Ford has developed a customised tyre for one of the RNLI’s Ranger pickup trucks that is capable of leaving water safety messages across stretches of sand.
As part of a new initiative with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, lifeguards can leave vital messages on a beach as they drive along the sand, including ‘float to live’, ‘no inflatables’, and ‘emergency? call 999’.
This activity aims to support the lifesaving charity to educate people on, and raise awareness of key beach safety advice, and comes after research shows that 40% of people who say they would take an inflatable into the sea in the UK admit to previously getting into difficulty.
The custom tyres are made from a mould of each water safety message. The mould creates a rubber tyre sleeve that is wrapped around the Ford Ranger tyre tread and fixed into place permanently before being fitted to the RNLI vehicle.
“Spending the day at the beach or out on the water is a great way to have fun and stay active but it’s easier than you think to get into trouble,” explained Guy Addington, regional water safety lead at the RNLI. “With record temperatures, we’ve seen high numbers of people at UK beaches this summer so it’s imperative that we continue to raise awareness of important water safety messages. We’re delighted that Ford is helping us continue our mission to spread these messages that can help save lives.”
Andy Barratt, managing director at Ford, added “we’ve been delighted to continue supplying vehicles to the RNLI, and support the outstanding work they do to keep us all safe. It’s very exciting to see our Ford Ranger being used to spread these important water safety messages.”
Ford is the official vehicle supplier to the RNLI, and the Ford Ranger is the RNLI’s pickup of choice for lifeguard beach patrols. Since 2018, Ford has provided the RNLI with over 350 vehicles, including the Fiesta, EcoSport, Focus, Kuga, Transit, Transit Connect and Transit Customs..
The custom tyres were tested by Ford at Minnis Bay in Kent. Ford and the RNLI are now looking at the long term use of this Ford Ranger fitted with the custom tyre.