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Ford Help RNLI Spread Safety Messages

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As more people are enjoying staycations this summer at locations across the UK, the RNLI are asking the public to take responsibility for themselves and their families if they choose to visit a beach.

In August 2020, Ford and RNLI conducted new research* surrounding the safety of swimmers in the sea. Results showed:

  • 40% of people who say they would take an inflatable into the sea in the UK admit to previously getting into difficulty
  • 38% of people would consider going for a swim alone in the UK sea
  • Only 56% of the UK public are aware that if they see someone fall into open water, they should dial 999 and ask for the coastguard**
  • The UK loves a trip to the seaside, with 82% saying they visited the seaside in the last two years
  • Coastal destinations that are within 2 hours away are a sweet spot, with 63% of people willing to drive for this amount of time to visit the seaside

To help spread key messages about safety within the water, Ford joined forces with the RNLI. This was cleverly done through the production of customised tyres which are capable of printing messages into the sand, including ‘float to live’, ‘no inflatables’ and ‘emergency? Call 999’. This aims to support the RNLI in educating people and raising awareness of key beach safety advice.

The custom tyres are made from a mould of each water safety message. The mould creates a rubber tyre sleeve that is wrapped around the Ford Ranger tyre tread and fixed into place permanently.

Regional Water Safety Lead at the RNLI, Guy Addington, said: “Spending the day at the beach or out on the water is a great way to have fun and stay active but it’s easier than you think to get into trouble. With record temperatures, we’ve seen high numbers of people at UK beaches this summer so it’s imperative that we continue to raise awareness of important water safety messages. We’re delighted that Ford is helping us continue our mission to spread these messages that can help save lives.

It is vital that anyone visiting the coast understands that the beach can be a dangerous environment and you must take responsibility for you and your family this summer. No one ever goes to the coast to be rescued yet RNLI lifeguards rescue 1000’s each year.”

Last year, RNLI lifeguards helped over 29,000 people on our UK beaches who were involved in more than 17,000 incidents, inevitably saving 154 lives. They also reunited almost 1,800 lost children with their families and helped 346 people in incidents involving inflatables.

Andy Barratt, Managing Director at Ford of Britain said: “We’ve been delighted to continue supplying vehicles to the RNLI, and support the outstanding work they do to keep us all safe. It’s very exciting to see our Ford Ranger being used to spread these important water safety messages”.

Ford is the official vehicle supplier to the RNLI, and the Ford Ranger is the RNLI’s pick-up of choice for lifeguard beach patrols, supporting their great work on beaches up and down the UK. Since 2018, Ford has provided the RNLI with over 350 vehicles, including the Fiesta, EcoSport, Focus, Kuga, Transit, Transit Connect and Transit Customs plus the Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV).

*Source: Survey of 3,000 UK Adults conducted by 3GEM Research & Insights in August 2020

**Source: Basis / RNLI Respect the Water survey, April 2020. Representative sample of the UK adult population – circa 1,000 adults


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