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RNLI charity walker’s epic journey around Irish coast nears completion

Lifeboats News Release

A young man who set off on a marathon journey nearly two years ago this week, to walk the entire Irish and UK coastline to raise funds for the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), is about to reach a major milestone.

Alex Ellis-Roswell (23) from Kent in England has crossed the border into Northern Ireland, having set off over a year ago from Belfast to walk clockwise around Ireland. He has now walked the entire coastline of the Republic of Ireland and is currently finishing the last part of his trek in Northern Ireland which will bring him back to Belfast and complete his walk of Ireland.

Along the way Alex has raised over £23,000/€27,000 for the RNLI in Ireland and the UK, as well as wearing out six pairs of boots. He has relied on the kindness and hospitality of the local people he has met on his travels walking the roads and beaches with a rucksack on his back. Along the coastline he has used the network of RNLI lifeboat stations as waypoints to measure out his journey and to meet with the volunteers whose life-saving work his funds are helping. The charity operates 45 lifeboat stations in Ireland.

The young fundraiser started his Irish journey as he stepped off the ferry in Belfast and headed clockwise along the county Down coast, before crossing the border into Louth and continuing along the east coast of Ireland.  Christmas was spent on Sherkin Island off West Cork before continuing along the south coast and up west, which saw him come back on his journey as he weaved back and forth along the jutting headlands. He does not skip any of the coastline and tries wherever possible to stay close to the sea.  Along the way he has shared his adventures on social media praising the hospitality of the Irish people and documenting his struggles with the differing accents and the Irish weather.

Alex’s mother Jackie flew over to spend mother’s day with him in Kerry and he has made many friends along the way. He set out from home on his epic journey on 3 August 2014 and is about to celebrate his second anniversary on the road. As he prepares to bid farewell to Ireland there are plenty of memories that both Alex and the people he has met will treasure.

Commenting on Alex’s incredible fundraising initiative and journey RNLI Community Fundraising Manager Nicola Kelly said, ‘We get a lot of wonderful people doing all sorts of incredible things to raise funds and awareness for the work of the RNLI in Ireland.  This was certainly one of the most arduous and demanding fundraising feats for the charity.’ 

‘As Alex nears the end of his Irish journey we want to wish him well and to thank him for the funds raised for our lifeboat crews and the awareness he has brought to the life-saving work they carry out.  Our lifeboat stations have been keeping an eye out for him along the way to make sure he is safe and well and the RNLI is very grateful to him for everything he has done. We wish he well in his continuing journey.’

To learn about Alex Ellis-Roswell continuing journey as he completes the circumference of the Irish coastline or to donate to the RNLI on his fundraising page please follow the links below:


Note for Editor: Alex is currently walking the Antrim coast

RNLI media contacts
For information please contact Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager on 00 (353) 87 1254 124 email or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 00 (353) 87 6483547 email

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 Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 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.

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 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland