Pickled Piper swaps shoes and spats for yellow wellies in support of the RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Edinburgh’s Pickled Piper (John Rae) has swapped his shoes and spats for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s yellow wellies to show his support for Mayday, the charity’s annual national fundraising campaign which is calling out for people to ‘Do your bit, fund our kit’.

Edinburgh’s Pickled Piper John Rae tries on the RNLI’s yellow wellies


Edinburgh’s Pickled Piper John Rae tries on the RNLI’s yellow wellies

John Rae has played as the sole piper in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, he’s performed on the Royal Yacht Britannia, played for the Queen at Buckingham Palace and the Pope at the Vatican. Now he’s wearing a pair of RNLI yellow wellies to show his support for the charity that saves lives at sea.

Worn by generations of crews to grip the deck in slippery conditions, the iconic yellow wellies keep crew members safe and steady on stormy seas. Unlike John’s usual footwear, RNLI-issue sea boots have reinforced toecaps to protect the crews’ feet.

The Pickled Piper – John Rae, comments: ‘I’m really pleased to be supporting the RNLI by swapping my usual foot wear for a pair of wellies. The RNLI’s volunteers couldn’t save lives at sea without their yellow wellies and the rest of their lifesaving kit. So, I’d encourage everyone to visit RNLI.org/Mayday to see how they can support the RNLI’s Mayday campaign.’

Mayday distress calls can come in any time, day or night, 365 days a
year, with 4,700 volunteer crew members from 238 lifeboat stations across the UK and Ireland on standby to drop everything in an instant to save lives at sea.

Rachel Stewart, RNLI Community Fundraising Manager for the Edinburgh area, said: ‘Our crews rely on lifesaving kit, like their yellow wellies, lifejackets and helmets, when they go out in all weathers to save lives at sea. From sponsored bike rides and welly walks, to running a bake sale, there are all sorts of ways to raise money for the RNLI this Mayday. Visit RNLI.org/Mayday to download a fundraising pack and see how you can do your bit to fund our kit.’

The RNLI’s Mayday campaign runs throughout May and aims to raise £750,000 to fund lifesaving kit for the charity’s brave volunteer crews. A crew member’s yellow wellies cost £54 a pair, a lifejacket costs £458 and a safety helmet costs £263.

Rachel continued: ‘In 2016 RNLI lifeboat crews launched 8,851 times, rescuing 8,643 people and saving 431 lives. Scotland’s coast is long, varied and beautiful but not everyone is aware of the dangers the sea can bring. They may not be aware of the efforts the RNLI and its army of volunteers go to in order to keep the public safe around our coasts.’

Mayday fundraising events are taking place across Scotland, many with a yellow welly theme. To find a Mayday event near you, or to download a fundraising pack, visit RNLI.org/Mayday.

Picture: Edinburgh’s Pickled Piper John Rae tries on the RNLI’s yellow wellies. Credit: hsqproductions.com

RNLI Media Contacts: Please contact the RNLI Mayday press office at RNLIMayday@redconsultancy.com / 020 7025 6581 for further information.

Or: Richard Smith, RNLI Public Relations Manager for Scotland on 07786 668903, RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

Notes to Editors

  • RNLI lifeboat crews around the UK and Ireland are on call 24 hours a day, ready to respond to any emergency at sea.

  • With an average of 24 callouts a day, there's most likely an RNLI lifeboat out on a rescue right now.

  • For more information on the RNLI please visit www.rnli.org.uk. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre www.rnli.org.uk/press

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, in a normal year, 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 by email.