Clinic consultation

Fowey RNLI lifejacket clinic finds over 50% faulty or condemned

On Saturday 12th March Fowey RNLI held a lifejacket clinic at their lifeboat station in Fowey. A team from Ocean Safety Ltd in Plymouth carried out vital safety checks on a total of 169 life jackets.

Over 50% needed critical safety part replacement, meaning if they had been used in an emergency they might not have worked and could have caused death. 11 lifejackets were outright condemned as unfit for use. An additional 51 new capsules were required and 26 replacement cylinders needed, both of which are essential components of a fully functional lifejacket. A donation to Fowey RNLI of £3 per lifejacket was suggested, and a total of £707.51 was raised that day.

Chris Ogg, Fowey RNLI Lifeboat Station Operations Manager, said: “It is extremely important to have your life jacket or any personal flotation device regularly checked and maintained. Your life jacket may one day save your life, but only if you maintain it properly. If a life jacket is faulty, you are essentially carrying dead weight around your neck. People brought a variety of life jackets to check out and it was eye opening to see the terrible condition of some of them. One of them was so badly damaged inside that the material fell apart upon unboxing. A good number of them had badly corroded CO2 cylinders, obsolete parts and damaged areas of hardware, meaning they wouldn’t have been able to inflate in an emergency.

Chris continues: “While it is encouraging to see good turnout from local sailors and boat users, there will be many people who did not come and who may not have had their life jackets checked. over the past two years. It is essential that they are checked and serviced once a year by the manufacturer or recommended agent.

As well as carrying out safety checks, Ocean Safety advised people on danger signs to look out for, such as looking at the webbing and the stitching that holds the webbing together, checking stitching for signs of wear and also checking zippers, buckles, fasteners. and crotch straps. Chris continues: “A lot of people don’t realize that the fabric is significantly affected by salt water. If the lifejackets have been stored in wet conditions, for example on boats, critical items such as the salt tablets used to trigger inflation will absorb the moisture. Defects can be revealed by their regular opening and inspection and by manual inflation. We hope this vital water safety message reaches everyone who uses life jackets, especially as the 2022 boating and boating season begins.

Choosing the right life jacket for the type of activity you do can mean the difference between life and death. TMS Marine Supplies from Par Moor were on hand throughout the day to offer advice on the different types available and to help with the sale of new equipment to people whose lifejackets had been condemned or needed new parts.

Chris concludes: “I would like to thank Ocean Safety, TMS and all the volunteers who helped out that day, including our volunteer lifeboat crew members and local boat builder, Marcus Lewis. People were very grateful for the safety advice and service they received and we are delighted that the event raised £707.51 to support the operation of Fowey Lifeboat Station.

The racing rules of sailing state that all equipment must function properly and be regularly checked, cleaned, maintained and up to date. Full details of the ISAF regulations can be found at

https://sailing.org/documents/offshorespecialregs/index.php

More information on lifejackets can be found at https://rnli.org/safety/lifejackets

Notes to Editors

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RNLI Highlights

The charity RNLI saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service along the coasts of the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeguard stations in the UK and Ireland and over 240 lifeguard units on beaches in the UK and the Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of the coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its lifesaving service. Since the RNLI’s inception in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved more than 142,200 lives.

RNLI Highlights

The charity RNLI saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service along the coasts of the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The RNLI operates 238 lifeguard stations in the UK and Ireland and over 240 lifeguard units on beaches in the UK and the Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of the coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its lifesaving service. Since the RNLI’s inception in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved more than 142,700 lives.

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For more information, please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. Press releases, videos and photos are available on the News Center.

Contact the RNLI – public inquiries

Members of the public can contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.