Don’t drink and drown this Christmas

Research indicates that roughly one in four adult victims of drowning have alcohol in their bloodstream. And it is at Christmas time, with its office parties and general merriment, that people can be most at risk. In the West of England, where the little guys are based, several young people have drowned tragically in recent years. Including one in Portishead Marina, just yards from the lifeboat station.

Because of this, the little guys are delighted to support the Royal Life Saving Society‘s ‘Don’t drink and drown’ campaign.

The campaign, which runs from 4th to 10th December, warns drinkers to steer clear of walking by or entering water when under the influence of alcohol.

Here are some of the RLSS’s top tips to stay safe this Christmas:

  • Don’t enter the water if you have been drinking
  • Remember that alcohol seriously affects your ability to get yourself out of trouble
  • Look out for your friends – make sure they get home safely
  • Don’t walk home near water, because you might fall in

Alcohol lowers inhibitions, leading to impaired judgment, which means you are more likely to take risks and get into trouble. It also slows down your reactions, numbs your senses and makes simple movements much harder.

So just because you can drink like a fish, it doesn’t mean that you can swim like one. And if you do get into trouble, you may not be able to get yourself out of it. Falling into cold water, especially in the dark, could mean that a great night out ends in a tragic, terrifying and lonely death.

To find our how you can support the RLSS’s ‘Don’t drink and drown’ campaign, and potentially help to save a life, go to their special campaign website. And if you go out for a drink this Christmas, please stay away from the water.

Looking back at an awesome year

It’s been an awesome year for the little guys.

For a start, they’ve visited and learned about a whole host of lifeboat stations around the country, from the Lizard down in Cornwall to Oban up on the west coast of Scotland.

And they’ve met some truly fantastic people along the way.

They’ve helped to promote important safety messages and have been keen supporters of the RNLI’s ‘Respect the water’ campaign.

They’ve done their bit to raise funds to support the work of our lifeboat crews and lifeguards around the country.

And they’ve been welcomed into the RNLI family at Portishead lifeboat station, the newest station in the RNLI (although an independent station for twenty years) and home to an outstanding group of volunteers.

But the little guys are keen not to rest on their laurels. Having had such a great time last year, they’re determined to do even more in 2016.

They’re working on new safety messages and still have open invitations from a whole load of lifeboat stations around the country. They’re even looking into setting themselves up on Instagram. So watch this space.

And have an awesome year!

The Crew support the RNLI’s ‘Respect the Water’ campaign

The little guys are delighted to support the RNLI’s ‘Respect the Water’ campaign. The waters around the British and Irish coasts are dangerously unpredictable. Over two hundred people die accidentally each year around the coast. The RNLI wants to change that and has set itself the goal of halving the number of coastal drownings by 2024.

IMG_7599_sml The ‘Respect the Water’ campaign targets some of the main reasons why people get into trouble around the coast. For instance, did you know that:

  • Even if you’re a great swimmer and can hold your breath for ages in the bath, cold water shock can steal the air from your lungs and leave you helpless;
  • The water can be unpredictable, with waves, tides and hidden currents that can drag you out to sea in seconds;
  • Around half the people who drown never expected to get wet – many get caught out by unexpected slips, trips and falls into the water.

Living on the edge of the Bristol Channel, the little guys know all too well about the dangers that tidal patterns and hidden currents can present, with the water regularly whizzing past the lifeboat station at Portishead at six to eight knots – that’s faster than most small boats can sail and definitely faster than you can swim.

Whether you’re a sailor, a kayaker or just someone who likes to visit the coast, help the little guys to support the ‘Respect the Water’ campaign by checking out the RNLI’s safety information online and watching the videos on the Respect the Water website. And please take that little bit extra care when you’re out and about on the coast this summer.

Welcome to The Lifeboat Crew’s blog!

The Lifeboat Crew is my intrepid band of LEGO minifigures. Our aim is to raise awareness of the valuable work done around our coasts by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and its crews. We’ll be bringing you stories, photos and important water safety messages – minifig style!

Some of the Crew

Some of the Crew

My name is Simon Perks and ‘The Lifeboat Crew’ project is my way of helping the RNLI to save lives at sea. I’m a keen sailor, kayaker and gig rower and take great comfort from knowing that our lifeboat crews are there should I ever need them.

You can find us on Twitter @thelifeboatcrew and on Facebook at And, of course, we’re also here on our website. We try to post something on Twitter and Facebook most days. And we aim to write a longer blog post here about once a week, usually on a Tuesday. This can vary a bit, though, depending on the demands of the day job. (Sorry.)

In case you’re not familiar with the RNLI, it’s the charity that saves lives at sea. Its volunteer lifeboat crews rescue an average of 23 people every day and RNLI lifeguards provide a seasonal lifeguard service on many of our most popular beaches. The RNLI is independent from Government and relies on support from people like us.

We hope you like what we’re doing and we’d love to hear from you.

Simon (and the little guys).