Blackpool’s band of volunteer lifesavers today appealed for people to vote for their charity in a bid to help buy vital new equipment.
Blackpool Lifeboat Station is one of eight selected by the RNLI to receive a share of £50,000 cash if the charity secures enough votes on www.votethatcounts.org.
The money will go towards funding the essential lifesaving equipment they require when they launch in all conditions from their Promenade-base.
The crew launches throughout the year and lifejackets, dry suits and waterproof jackets are all essential, while their protective helmets alone cost £194.
Keith Horrocks, lifeboat operations manager, said: “Our volunteers deserve the most protective kit when risking their lives to save others, it keeps them safe in treacherous conditions.
“Our volunteers need professional training and fit-for-purpose kit – kit that can mean the difference between life and death.
“It’s not uncommon to visit a station and find a crew member painstakingly resealing the waterproof seals of their dry suit by hand, but inevitably each piece of kit wears out.”
The charity with the most votes will win a top prize of £50,000 awarded by the People’s Postcode Trust.
Four runners up will receive £10,000 and one charity nominated by voters will win £10,000.
Other charities involved in the vote include Oxfam, ChildLine, PDSA and the British Heart Foundation.
Voting closes on October 21 .
Rescuers are the busiest in the north
Last month, The Gazette reported the resort’s lifeboat had launched 62 times during June, July and August – an 18 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.
This was the highest number carried out in the north of England during the summer.
The Gazette’s Think Sea Safety campaign has raised awareness about the dangers of the sea.
It was launched in June 2012 following the death of David Sagar, 17, of Lewtas Street, Blackpool, who died when he fell backwards off the sea wall opposite Gynn Square.