1068. Robin Jenkins
Robin Jenkins, from South Glamorgan, launched the first community-run lifeboat service in Japan after founding the ‘Atlantic Pacific International Boat Rescue Project.’
Robin, a senior lecturer in design at the ‘Chelsea College of Arts’ and a volunteer with RNLI, conceived the idea for the project after visiting the city of Kamaishi in Japan, the first location to be hit by the 2011 Tsunami. After hearing the stories of survivors and how hundreds of lives could have been saved if the community had a service like the RNLI, Robin developed the concept of a “Lifeboat in a Box”, a self-contained mobile unit that could provide bespoke rescue boats to areas vulnerable to drowning, flooding and natural disasters. Supported by design students at ‘Chelsea College of Arts’ and ‘United World College of the Atlantic’ in Wales, the project has produced the first lifeboat service in Japan, which will play a key part in assisting ferry services in Kamaishi during the Rugby World Cup in 2019. The project has also trained 118 volunteers to support water rescue operations overseas, with a second ‘Lifeboat in a Box’ station currently being constructed to support communities in Mozambique.
In a personal letter to Robin, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Through your concept of a “Lifeboat in a Box”, you have designed a pioneering model that will protect thousands of people living in coastal communities across the world. Your work bringing together British volunteers and local communities in the city of Kamaishi to lead the first ever community-run lifeboat service in Japan is a truly remarkable achievement.”
Alun Cairns, Secretary of State for Wales and Robin’s local MP, said:
“Congratulations to Robin on receipt of this award which recognises his hard work and innovation to protect the lives of people living in coastal areas.
“I hope that communities across the globe will take advantage of this development in lifeboat technology, and I would like to thank Robin for implementing his skills and experience to save more lives when disasters strike.”
“I am truly delighted to have been chosen for this award. It is not for recognition that most people get involved with humanitarian projects, it is usually for the objective of helping others, however it is a small mark of success when your work is acknowledged by others and acts as encouragement to continue moving forward.”
Pictured: the “Lifeboat in a Box” service in action in Kamaishi (credit: Laura Lewis)
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