2022: Wrapping up the year with your RNLI crew

As you’re reading this, the likelihood is that you’re a lifesaver, part of our crew. So you deserve a big thank you from all of us at the RNLI for all you’ve given us this year. 

Whether you donated money, time or energy, the gift of giving’s a powerful force for good. 

Take it from Polly (who was rescued), Lee (a medal-winning lifeboat volunteer) and Jessica (fundraiser, aged 10). They all know that you made good things happen this year. They’re just a few of the people featured below in a snapshot of what we achieved together in 2022. 

January: Point break

Four RNLI crew members and a Coastguard rescue officer help Polly, who is on a stretcher, onto the inshore lifeboat

Photo: RNLI/Swanage

Polly is strapped to a stretcher and put aboard the inshore lifeboat

Polly was climbing a cliff when she got stuck with a broken ankle. She was losing a lot of blood and was in shock. With no phone signal, her husband Hugh had to climb up the cliff to get help. 

Swanage lifeboat crews came to the rescue and worked with the Coastguard cliff rescue team. They managed to get Polly to the bottom of the cliff. 

Thanks to you and people like you, the lifeboat crew were well kitted out. They gave Polly welcome pain relief, got her onto a stretcher and away to hospital.

March: At the helm 

Denise Lynch, the first woman in Ireland to qualify as a volunteer coxswain

Photo: RNLI/Terry Sheehy

Denise Lynch, the first woman in Ireland to qualify as a volunteer coxswain

Together we celebrated International Women’s Day in March, highlighting just a few of our brilliant volunteer helms and coxswains. Women like Denise Lynch at Fenit RNLI, who’s the first woman in Ireland to qualify as volunteer coxswain and Amelia Luck, who’s the first female helm at Fowey RNLI. You gave them the training they needed to be in charge. 

April: Soggy moggy story

For April Fool’s Day we told the tale of Icicle the cat, who was a whisker away from drowning. Watch Icicle’s real-life rescue, imagined from the cat’s purr-spective.

April: Mayday mayday

Porthdinllaen Tamar class lifeboat John D Spicer heading towards you through the waves

Photo: Nicholas Leach

The casualties told the crew about the ‘massive relief’ they felt when they saw the lifeboat coming for them

A father and daughter are in the water, clinging to their capsized boat in freezing waters. Thanks to you, Porthdinllaen lifeboat crew are ready to rescue. 

May: Blooming marvellous

Your RNLI flourished at the 2022 RHS Chelsea Flower Show, with an award-winning show garden designed by Garden Designer and Plantsman Chris Beardshaw. It was made possible by the generous support of Project Giving Back, which kindly funded all costs associated with the design and build of our show garden. 

Chris and the team received a Gold Medal for horticulture in the Show Garden category.

May: You answered the call

Howth RNLI crew in kit join members of Circus Geobola in striking an acrobatic pose

Photo: @nickbradshawphotos

Howth RNLI crew joined Circus Gerbola for one night only!

A huge thank you to all of you who took part in Mayday, the RNLI’s annual fundraiser, helping to fund RNLI rescues and water safety campaigns. These volunteers at Howth Lifeboat Station joined the circus!

May: You deserve a medal

The smiling crew of four at Trearddur Bay, in full kit, standing between their tractor and B class lifeboat

Photo: RNLI/Andrew Hodgson

The Trearddur Bay crew, with one Silver and three Bronze Medals between them

Some brave lifesavers involved in special rescues merited RNLI gallantry medals this year. Among them, Trearddur Bay RNLI became the first crew to receive a Silver Medal for a rescue onboard an Atlantic 85 lifeboat.

One Silver and three Bronze Medals were awarded to the volunteer Anglesey crew. Helm Lee Duncan displayed outstanding courage in placing the inshore lifeboat some 10m from rocks to save the life of a female surfer. He received the Silver Medal, one of the RNLI’s highest accolades.

July: On the beaches

Lifeguards Tori Farmer and Alex Ashen received their RNLI Bronze Medals this year. Jon, a swimmer, was caught in a rip current at Mawgan Porth and was swept out to sea. 

In a physically gruelling rescue, Tori and Alex battled the waves to reach him.  In a special podcast they highlighted the dangers of rip currents and the importance of RNLI training. 

August: Help is coming

The RNLI couldn’t save lives without you. In August we released a recording of an emergency call by some vigilant teenagers. They’d spotted two swimmers being swept out to sea in an offshore current. Using a lifering, they pulled the swimmers to the harbour wall and dialled 999 for the Coastguard.

September: A fond farewell

The Queen attends a naming ceremony for a lifeboat

Together we mourned the loss of our long-standing patron, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and remembered some of the memorable moments we were privileged to share. 

Under Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s patronage, RNLI lifeboats launched 329,854 times, and saved 65,979 lives. On behalf of the RNLI, Chief Executive Mark Dowie sent his heartfelt condolences to The Royal Family and said: ‘Her Majesty has dedicated 70 years as patron of the RNLI, engaging with and recognising the efforts of thousands of our people. We place on record our sincere thanks for Her Majesty’s unwavering commitment to saving lives at sea.’ 

October: Jessica and Hattie save the day

Two sisters, Jessica and Hattie standing behind their stall, raising money for the RNLI at a car boot sale

Photo: Jessica and Hattie

Young supporters are part of the crew too – Jessica (10) and Hattie (7) doing their bit

Jessica and her sister were inspired by Storm Force magazine to run a stall at a car boot sale. They sorted through their bedrooms for unwanted stuff and collected more from family and friends. The girls raised more than £160 for our lifesavers.

December: B class birthday

Last but not least, this year we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the B class lifeboat, our fastest lifeboat on the coast – powered by you.

Thank you for all you’ve given us this year. With the gift of giving, you’ve saved countless lives. With your help we can do even more next year – continuing our mission to save every one.

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