Sustainable lifesaving equipment
Drowning overwhelmingly affects countries with the fewest resources to prevent it. Many communities and organisations struggle because they don’t have access to the rescue equipment they need.
We’re working with communities, designers, academics, manufacturers and lifesaving organisations worldwide to develop lifesaving kit that can be made and used where resources are scarce.
This intervention focuses on low-cost, sustainable lifesaving equipment that can be produced at a community, regional and global level. The equipment resources below are available for anyone to use but should only be used if a compliant product to a relevant standard is not affordable or attainable in the community.
A simple-to-produce fabric ring that holds three, 2-litre drinks bottles and gives a similar buoyancy to a plastic life ring. The bottle ring costs as little as 50p, in contrast to the £40 cost of a life-ring that we would use in the UK and Ireland. We have produced instructions that communities can use to manufacture their own, downloadable here.
Throwlines are a vital piece of rescue equipment, keeping the user from entering the water and putting themselves at risk during a rescue. Current options are too expensive (about £30 each) so we’ve worked with The Little Sewing Company, Arts University Bournemouth and communities in Bangladesh and Tanzania to design a version that can be produced locally at a fraction of the cost, downloadable here. The rescue throwline manual should be used with guidance from the RNLI Flood safety manual, also found on the resources page.
We have worked with SeaSafe Lifeguard Md. Alamgir to design a process for making rescue boards in the community. We have produced a manual which provides step-by-step instructions on how to build a rescue board in a low-resource setting, including all the materials and equipment needed, downloadable here.
Bournemouth University student Michael Davies worked on an RNLI brief to design a device to recover a person from the water onto a fishing boat. Tanzania Sea Rescue are testing the device, which has also been on show at the UK New Designers exhibition.
- Meet the international innovators (RNLI Magazine story)
- Bangladesh surfer with ambitions to be chairman of the board (Guardian story)
- Sustainable Lifesaving Equipment (Factsheet) - PDF 2.27MB
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