A new scheme is being piloted this summer in Devon and Cornwall

Special ‘Lifejacket Lockers’ are to be placed at the head of the main tender pontoons at

Salcombe and Fowey harbours.

The aim is to offer short-term secure storage for

those visiting the shore to encourage more people to wear lifejackets aboard tenders.

The initiative is being run by the

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), in conjunction with Fowey

and Salcombe harbours.

In 2012, the RNLI attended 71

incidents involving tenders and three of these led to fatalities.

RNLI

research has found that boat users can often be put off wearing their

lifejacket aboard their tender because of the ‘hassle factor’ of having

nowhere secure to store them, and therefore having to carry them around

town in bulky bags once ashore.

The lockers will be in place

from mid-June to mid-September. There will be 12 lockers at each

location, enough for around a quarter of the yachts that visit each

night. Each locker is big enough to hold four lifejackets.

Pip Hare from the RNLI’s coastal safety team is leading the trial.

She says: ‘Attitudes

towards wearing lifejackets have improved immensely but RNLI research

has found that boat users will often leave their lifejackets on board

their main vessel when they take their tender to shore.

‘Carrying a bulky

lifejacket around town can be a hindrance, so the RNLI has developed

the Lifejacket Lockers idea, offering boat users a secure and convenient

means of storing their lifejackets once ashore – we’re hoping this will

encourage more people to wear their lifejackets on their tenders and,

ultimately, help save more lives.

‘We’re working in conjunction

with Salcombe and Fowey harbours – two very busy locations – to pilot

the scheme this summer.

‘If the lockers are well used, which we hope they

will be, then we’ll look to expand the scheme further over the coming

years by collaborating with other harbours nationwide.’