Innovation, Awards & Fighting Plastic with Throwlines – Our Amazing Week at Seawork 2019

Seawork Exhibition Stand

The whole team at Reach and Rescue had an amazing week exhibiting the latest in innovative water rescue equipment at Seawork 2019. Seawork is Europe’s largest commercial marine exhibition and was visited by more than 7,700 maritime professionals and business leaders between 11th to 13th June. The event proved to be the perfect fit for Reach and Rescue as we rubbed shoulders with the biggest names in the maritime industry – Reach and Rescue left its mark on the event too.


The highlight of our week at Seawork 2019 was undoubtedly receiving an award for innovation at the prestigious European Commercial Marine (ECMA) Innovation Showcase Awards.  Sponsored by National Maritime and HSSMI, the Innovation Showcase was located in a prominent area of the Seawork exhibition hall to provide visitors with the opportunity to view products that demonstrate the pinnacle of effective design and technology.

Our entry was the 17m telescopic rescue pole, which went toe-to-toe with some of the biggest names and established products in the maritime industry in the coveted Safety & Training category; we proudly finished with the runner-up ‘Special Commendation’ award.  Needless to say, this ultra-competitive category reflects just how vital effective safety measures are for the maritime industry and – most importantly – our recognition reflects just how much Reach and Rescue is clearly on the front-line when it comes to modern, lifesaving rescue equipment.

Telescopic Rescue Pole at the Innovation Showcase      Telescopic Rescue Pole at the Innovation Showcase      Telescopic Rescue Pole at the Innovation Showcase

The Innovation Showcase judges were especially fond of our pole’s versatility.  They felt the ability to match an attachment to the specific rescue situation was particularly impressive.  In an industry where emphasis is increasingly being placed on the ability to rescue a casualty from the water even if they’re unconscious, our telescopic rescue pole’s versatility is crucial.  The 17m rescue pole that we entered was displayed with a body hook attached; this attachment arguably provides the most versatility as it will function whether a casualty in the water is conscious or not.

Telescopic Rescue Pole Demonstration at Seawork 2019


Despite our telescopic rescue pole’s success in the Innovation Showcase, the Portsafe was undoubtedly the main attraction at our exhibition stand.  As Portsafe is the World’s first public access water rescue system, most visitors to our stand hadn’t seen anything like it before.


The Portsafe has been developed in response to repeated reports of vandalism with existing public access rescue systems such as the lifebuoy.  The Portsafe itself houses a telescopic rescue pole and an emergency throwline in individual lockable boxes and is intended to stand at the water’s edge similar to a traditional life ring.  But unlike the life ring, it is secure from vandalism and is more accurate when in use.  The system can reach someone in distress in the water in as little as 20 seconds, and – if fitted with our specially commended 17m pole – will reach up to 17 metres.

A location number is shown on the Portsafe board for the caller to quote when ringing the emergency services; it is this number that grants the caller access to the pole via an access code given to them by the emergency services.  Most visitors to our stand already had an awareness of public access defibrillators; it is this understanding that generated excitement when they saw our Portsafe.  The possibility for the maritime industry is huge.  Every visitor to our stand – from harbourmasters and dockyard supervisors, to marina managers and volunteer lifeboat captains – saw the benefit to keeping their staff and members of the public safe from accidental drowning in their water.


Reach and Rescue Donate Emergency Throwlines to Ocean5

The Ocean5 rowing team was a stand which captured our attention.  The team comprises 5 guys who are rowing 3,000 miles across the unforgiving Atlantic Ocean unaided to raise funds and awareness for The Plastic Soup Foundation.  PSF is an organisation that is leading the fight against plastic pollution entering our ocean.

It wasn’t just the bravery and selflessness of these lads to undertake such a dangerous journey for charity that caught our eye, but rather it was the lack of safety equipment to deal with a man overboard situation on their state-of-the-art rowing boat that compelled us to have a chat.  After a quick conversation, it was clear the guys needed something on board should one of them fall into the water.  Jo and the team were only too happy to donate a couple of emergency throwline throwbags to the Ocean5 team.  Here’s hoping they never have to use them!


Reach and Rescue with the team at Kongsberg

Finally, Stuart and Hannah from Reach and Rescue completed the ‘Experience Boskalis’ escape room at Seawork.  Together with Richard and Steve from Kongsberg with the team name ‘The Great Escape’, we escaped in a rapid 21 minutes and 24 seconds.  At the time, this was the fastest escape of the week – however, Boskalis have since confirmed we actually escaped in the 2nd fastest time!  Now… we don’t want to say we’ve been diddled out of victory but seeing as we completed the escape at 4pm on Thursday with a then record time, we’re massively disappointed we didn’t hold on for the final hour of the event!  Regardless, the escape was a lot of fun and nicely capped off what was an incredibly successful week for Reach and Rescue at Seawork 2019.


Speak to us about our innovative water rescue equipment by calling us on 03301 595 088 or by emailing

Read more about our successful collaboration with Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service that led to multiple Portsafes being installed across Bedfordshire.
UK: 03301 595 088
International: 0203 368 6792     

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