Lifesaver or Lifewrecker Gin?

Surrey SAR are now promoting a Lowland Rescue branded gin by Silent Pool distillery inappropriately named “Lifesaver” gin and people quite rightly are concerned about this. 

Silent Pool are a local gin distillery in Surrey and they do make some high quality products however we do question their partnership with Surrey SAR and question their moral values by making money via Search and Rescue.  Donating hand sanitiser was a great idea but selling alcohol in the name of SAR has over stepped the mark.

Alcohol plays a significant part in the final hours of many people either when intentionally taking their own lives or accidental deaths such as falling into water whilst drunk.  It simply isn’t appropriate for Surrey SAR or Lowland Rescue to be promoting alcohol using their name and branding. 

Surrey SAR get a mere £2.50 per bottle sold. We don’t see the Surrey Police Traffic Unit promoting alcohol as they know full well the harm that alcohol does when mixed with driving.  Surrey Fire and Rescue Service don’t sell candles as they know how many people died from house fires due to unattended flames.   It is a shame that Surrey SAR Trustees have such broken moral compasses and don’t follow suit, instead they take money from beer and gin sales knowing full well the role alcohol plays in the untimely deaths of those they are supposed to be helping.  

Comments on the What Ales Yer post raise some very good questions.

Trailer wrote “Today i saw that SURSAR have launched a Gin called Lifesaver. ( I then checked it was April 1st) Can none of their Trustees see that this is totally inappropriate for a Charity who’s prime purpose is to preserve lives? Surely they have been to enough despondent death scenes to remember that alcohol and drugs play a very frequent part in the ends of very unhappy and ill people. To blazen the LR lozenge on a bottle of gin over the name ‘Lifesaver’ leaves me dismayed. Where was their ethics when they agreed to this or approached Silent Pool asking for it?

Buck Tarbrush wrote “I’ve just been reading on Facebook about Surrey SAR gin now too. It beggars belief that a SAR team is looking to make money from advertising alcohol. I think the poster who says he thought it was an April’s Fool joke is on the money. It seems a very strange decision by the committee to back this one.

The only one of the individuals named in this blog I have met is the fat one who pretends to be in the army and given his attitude it doesn’t surprise me that things are as they are with your trustees.

I hope that the moral of the whole team is still high despite their behaviours.”

What more can we add, these posts? They sum up how people in Lowland Rescue are thinking. We too find the choice of name highly inappropriate.  Sadly it is not a joke and Trustees Dr Piers Page (Surgeon), James Rossell (IT geek), Seamus Kearns (serial job hopper) and Jill Thorpe (teacher) have made a conscious decision to generate funds from selling alcohol.  Dr Piers Page should know better but if any of the others had common sense they would have learned from the numerous searches over the years that alcohol does have a negative impact on the lives and deaths of those who go missing.   

Sadly Buck Tarbrush, morale is at an all time low on the team and the Trustees seem hell bent on destroying Surrey SAR from within. No one likes or trusts the Trustees except the few sycophants who are blinded by the bullshit. The Trustees all need to stand down and completely disassociate themselves from the team along with Jill Thorpe who is increasingly coming to our attention for the wrong reasons.

If you disagree with the Surrey SAR gin or the Surrey SAR beer then don’t buy it, don’t buy the products of those companies or visit their pubs.  We won’t be buying any of their products now that we have an idea of their ethics.

10 replies on “Lifesaver or Lifewrecker Gin?”

It’s interesting that all those links refer to Mountain Rescue teams.

Whilst both Mountain Rescue and Lowland Rescue teams search for people that’s pretty much where the similarity ends.

The subject of a search involving MR teams invariably want to be found, they are very rarely despondent, rarely under the influence of alcohol (or any other substances) and are generally as a result of misfortune, medical incident or navigational error.

The same cannot be said for Lowland Rescue teams; they search for extremely vulnerable people who are increasingly despondent (check out the statistics for this year if you don’t believe me). Alcohol very often has a direct affect on these unfortunate individuals and indeed decision are often made under the influence of it.

Other teams such as West Mercia SAR and Kent SAR run excellent water safety campaigns each year and a common thread is alcohol – yet Surrey seem to think being linked with alcohol is a good fundraiser/partnership.

Try having a read of the UK Missing Persons Unit’s ‘Men Missing On A Night Out’ study researched by Geoff Newiss if you think it’s still a good idea.

Balance, your response is vague, without explanation and adds little to the discussion around Lowland Rescue promoting alcohol sales and consumption. It is merely a list of ales connected to Mountain Rescue Teams who are a different entity in the same way beer and hard alcohol are different. Someone has already pointed that MR teams typically look for people in completely different situations in life so I won’t reiterate it but very good points have been raised which I agree with.

Your lack of response reads like it is written by someone in Surrey SAR who is trying to justify why they are selling and promoting alcohol. If you are Surrey SAR or involved with the gin and beer then it would be interesting to hear your thought process and justification for your decisions.

As a member of an LR team it does concern me that Lowland Rescue allow their branding on alcohol and why they are doing nothing to stop it.

Finally, if Surrey SAR are so short of money for vital first aid equipment and fire extinguishers (as per their latest social media) that they have to promote alcohol for funds then why don’t they stop buying vehicles & boats which cost money to livery, fitting equipment, insure, maintain and fuel?

Who knows? There was not a reply from Balance and nothing from Surrey Search and Rescue.

It is mixed messages from Lowland Rescue. One the one hand they post this on their social media about the dangers of alcohol and water yet at the same time Surrey Search and Rescue are selling gin and beer under the Lowland Rescue brand.

The Lowland Rescue/ Berkshire Search and Rescue message is being undermined. You would like to think LR would clamp down it as they are very keen to promote branding standards yet this is allowed to happen. I’m surprised Kent, Berkshire and the other teams don’t pressure Lowland Rescue to do something to control brand use.

Has anybody actually made a formal request/complaint/grievance to LR? Theres a lot of comments in the main blog posts and comments sections asking what LR is doing, but very little to say anyone has actually raised it with them for formal comment and any outcomes.

Balance makes a point though. The type of alcohol shouldn’t be in question and afaik Newiss doesnt make a distinction in his studies. It’s the misuse and affects of alcohol that should make it incompatible with sar team pr efforts.

In all honesty, would you know who to call or email now to ask LR something? I’d love to hear from them as a body, but i wouldn’t know where to start to actually check any of this out. And to be honest, even if i did, i wouldn’t expect an (honest) answer.

If our team is aware of this site then I’m sure Lowland Rescue are aware of it too. LR were very vocal about branding and PR image a few years ago and put the work in to unify us all. Then we get Community Rescue Service in Northern Ireland with their different uniforms, dressing up as admirals, and Cambridgeshire with the paramilitary/fake police look – perhaps this illustrates that in reality Lowland Rescue have no control and why nothing is done over Surrey’s rogue actions like driving everywhere on blue lights and now promoting alcohol. No point having national standards if they are not applied fairly across the teams.

We have sent an email to LR secretary and to the chairman – Gareth Pritchard, to ask what the national policy on alcohol sales is and also whether they endorse the use of the LR lozenge on alcohol bottles. Let’s see if they reply.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.