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The drinks machine that 'could save you from drowning'

The drinks machine that 'could save you from drowning'

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 7:01am 17th August 2019.

The RNLI has unveiled a drinks machine that 'could save you from drowning' in Cornwall.

In an effort to save our seas whilst saving lives, the charity has unveiled two water refill stations in north Cornwall. 

These stations will dispense free drinking water over the next three months in exchange for a safety advice question being answered. 
People looking to refill their water bottles will be asked which colour flags on the beach mark the lifeguarded area. 

When they provide the correct answer, the red and yellow flags, the water will be dispensed. 

If they get the answer wrong, the correct answer will be displayed along with a prompt to have another go at answering the question. 

rnli drinks machine


The hydration stations will be based at Hendra Holiday Park in Newquay and on Perranporth Beach for the next three months.
The idea was developed by Guy Hayler, Managing Director of south west-based creative agency Wavelength Media, in conjunction with sustainable hydration provider Sipple. The stations are a response to a challenge set by the RNLI as part of its Design Out Drowning programme. 
The programme challenged designers and communities to explore how to reduce coastal drowning in Cornwall and Devon by rethinking how and where safety messages and drowning prevention interventions are deployed.

As part of this programme, the RNLI is also trialing a safety campaign this summer using high impact sand art to highlight tidal cut off locations and the locations of rip currents, encouraging people to swim between the red and yellow flags.
"We are really excited about the launch of these stations. The concept is simple: users unlock free water by answering a safety question that might save their lives. We hope that this interaction will bring beach safety to the front of people's minds.

"These stations enable us to educate people visiting the beach in important safety advice, reduce the prevalence of single-use plastics on the Cornish coastline and help people to stay hydrated on the beach."

Guy Hayler, Wavelength Media

rnli drinks machine

"Last year, 25 people lost their lives on the coast in the south west. Too many people are being caught out in rip currents, or getting into difficulty in the water, so we're exploring new ways of raising awareness of these dangers. 
"We hope that having these stations on Perranporth Beach and at Hendra Holiday Park will encourage people to swim between the red and yellow flags patrolled by our lifeguards.

"We're absolutely committed to reducing the number of people who drown around the coast and this is a new concept that could help achieve that."

Steve Instance, RNLI Community Safety Manager for the south west

The stations dispense freshly filtered, UV purified water at ambient temperature for free, whilst chilled water costs just 35p for 500ml. Those without a water bottle have the option to purchase a reusable Chilly's Bottle for £20.

The project's success in changing beach users' behaviour will be monitored before the lifesaving charity can assess its potential to be rolled out to other locations in the future.
Last year, the charity's lifeguards attended 19,449 incidents and aided 32,207 people. 

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