RNLI crew kit for Chief Exec’s former station

Salcombe RNLI crew members in their new Helly Hansen kit. Photo: RNLI/Richard Clayton

Volunteers from Salcombe Lifeboat Station have received their new lifesaving kit, as the national roll out of the RNLI’s new all-weather lifeboat crew kit reaches its conclusion.

The RNLI’s Chief Executive, Mark Dowie, was at the station as the kit was supplied to the volunteer lifeboat crew. Mark, who took up the role of Chief Executive in May after spending two years in the voluntary role of Lifeboat Operations Manager at Salcombe RNLI, was delighted to see the kit arrive at his former station.

Mark said, “It’s great to see this fantastic new kit arrive at the station. The crew members here at Salcombe are among the very last to receive this new all-weather lifeboat crew kit, which has been supplied to over 125 lifeboat stations now. Our volunteer crews across the UK and Ireland have worn this amazing kit in all kinds of conditions when they’ve been out saving lives at sea, so we know it’s up to the challenges our crews face.”

The new kit is supplied by Helly Hansen as part of its strategic partnership with the RNLI and has been issued to the RNLI’s 128 all-weather lifeboat stations since the programme began in September 2018. The kit is also worn by the charity’s crew members at Tower and Chiswick lifeboat stations on the Thames.

The kit comes in a wide range of sizes and has bespoke designs to fit both male and female crew members, unlike the kit it is replacing. The new bib, midlayer and baselayer garments have a specific fit for female crew members, enabling better comfort and freedom of movement.

Chris Winzar, Coxswain at Salcombe Lifeboat Station, said, “We’re delighted to have received this new all-weather lifeboat crew kit. The new gear is absolutely fantastic. It’s much lighter than the old kit. It’s waterproof and it uses breathable fabric, which is ideal for the more demanding tasks we often need to carry out on the lifeboat. Even in the harshest conditions, we know this kit will help to keep us warm, dry and safe when we’re out at sea.”