Sunderland was the host port for The Tall Ships Races 2018. More than 50 ships travelled from across the world to reach the city and take part in the celebrations.                                                                    

Sunderland City Council commissioned the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) to undertake a review of its water safety signage and Public Rescue Equipment (PRE) in preparation of the event.

As the largest free festival of entertainment to be held in the UK in 2018, a packed programme of activity was delivered across the city over five days, stretching from Port of Sunderland to the north banks of the River Wear, as well as the twin coastal resorts of Roker and Seaburn, with beach sporting activities and spectacular viewing points as the ships arrived and departed.

RLSS UK’s review gave an independent assessment of the levels of signage and safety equipment based within Sunderland Port, an area opened up to the public for the first time to allow visitors access to view the ships visiting the city.

The council also wanted to review its signage and PRE at both Roker and Seaburn beaches, following the death of a local teenager from drowning at Roker Beach in summer 2017. 

“The review provided a good assessment of our existing levels of safety equipment and water safety signage generally across Sunderland Coastline but also gave assurance to the event planning teams in respect of Tall Ships,” says Trina Murphy from Sunderland City Council.

“The report gave us the required amount of intelligence we needed to support our decision-making around water safety.”

"Sunderland City Council works with RLSS UK and other partners on water safety initiatives in the city, so it made sense to engage the charity for the project, says Murphy."

Huge crowds turned out to see the ships and enjoy more than 200 live performances, as well as watch the parades at the memorable event, which showcased Sunderland at its best.

“I would have no hesitation in working alongside RLSS UK again. We experienced a friendly, professional and courteous service which met fully with our requirements,” added Murphy. 

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