Exmouth firefighter drives lifejacket donation
PUBLISHED: 14:54 23 September 2014 | UPDATED: 12:25 24 September 2014
Unwanted lifejackets are to have a new lease of life in North Africa, thanks to an Exmouth firefighter.
An Exmouth firefighter has been instrumental in securing lifesaving equipment for North Africa and South America.
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service was due to retire 250 lifejackets when Exmouth white watch crew commander Giles White stepped in, proposing the equipment aid other countries.
The fire service has donated the lifejackets to Search and Rescue Services (SARs) in Chile, Uruguay, Venezuela, Russia, Estonia and North West Africa.
Dad-of-two Giles, former Exmouth lifeboat deputy second coxswain, said: “The lifejackets were due to be disposed of. With my background of 20 years with the RNLI I knew they would be of use to somebody.
“I was put in touch with the International Maritime Rescue Federation and they were delighted to accept them.
“I am looking to other fire services across the UK to see if there is any more search and rescue services equipment that could be used in a similar way.”
Giles added: “With these links and contacts now firmly forged, I am looking to send more life-saving equipment via the International Maritime Rescue Federation to countries requiring assistance.”
The lifejackets, in storage at Poole RNLI HQ, will be shipped to Uruguay and North Africa free of charge by the IMRF.