Life Raft Demonstration in Tollesbury Marina

Boat owners and their families at Tollesbury Marina were given the chance to watch a liferaft demonstration on Saturday 11th August. Nearly 25 people with some children watched the donated liferaft being initiated and then had the chance to practice boarding – a feat that proved more difficult than ever imagined.
RYA Instructor, Dennis Thorpe, explained the initiation process before activating the liferaft between two pontoons. Once inflated, boat owners were able to practice getting into the raft and familiarise themselves with the equipment housed on board.
The practical demonstration was a joint venture between Tollesbury Marina and the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) as part of their national Active Marinas Programme, an initiative aimed at encouraging more sailors to get on the water. The day commenced with a seminar about the Perils of Not Passage Planning and then moved to the marina for the practical demonstration.

Participant, Frances Morris, said: “We take our liferaft for granted but have never had the opportunity see one inflated – and I hope I never will again! Several things struck me; the difficulty of climbing on board from the water once your life jacket had inflated, the stability of the raft with a maximum load and the emergency contents stored on board. Without doubt, this was an extremely useful instruction session, well delivered by the RYA and something I would strongly encourage all boat owners to experience.”

All along the East Anglia coast, the RYA has worked with marinas to deliver the Active Marinas Programme of weekend training for boat owners. At Tollesbury, the programme has been tailored to deliver key skills to small groups and individuals with the aim of increasing the confidence of sailors so that all ages can use the water safely.
Managing Director of Tollesbury Marina, Julian Goldie, said: “We are extremely grateful to the RYA for providing one of their instructors for this important session. It proved to be a really useful practical demonstration made all the better by the great weather. It was fantastic to see a mix of seasoned sailors and people new to the sport joining in and we are grateful for the use of the liferaft for the demonstration.”
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