RNLI lifeboat crews in the north of England will receive new state-of-the-art life-jackets in 2012 – and they are appealing for help to raise the £100,000 needed to fund them.
Incorporating the latest material technology, the new life-jackets have been designed by the RNLI and manufacturer Crewsaver specifically to meet the charity’s search and rescue requirements.
Lifeboat crews at the 33 lifeboat stations in the north are due to receive the innovative pieces of kit in the coming months, at an average cost of around £3,000 per lifeboat station.
To help pay for these, the RNLI is appealing for help from the public.
The charity will hold its biggest annual fund-raising day – SOS Day – on Friday, January 27, 2012, and is asking supporters to target their efforts towards buying the new life-jackets.
Andy Clift, RNLI Inspector, North, said: “The RNLI’s volunteer lifeboatmen and women often put themselves in difficult and dangerous situations while rescuing others.
“To help them carry out their role as safely as possible, we owe it to our crews to provide them with the very best equipment available.
“However, our charity is only able to do that with the generosity and support of the public, who I hope will do all they can to help us raise the funds needed to give our lifeboat volunteers new life-jackets in 2012.”
The new life-jackets will provide a comfortable, secure fit, leading to increased efficiency and effectiveness in life-saving.
There are two designs, one to be worn on all-weather lifeboats and the other on inshore lifeboats.
Straps will prevent the life-jacket riding up over the head when in the water, and an integrated harness, designed to pull the life-jacket away from the wearer’s neck, will allow greater freedom of movement.
It also has zipped pockets for casualty care kit, torches, gloves or knives, and a spray hood to protect against sea spray.
All RNLI lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland will receive new life-jackets in 2012. Their roll-out is being undertaken on a geographical basis and stations in the north of England should start receiving them from February.
To donate or for more information about RNLI SOS Day, contact the RNLI on 0161 7878779 or visit www.rnli.org.uk/sosday