Practical Boat Owner: For the sixth year running RNLI crew volunteer Marcus Lewis will be hosting a free lifejacket clinic in Fowey on Sunday 6 April 2014.

The event, which will take place from 9.30am until 2pm at the Fowey Gallants Sailing Club, provides the public with free checks of an item of safety equipment that could ultimately save their life.

Marcus, who has been a crew volunteer at the Fowey RNLI lifeboat station for 27 years, is supported by service engineers from Ocean Safety in Plymouth who give their time free of charge to the charity.

Last year they checked 183 lifejackets, of which 13 had to be condemned and around 30% needed replacement parts to ensure they operated properly if used in an emergency.

Marcus said: ‘Last year 56 people visited the clinic in a five hour period and I hope this means the message about just how important it is to have your lifejacket regularly checked is getting through.

‘In 2013 we started the day with a real shock when the very first lifejacket to be looked out had no gas bottle in it, which means it wouldn’t have inflated automatically in a crisis.

These lifejackets could be what saves a person’s life so I can’t stress how important it is to have them checked annually.’

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