Atlantic Pacific sets up home in the Royal Docks

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Atlantic Pacific sets up home in the Royal Docks

Atlantic Pacific, an international charity that offers lifeboat and water rescue solutions is making a new home for itself in the Royal Docks. Work has already begun on its base, located next to the Royal Docks Water Sports Centre, with plans for them to be up and running by the end of October.

The charity has a simple, but serious mission: to combat global drowning.

According to a report by the World Health Organisation in 2019, drowning claimed the lives of 236,000 people worldwide, making it the third leading cause of unintentional death. With so many towns and cities around the world now under threat from flooding, caused by the devastating effects of the climate emergency, this mission has become more important than ever.

Recently we spoke to Kate Sedwell, the co-founder of Atlantic Pacific, to learn more about the charity’s work and why they chose to set up home in the Royal Docks.

Atlantic Pacific working with students from London Design and Engineering UTC, Newham (Credit: LDEUTC)

“Atlantic Pacific exists to tackle this humanitarian crisis and eliminate death by drowning,” Kate said. “We provide Lifeboats and trained crew to areas of need and work with communities around the world who do not have a water rescue service but find themselves in areas vulnerable to flooding and natural disasters”.

Education is a vital part of Atlantic Pacific’s effort to reduce the numbers of people who drown each year and as part of their activities, the charity will be running an outreach programme with the local community in Newham to encourage children and young people to be confident in the water, but also to learn basic boating and search and rescue skills.

The Royal Docks was the obvious choice! We’re right next to a massive piece of water, of course, but we’ve also been working in schools and with local young people and the reception we’ve had has been so positive.

Kate Sedwell, the co-founder of Atlantic Pacific

Kate said: “The Royal Docks was the obvious choice! We’re right next to a massive piece of water, of course, but we’ve also been working in schools and with local young people and the reception we’ve had has been so positive. There is a huge appetite for the work we do, here”.

Research by Sport England has found that 95% of Black adults and 80% of Black children in England, and 93% of Asian adults and 78% of Asian children, do not swim, so Kate is particularly determined to reach and engage the area’s diverse communities through the charity’s work.

“We hope that local children and young people will develop with us to become Atlantic Pacific crew and eventually instructors who can both teach the next generation of children local to our base in Royal Docks, but also who can be deployed internationally with our Lifeboat in a Box programme or as a rapid response highly trained crew.”

Atlantic Pacific has now installed the first floor of their building next to the Royal Docks Water Sports Centre, with the second floor planned for the start of 2023. The building was partially funded by the Mayor of London, Newham Council and a crowdfunding programme.

Atlantic Pacific offers a wide range of courses including Search and Rescue Fundamentals and Casualty Care. For those interested in a career in medicine, they also offer An Introduction to Emergency Medicine’ and also have some great team building days for those wanting to build communication and team work with their colleagues. For more information please contact courses@atlanticpacific.org.uk or visit https://www.atlanticpacific.org.uk/