Storage equipment specialist Action Storage® has assisted The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) in its 'Lifejacket Lockers' initiative with the supply of 24 eXtreme Plastic Lockers®. The lockers have been installed at strategic locations at two harbours to encourage more boat users to wear lifejackets when coming into shore on tenders.
The RNLI chose Action Storage's eXtreme Plastic Lockers® because of their advantages over metal lockers. The lockers needed to be stacked outdoors. The lockers are made from waterproof polyethylene plastic, which enables them to be stacked outdoors under cover without the risk of them rusting or deteriorating. In addition, their highly durable plastic material ensures they won't become corroded from storing wet lifejackets covered in sea salt.
Along with being weather resistant, a key consideration was security. Stacking the lockers outdoors put them at greater risk of break-in attempts by thieves. The polyethylene shells of the lockers are exceptionally secure and hardwearing. This durability gives boat users the reassurance knowing their lifejackets will be safely stored throughout their visit to the harbour.
Encouraging boat users to wear lifejackets when coming into harbour is important to the RNLI. In 2012, the RNLI attended 71 incidents involving tenders and three of these led to fatalities. Many boat users will take the risk of leaving their lifejackets on board their boats rather than wear them on their tender to travel to shore, and then have to carry them in bulky bags around town. The provision of the lockers has already helped to address this issue with many boat users wearing lifejackets and taking advantage of the lockers.
"We are delighted with the response from boat users to the Lifejacket Lockers initiative," said Pip Hare from the RNLI's Coastal Safety team. "The lockers in both locations are in constant use and we hope this will promote a change in safety attitudes, rather than risk their lives, making the last part of the journey without a lifejacket on, boaters are instead opting to wear their lifejackets knowing they can be safely deposited in one of the lockers and then collected when returning to their boats.
"The lockers have been placed at the heads of main tender pontoons at Fowey and Salcombe harbours. Twelve lockers have been placed at each location, with each locker able to store up to four lifejackets. This provides enough lifejacket storage for a quarter of the yachts that moor in the harbours each night.
The Salcombe and Fowey harbours were chosen as the first locations to receive the lockers due to the large numbers of people arriving on tenders. In the coming months, the RNLI aims to expand the Lifejacket Lockers initiative to other harbours nationwide.
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 237 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more 200 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. 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 140,000 lives.
Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland and registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736)