy their activities worry free. Their waterproof pouches enable water users to keep their means of calling for help secure when enjoying their activity. Light, durable, and able to allow you to use your mobile phones full functionality including retaining sound quality, the waterproof pouches enable people to call for help should they ever find themselves in difficulty.

You will be able to purchase an Aquapac waterproof pouch from the RNLI later this month on their online shop.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Oliver Wrynne-Simpson, RNLI National Media Manager on 07795 127351 or [email protected] or the RNLI Press Office at [email protected] or 01202 336789 or [email protected] or 020 7738 4466.

Aquapac’s waterproof mobile phone pouch in action

Photo: AquapacPro

Aquapac

Photo: Aquapac

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.

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 by email.

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