Alice Arnold calls Mayday for the RNLI, inspired by iconic Shipping Forecast

Lifeboats News Release

Former presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Shipping Forecast, Alice Arnold, revisits Cromarty, Hebrides, Dogger and Humber, as she reads the ‘Mayday Forecast’ and urges the public to support the RNLI’s Mayday campaign this bank holiday.

The ‘Mayday Forecast’ follows the well-known rhythm and regions of this established British bulletin, but instead of predicting weather conditions, it predicts the number of distress calls the RNLI will respond to this year.
Maritime distress calls can come in 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with 4,700 volunteer crew members across the UK and Ireland on standby to drop everything in an instant to save lives at sea. The RNLI’s Mayday campaign, running over this bank holiday weekend, is its own call for help – to raise the money needed to keep the charity and its 237 lifeboat stations operating.
Based on 2015 figures, the Mayday Forecast predicts approximately 8,200 people will be rescued and
hundreds of lives will be saved by the RNLI’s volunteer crews  around the coasts of the UK and Ireland in 2016. If 2015 is anything to go by, lifeboat crews will spend over 229,000 hours at sea.
Forecast predictions demonstrate the scale of the RNLI’s rescue operations. The lifesaving charity relies on the generosity of the public and the forecast urges listeners to support this year’s Mayday campaign.
These include:
·         North East including Tyne, Dogger and Humber. 597 call outs. 1 rescue in force 11 violent storm conditions, 3 rescues in force 10 storms. 682 people rescued. 32 lives saved’
·         ‘Republic of Ireland including Fastnet, Shannon. 829 call outs. Range of conditions, often rough. 1 launch in force 11 storm conditions. 965 people rescued and 24 lives saved’
·         ‘Hunstanton to Dungeness including Dover. Often very rough seas. 1,730 launches. 1,269 people rescued. 61 lives saved’
The RNLI is close to Alice Arnold’s heart. She says:
‘The dedication of volunteer lifeboat crews around our coastlines is awe inspiring. When the pager goes off, they drop everything to go and save lives, often in treacherous conditions. I've really enjoyed reading the Mayday Forecast, highlighting the sheer number of rescues anticipated in 2016. It's been fun to do, and vitally important. I’d encourage everyone to support the RNLI this Mayday to help the charity continue their life saving work.'
This Mayday, support the RNLI’s volunteer crews to keep them saving lives. Visit to donate and find out more information about how you can support Mayday.
Mayday fundraising events are taking place right across the UK and Ireland, many with a yellow welly theme. The public can also show their support on social media by using the hashtag #MaydayEveryday.
RNLI media contacts
Please contact the RNLI Mayday press office at / 020 7025 6613 for further information, the full Mayday Forecast script, to see further images, film and B-roll footage, or to speak with a volunteer crewmember.
Alternatively, call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.