Generous donations give Exmouth RNLI new thermal imaging binoculars
PUBLISHED: 16:00 04 July 2018
More lives can now be saved at sea in low or no light situations following generous donations to a lifesaving charity.
Exmouth RNLI has been able to purchase new thermal imaging binoculars – for use on its Shannon-class lifeboat R and J Welburn – thanks to funds pledged by prime donor St Peter’s Preparatory School.
There have also been donations from the Jurassic Coast Classic Mini Club, Exe Sailing Club and Topsham Sailing Club among others.
The ‘sophisticated’ binoculars will provide vision in daylight, low light and complete darkness.
Exmouth’s second coxswain, Scott Ranft, said: “This new equipment is an infra-red device that gives the lifeboat crew a means of searching and locating casualties both at sea and along the shore, cliffs and beaches.
“It will detect heat sources up to and beyond a mile away depending on their size, and it works by showing an electronic image made up of areas of contrasting temperature displayed as different shades, from white through grey to black – a person will show up white against a black cold background.
“Previously we have relied on a night vision monocular, which enhances available ambient light and its effectiveness is inconsistent.
“While this device assists a search at night, the binoculars are a step change in our ability to locate people and small craft.
“It is fantastic to be provided with this invaluable equipment through donations.
“The camera has already proved its value when a missing person was located on the cliffs at Exmouth in the dark,” added Scott.
Charlotte Jackson, head teacher at St Peter’s Preparatory School, said: “We know how vital it is that, living by the coast and with our pupils enjoying a variety of water activities, help is at hand in the form of the Exmouth RNLI should children find themselves in difficulties.
“Not only did our pupils want to raise money by cake sales, guessing the number of sweets in a jar, welly flinging and performing their nativity at a nursing home, we are also grateful to members of the crew at Exmouth RNLI for taking time to educate pupils with regard to the dangers of the water.”