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February 2 2012

Newhaven Lifeboat is set to receive new, specially-designed lifejackets for its crew members this year as part of an RNLI campaign which will see every lifeboat station across Hampshire and Sussex take delivery of the new lifesaving equipment.

Fundraisers are appealing to supporters to help raise the £3,500 needed by the Newhaven station in order to provide the new jackets, which have been commissioned because the previous lifejackets were coming to the end of their recommended operational life span. In addition to providing increased safety for all shapes and sizes of volunteers, the innovative new gear should lead to increased efficiency and effectiveness in lifesaving.

Andrew Ashton, Divisional Inspector for the RNLI (East), said: "Lifejackets are an essential piece of every lifeboat volunteer's kit. Indeed, as the voice of authority on sea safety equipment, the RNLI strives to encourage everyone at sea to wear lifejackets as they are proven to increase one's chances of surviving a disaster."

He continued: "Whether our crews are operating from their lifeboat or recovering a casualty from the sea, their lifejacket is a lifesaver. The new design is specially developed for current RNLI search and rescue and has some very important features that will aid them in their work.

"Replacing and updating our lifejackets is an ambitious project but one we feel is important as our crews deserve the best in equipment to stay safe."

Katherine Vasey, RNLI Senior Community Fundraising Manager, said: "The RNLI considers the safety of its volunteer crew members to be of paramount importance, and the lifejacket is a lifesaver in its own right - so we are appealing to RNLI supporters across the south east to support the RNLI and help us fund the cost the new lifejackets, which would directly help crews to save lives at sea in years to come."

Local fundraising teams are already busy planning events. Newhaven kicked off its campaign last Friday, 27th January with its 'Slurp Our Soup' SOS Day.

To make a donation, find out more about the RNLI's rollout of new lifejackets, or see how you can get involved on RNLI SOS day, visit