Be alerted when your station launches

Supporters of the RNLI can download a computer desktop pager which signals when their local lifeboat has launched.

The charity is starting the scheme to coincide with traditionally its busiest weekend, the August Bank Holiday, when no one with any sense will be at their computers, but anyone who wants to show support nonetheless can download the pager from the web address below.

There is the option to choose launch alerts for individual RNLI lifeboat stations, regional groups of stations or all 232 stations around the coasts of the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Alison O’Neill, RNLI’s emedia manager, says: “Every time the pager pings onto the screen it means that RNLI volunteers are dropping everything and heading out to sea to help someone who could be in trouble. There are on average 20 lifeboat launches a day and this pager really shows just what a busy and vital service RNLI lifeboats provide.”

The pager also includes a drop-down information banner with the latest RNLI information so supporters can keep up to date with what’s going on within the charity as a whole.

Alison O’Neill adds: “We do advise people not to contact the lifeboat station if they receive a launch alert. The virtual pager is directly connected to our pagers and tracks lifeboat launches automatically, however the alerts are not displayed in exact real-time. This allows crew the vital minutes that they need in order to prepare the lifeboat and launch for the shout – in some situations seconds can literally mean the difference between life and death.”

The desktop pager can be programmed to start up as soon as the computer is switched on, and needs internet access to monitor launches. It works with operating systems up to and including Windows XP and Mac OSX.

www.rnli.org.uk/pager