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Plymouth RNLI receives £1,000 donation

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Image of Emma Haines

Emma Haines
RNLI Press Officer at South West.

Lifeboats News Release

  • Date:
  • Author: Emma Haines

A team of hardy swimmers have helped raise £1,000 for Plymouth RNLI.

Ten swimmers from the Maritime Archaeology Sea Trust (MAST) took on a six and a half mile swim challenge earlier this autumn in difficult conditions. Representatives from the swim team visited the station on Saturday (10 November) to present a cheque.

MAST team members Jessica Berry, Tom Cousins, Roger Crook, Rebecca Harris, Paris Illiopoulos, Jean-Marc Jefferson, Charlie Sandercock, Martin Smith, Lindsey Walke and Denise Ward, took on the swim challenge.

The team had originally planned to swim from the wreck of the Coronation, a 90-gun ship built in 1685 which sank in a storm trying to enter Plymouth Sound in 1691. More than 600 men drowned in this single event. The swim, intended to raise awareness for the UK’s maritime heritage, took place on the anniversary of her sinking. The team swam in relay, with two swimmers at a time in the water.

But the weather threw a spanner in the works as Jessica Berry, CEO of MAST and one of the swimmers, explains:

‘As we reached to the breakwater the waves were crashing hard against the rocks and the mist was descending rapidly. It would have been much too dangerous to carry out Plan A - so we had to go reluctantly with B - three lengths of the breakwater, about one mile per length, before swimming in. This meant swimming much of the time against the current and at some points we were going backwards – it was an incredible challenge.’

Plymouth University provided safety cover for the swim, and Plymouth lifeboat also went afloat to show their support, but luckily wasn’t needed operationally on this occasion!

The team has raised almost £6,000 which has been divided between the charity to fund fieldwork for next year, and the RNLI – including £1,000 for Plymouth RNLI.

Dave Milford, Coxswain of Plymouth RNLI, said: ‘Congratulations must go to the swimmers, who tackled an already difficult challenge made more demanding by the weather conditions on the day. We are very grateful for their kind donation to Plymouth RNLI.’

Notes to editors

Please see attached an image of the cheque presentation. Credit RNLI.

RNLI media contacts

For more information contact Emma Haines, RNLI Press Officer, on emma_haines@rnli.org.uk or 07920 818807 or Tamsin Thomas, RNLI Public Relations Manager, on tamsin_thomas@rnli.org.uk or 07786 668847.

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Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland from 237 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 180 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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