Presented by Helly Hansen.
Helly Hansen have supplied all-weather lifeboat crew kits to RNLI volunteers for over 5 years now - subsequently worn by some of the bravest seafarers in the country. To highlight this collaboration, we spoke to some of the volunteers that pull on the gear no matter the conditions. Saving lives at sea since 1824.
Meet Mandy, a second-generation RNLI volunteer who provides water safety tips and teachings on top of her work with the charity. She talks through the Helly Hansen gear provided for the RNLI crew, her love for sea swimming, and picks out a few pieces from the brand’s wider range. Here goes…
I joined Wells coming up to 5 years ago as part of the Inshore and all-weather lifeboat crew.
My Mother has worked as an education volunteer and fundraiser for the past 50 years, based at the Newbiggin-by-the-Sea lifeboat station, so the RNLI has always been a huge part of my family life.
When I am not at the station I cover water safety work, working with local schools, training various organisations and educating local communities. I give the knowledge and understanding to people of what to do if they do find themselves in danger in the water. It can be as simple as providing tidal cut off maps and tide timetables to popular tourist spots to help educate visitors and prevent future callouts where possible.
Hobbies include Sea swimming which I do all year round and I also have a small boat moored at Morston Bay which I take out when the weather allows.
For this area (Wells-next-the-Sea) we recommend you head back to dry sand or land 4 hours before high tide. The tides move extremely quickly here so people can find themselves cut off in a very short space of time. Talk to someone local and check beach maps to see which areas to avoid. There are several sand banks which catch people out, never assume anything.
If you are planning on entering the water then always plan to go with the tide rather than against it. Currents are especially strong and fast around the creeks and harbour. Always stay within depth as cold water shock can set in meaning you suddenly lose your breath. Being able to stand up will aid your chances of recovery.
To me it is extremely important that the kit fits properly so I am safe and have a maximum range of movement. The kit provided by HH fits me well, is lightweight and most importantly is warm. We never know how long we may be out for so comfort and warmth are key.
Another feature is plenty of pockets so I have everything I need to hand. Bright yellow also ensures we can be easily seen. The kit gives me an added feeling of safety and confidence when in the water.
Watersports just got even more rewarding.
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