We have all seen a huge upsurge in people taking up Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP) over the last year. The explosion has not just been limited to SUP use; other water sports have seen a similar type of growth. The result of this has been the RNLI are now attending more and more shouts with people getting into difficulty and amongst those are Stand Up Paddle boarders.
Here we can see some of these amazing RNLI rescues through 2020 that you can read about:
The RNLI continues to rely on voluntary contributions and legacies for its income. 93% of their total income comes from donations and support like ours, which in 2019 helped launch 8,941 lifeboat rescues, aid over 29,000 beachgoers and respond to 17,356 incidents. It cost £181.5M to run the RNLI lifesaving service in 2019, which is no small amount.
The RNLI is a registered charity that 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 over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands.
We all know that the GBSUP National Race Series is a water focused sport, with different types of craft, including SUP and Prone boards entering the water for racing, training and general activities throughout the year. Water safety is a high priority for us all and is something we should all have the best possible knowledge of.
One of the many focuses that GBSUP has within its awesome community of participants is to promote safe water use, whilst keeping the enjoyment for all those out on the water. This has been highlighted over the course of the past 12 months by a number of accidents and prominent press coverage that we now see for our sport.
Over the years it has become clear that the RNLI does not limit the amazing work it does to just our coastlines, when performing rescues and saving lives, it is also pioneering water safety and prevention through education work and the sharing of vital information.
We at GBSUP thought it would be amazing if we and the RNLI could develop a partnership that would enable the RNLI to share water safety advice and guidance from their own life saving knowledge to our community and we show our love and support in return by raising awareness and much needed money so they can keep their services saving lives.
Over the next year we at GBSUP have formed this partnership with the RNLI and we are raising money in aid of them and the amazing work that they do. Every donation will help in saving lives and continue the drive on water safety. We will see the RNLI at some of our events through 2021 sharing their knowledge and raising awareness and they will be working with us in our online social media on a range of relevant safety topics.