Water safety at the heart of ABP’s celebration of 200 years of the RNLI

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Image Caption: The faces of ABP colleagues volunteering with the RNLI.
Top left to Right: Stuart Cresswell, former ABP Scotland Port Manager and team; Olivia Quinn, ABP Port Management Graduate, Allan Craig, ABP Marine Operative and team in Scotland.
Bottom left to right: Lucy Edmonds, ABP Marina Manager – East Anglia; Mike McCartain, ABP Group Director, Safety, Engineering and Marine, Lindsay Mountain, ABP Project Manager; Stuart Edmonds, ABP Engineering Supervisor; Peter Blanch, ABP Marine Pilot, Chris Clouter, ABP Assistant Manager, Port of Barrow; Dan Brown, ABP Marine Asset Manager; Lindsey Cockburn, ABP Health, Safety and Environment Officer and Tom Rashbrook, ABP Marine Operator.


As we mark the RNLI’s 200th birthday, Associated British Ports (ABP), the UK’s largest port operator, will be highlighting the importance of water safety and celebrating the efforts of colleagues across the country, who volunteer with the RNLI and save lives at sea.

In the lead up to the 4th March, the day of the RNLI anniversary, ABP will be sharing the important ‘Float to Live’ campaign with colleagues and partners, providing practical steps to help people survive if they find themselves in difficulty in the water. ABP has also created a special series of floating keyrings carrying the ‘Float to Live’ message, which will be distributed to marine colleagues and boat owners to help them stay safe.

Chris Clouter, Assistant Port Manager at ABP’s Port of Barrow and RNLI volunteer Press Officer and Launch Authority, commented: “Volunteering with the RNLI is important to me because it feels like I am part of something much bigger – a lifesaving tradition. Knowing that I play a role in helping those in distress out on the water, so that they can return home safely and see their families and loved ones again, is truly rewarding.

“At Barrow, we are lucky to have two other volunteers for the RNLI working at ABP. Shaun Charnley, one of our Coxswains is also Coxswain of Barrow’s Tamar Class All-Weather Lifeboat and Lindsey Cockburn, HSE Adviser, has recently taken up the role of RNLI Water Safety Officer at Barrow. We look forward to getting our floating ABP keyrings as constant reminders of the great work undertaken by all RNLI volunteers.”

ABP is also running a UK-wide family water safety poster competition for employees, encouraging them to imagine and illustrate a safe beach environment, applying the lessons from the RNLI’s ‘Float to Live’ campaign. The winning and shortlisted entries will be displayed in an online gallery on ABP’s website in time for the summer holidays. This will be done with the aim of raising awareness of safe water practices ahead of the warmer months which tend to encourage more swimming.

On the actual day of the anniversary, ABP IS inviting all vessels entering its ports and harbour authority areas to sound their horns to celebrate the vital work done by RNLI volunteers across the UK to save lives at sea.

Mike McCartain, Group Director Safety, Engineering and Marine, said: “I would like to say a big thank you to all of our colleagues who give up their time to volunteer with the RNLI – you are true heroes. I too am a longstanding supporter of the RNLI and it is fantastic that here at ABP we are able to truly help spread the vital messages around water safety which do save lives.”   

Angela Rook RNLI Associate Director – Fundraising Media and Marketing, said: “We are delighted that mariners are supporting the RNLI by sounding their ships’ whistles at noon on the charity’s bicentenary.

“This recognises the strong and lasting relationship between sea-goers and our volunteer rescue crews who have been saving lives at sea for 200 years. We hope, with the support of our kind and generous donors and their communities, they will always be able to do so. Thank you to ABP for co-ordinating this.”

Later this year, ABP will be supporting the official opening on a new RNLI lifeboat station, which the company sponsored at the Port of Barry.

Find out more about the line-up of events planned to mark the RNLI’s 200th anniversary and discover how you can get involved: https://rnli.org/about-us/our-history/2024