RNLI Clinic Results

Glasgow Spring Open Weekend Life Jacket Clinic:

We'd like to thank Alan McLaren and the team from the RNLI Roadshow who attended our Open Weekend recently, we got time to catch up with Alan to see how the event went. They had one of the best turnouts to any of their Clinics in recent years and these safety checks really could save your life.

Every year, around 200 people drown in the coastal waters around the UK and Ireland. These tragedies happen to people taking part in a wide range of water-based and waterside activities. Whatever your activity, wearing a well-fitted, well-maintained and suitable lifejacket or buoyancy aid could save your life.

RNLI at the Open Weekend

Of the checks carried out, there were a variety of failures and faults that could potentially put the wearers life at risk.

18 Loose Gas Bottles, this can allow the bottle to unscrew upon activation and under inflate or fail to inflate the life jacket.

20 Out of date Auto Firing Mechanisms, there is a date stamped on the mechanism that needs to be checked and replaced as necessary. Expired mechanisms may fail when you need them and one of the jackets checked had a mechanism that expired in 2004.

2 Jackets with corrosion on the Gas Bottles, this corrosion leaves a rough surface that can act like sandpaper wearing a hole in the bladder which can cause a failure to inflate.

1 Jacket with a Manufacturer's Recall that was destroyed by the RNLI with the owner's consent.

One thing Alan and the RNLI wanted to emphasis was that 15 Lifejackets checked had NO CROTCH STRAP.

It's not a failure at the clinic check but a crotch strap is a very simple addition that can make a huge difference.

The video below illustrates the importance of a properly fitted lifejacket with a crotch strap, it's pretty funny in a controlled environment but the thought of this happening in the water is terrifying.

With and Without a Crotch Strap

Here's an RNLI demonstration on how to fit a crotch strap correctly.

Some other recommendations were flagged up.
33 Lifejackets checked had No Light: A light, whistle and reflective strips will all make you easier to find if you do fall in the water.
34 Lifejackets checked had No Spray Hood: which will keep wind-blown spray away from your airways, making it easier to breathe and reducing the risk of drowning.

Research has proven that wearing a lifejacket can increase your chances of survival by up to four times if you’re immersed in cold water.

Your lifejacket may save your life one day, but only if you maintain it properly. If your lifejacket is faulty, all you’re wearing is a dead weight.

These free lifejacket clinics, and specially trained RNLI volunteers will show you how to maintain your lifejacket to keep it fully functioning. Don't wait till you're in trouble to find out your lifejacket is not working properly. We'll be running a clinic at the Edinburgh Open Weekend in July and the Glasgow Autumn Open Weekend in September.

You can also find out where your nearest lifejacket clinic through the RNLI. REGISTER YOUR INTEREST