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27th February 2018 - Press Release

Port's Water Safety Boost

Lifesaving charity recognises Port of Dover's support for swimmers

The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) has praised the Port of Dover for backing its crucial community safety work.

The UK’s leading drowning prevention charity has conferred the status of ‘Friend of the Society’ on the Port in recognition of its years of ‘valuable service’ to the RLSS.

The Port has been a long-standing supporter of the Society’s Kent Branch - having backed a major cross-Channel swim by six of its former presidents, incorporated RLSS best practice into its Leisure Zone Management Policy for recreational water users, and provided a regular safety awareness stand for the charity at the Port of Dover Community Regatta.

Port Chief Executive, Tim Waggott, said: “Safety is at the heart of everything we do at the Port of Dover, so we’re particularly honoured to receive this recognition from the Royal Life Saving Society.”

Former RLSS Kent Branch presidents Kathy Batts, Lorraine Mackie, Tina Smith, Debbie Hunt, Dain Lewis and Cheryl Payne cite the Port as playing a supportive role in their preparation for the cross-Channel relay swim.

The six, known as the Dover Divas, trained for two years in Dover Harbour, had free access to Port facilities and were offered use of one of the Harbour Patrol Launches to support their marathon.

They completed the challenge in just under 18 hours, swimming in one hour shifts and covering – while being shunted by the tide – a total of 52 miles.

The relay netted more than £5,000 in sponsorship which was invested in RLSS community outreach campaigns throughout the county including Save a Baby’s Life and Life Support classes.

The Port has also written RLSS safety advice for swimmers into its Marine Operations Manual, aimed specifically at those bathing in Dover Harbour’s leisure zone.

Serving RLSS Kent Branch President, Fran Payne, said: “The Port has been an important partner in our ongoing work to promote safety in and around water. We’re very grateful for the support it has given us and are pleased to present it with this national honour in recognition of all it has done.”

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