Helly Hansen and RNLI join forces to launch annual Float to Live campaign

115 feet up in the sky, global sailing brand, Helly Hansen joined forces with its strategic charity partner, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), to launch its annual water safety campaign, “Float to Live” at the exclusive Sky Pool in Embassy Gardens, London.

Demonstrating vital survival skills in the iconic, see-through swimming pool, RNLI lifeguards and Helly Hansen sailing ambassador, Jack Trigger, joined media to learn how to float in water, in a fully immersive event. The event was brought to life with a real-life account from Michael Whitely, aged 65, who used floating to keep calm and safe, before the RNLI crew were able to rescue him when he got into trouble at sea.

Jack Trigger, professional sailor and Helly Hansen ambassador, comments, “With Summer around the corner, it is important that we take the necessary precautions to keep ourselves safe on or near the water, and knowing how to float is a lifesaving skill we all should practice. Even as a professional sailor, it’s essential to include this in my training, should the worst happen. Being part of such an important and educational event.”

In 2022, there were 226 deaths in the UK from accidental drownings, across inland and coastal locations. Of the people who died, 40% had no intention of entering the water, including those walking, with causes including slips, trips and falls, being cut off by the tide or being swept in by waves.

The advice from the RNLI is to “Float to Live”: If you find yourself in difficulty in the water:

  • Tilt your head back with your ears submerged
  • Relax and try to control your breathing
  • Use your hands to help you stay afloat
  • Don’t worry if your legs sink – everyone floats differently

Emma Russell, Helly Hansen’s Marketing Manager for the UK and Ireland, says, “Helly Hansen and the RNLI have been strategic partners since 2018 and each year we come together to educate those at risk of drowning. At Helly Hansen, helping people stay and feel alive is at our core. The RNLI’s Float to Live campaign is critical and we’re honoured to support them with the launch of this campaign at Sky Pool, Embassy Gardens, where the immersive experience gave the attendees a deeper understanding, with real-life examples.”

The campaign launched ahead of the busy half-term holidays, as it is revealed that 83% (53 million) of the UK adult population (aged 16-64) expect to visit the coast this summer, with 40% expecting to visit three times or more. And, although beach leisure time has increased in the UK by nearly a third (28%) over the past three years, 10% of people said the potential dangers associated with the water are something they don’t think about often, with 36% of people don’t know what to do if they get into trouble in the water.

Gabbi Batchelor, Water Safety Education Manager at the RNLI, comments, “It is important that anyone visiting open water understands the risks of the environment and they know what to do in an emergency. If you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live: tilt your head back with your ears submerged and try to relax and control your breathing. Use your hands to help you stay afloat and then, once you are through the initial shock, call for help or swim to safety if you can.”

Helly Hansen is trusted by more than 55,000 professionals around the globe, outfitting some of the world’s best Olympians and national teams, as well as providing the uniform for lifesaving organisations including the RNLI and mountain rescue teams. The RNLI and Helly Hansen have been strategic partners for more than five years and work together to reduce drowning and provide educational advice.

For more about Helly Hansen, please visit www.hellyhansen.com/en_gb/

For more information about the RNLI, please visit www.RNLI.org/float2024

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