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.
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.’