Prominent marine safety company RFD Australia, has leant their considerable weight to the worthy cause of assisting the Sailors With Disabilities program. While the program has a solid profile in the boating community thanks to their participation in the annual Sydney to Hobart race since 1994, there is considerably more than the Hobart.
Throughout the year, Sailors With Disabilities (SWD) has a busy schedule introducing people to sailing – people of all ages, with all manner of disabilities get out on the water to reinforce their ability.
Like any organisation undertaking worthwhile community work, funds are tight and the opportunity to involve people is often choked by a lack of resources. This is where RFD has stepped in to assist.
“We became aware of David Pescud and his work with Sailors With Disabilities through the wider boating community in NSW, in addition to a recent television documentary,” said Mark Barker, Managing Director of RFD Australia.
“It didn’t take long to see that this was an organisation that was performing a wonderful role in introducing people with disabilities to sailing. But at the same time they were having great difficulty doing their job due to a lack of resources.”
“So we stepped up to the plate and will donate a range of our RFD safety equipment. We recognised that due to their disabilities, both adults and children need a heightened level of awareness and the appropriate equipment for their personal safety. After consultation with SWD, RFD recognised that safety was an integral part of the culture within SWD.”
Accordingly, RFD will provide SWD and their 16.2m racing yacht called “Kayle” with RFD PFD’s , ACR EPIRBS, strobes, RFD harnesses, four rafts including a 16 man Solas unit, and the ongoing servicing of these vital pieces of safety equipment . In addition, RFD provided essential cash support that allows Sailors With Disabilities to continue and expand their program.
One of the core programs operated by Sailors With Disabilities involves disabled children. According to David Pescud, organiser and leader of the Sailors With Disabilities group, a day out on Sydney Harbour for a disabled child is often a life changing experience.
“A day with Sailors With Disabilities is a demonstration for kids that you can overcome your disability and get on with life,” David Pescud said.
“We have never refused a disabled person the opportunity to participate in one of our ‘try sail days’. We can accommodate up to five wheelchairs on board the boat along with carers too.”
“Irrespective of their disability, every disabled person who sails with us returns to shore with a ‘can do’ attitude.”
Obviously safety on board Kayle is paramount. Now thanks to RFD’s support, the boat and the people who sail with the Sailors With Disabilities group have the best in safety equipment.
“RFD’s support has made our boat a whole heap safer,” David Pescud said.
“Now we have reliable safety equipment and good communication. With RFD’s backing, we not only have the best and latest safety equipment, but their funding allows us to expand our children’s programs, in particular we are able to introduce disabled indigenous children from NSW and Queensland into our Sailors With Disabilities program.”
RFD is a world leading supplier of marine safety products and inflatable watercraft marketed under a range of brand names. Some of these brands include Plastimo boating equipment, ACR electronics and Comet pyrotechnics.
Beginning in 1920, RFD is primarily involved in the supply and service of marine, fire, life support and gas control equipment