Events and seminars put on by the charity

In the run up to the RNLI’s biggest fundraising day – SOS Day – on Friday 30 January, the RNLI is putting out an SOS to all boaters attending the ExCeL London Boat Show (9-18 January) to visit the RNLI stand (N15D).

The charity’s stand will feature a host of interactive activities and demonstrations, including a chance to ‘Steer Our Ship’ by taking the helm of a lifeboat training simulator, to ‘See Our Seminars’ and to view the RNLI Photographer of the Year winning images which document the work of the lifesaving charity.

The RNLI’s series of free seminars (on stand N15D) at ExCeL are “open to all who enjoy serious fun on the water”.

They will run every day (11am – 5pm) and offer a twenty-minute practical look at a range of subjects including sea safety, boat maintenance, the clothing technology developed by Helly Hansen for Team Ericsson in the Volvo Ocean Race and also a look at the technological advances in RNLI lifeboat design.

The RNLI’s seminars are supported by Helly Hansen, Sea Start and International Paint who have each put forward expert presenters to talk on the respective subjects of serious clothing (Helly Hansen), engine breakdown (Sea Start) and antifouling technology (International Paint).

RNLI sea safety volunteers will present the seminars on lifejackets and calling for help and the RNLI’s Technical Department will talk about technological advances in lifeboat design.

The RNLI seminars will run every day of the Boat Show at the following times:

11:00 Lifejackets – RNLI Sea Safety
What to buy, how to wear and how to look after.

12:00 Calling for help – RNLI Sea Safety
From a whistle to an EPIRB, all your options, whatever your watersport.

13:00 Engine breakdown – Sea Start
Why boats breakdown and what you could do to reduce your chances of needing a lifeboat.

14:00 Serious clothing – Helly Hansen
Serious fun on the water needs the right gear, as the Ericsson Racing Team competing in the Volvo Ocean Race well know. Helly Hansen explain the latest in sailing clothing technology and how this is available to you.
15:00 Antifouling technology – International Paint
How to keep that growth at bay, what are the options and how do you choose what’s best for your boat?

16:00 Technological advances in lifeboat design – RNLI
Design, engineering and technology behind the latest lifeboats in the RNLI fleet.

17:00 Engine breakdown – Sea Start
Why boats breakdown and what you could do to reduce your chances of needing a lifeboat.

RNLI sea safety volunteers will also be on stand (N15D) to provide free sea safety advice, a lifejacket clinic and a look at lifejackets through the ages. If you fancy a spot of retail therapy then the RNLI’s shop has nautically inspired gifts, or why not become a regular supporter of the charity that rescues over 4,000 leisure craft a year by becoming a member. Come aboard a Severn class all-weather lifeboat (berth D60 in the marina) and meet volunteer lifeboat crew, learn more about their training and search and rescue at sea.

Linda Vatcher, National Exhibitions & Events Manager for the RNLI, says: “We sincerely hope that all who enjoy going afloat who are attending the show will visit the RNLI’s stand, sit in on a seminar or two and consider making a donation or, better still, become a regular supporter.

“In the face of an economic downturn, the RNLI needs the boating public’s support more than ever to help the charity that saves lives at sea weather the financial storm.”

The RNLI’s Sea Safety team will be co-presenting a lifejacket show on the main stage at 3:30pm each day in partnership with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the Royal Yachting Association.

The show will cover the fitting and maintenance of lifejackets, while also offering recommendations on additional equipment for your lifejacket.

Meanwhile, the RNLI’s SOS Day involves RNLI supporters throughout the UK and Ireland holding SOS-themed events, culminating on SOS Day on 30 January 2009, with the aim of raising £1 million for the charity.

From sponsored silences to sea shanty sing-alongs, anyone can get involved.

More information on how to show your support is available at www.rnli.org.uk/sos

Also, save money on London Boat Show tickets by purchasing your ticket through the RNLI website and the RNLI will benefit from 10% commission on every ticket sold.