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Pipe band tune up in support of the RNLI’s yellow wellies fundraising campaign

Lifeboats News Release

Musicians of all ages swopped their ghillie brogues for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s yellow wellies to show their support for Mayday, the charity’s annual national fundraising campaign which is calling out for people to ‘Do your bit, fund our kit’.

The Ballater and District Pipe Band try on the RNLI’s yellow wellies

The Ballater and District Pipe Band try on the RNLI’s yellow wellies

The Ballater and District Pipe Band marched in front of Balmoral Castle, the Scottish home of the Royal Family, where they often perform for the public.

But this time they tried on the RNLI’s iconic yellow wellies which keep the charity’s volunteers safe and steady on stormy seas. The footwear, worn by generations of crews to grip the deck in slippery conditions, have reinforced toecaps to protect the crews’ feet.

Band members ranging from 83-year-old Alistair Skene to newcomer nine-year-old Sophie Cooper were delighted to show their support for the charity’s annual Mayday fundraising campaign.

Drum Major Ian Esson 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 to see how they can support the RNLI’s Mayday campaign.’

The RNLI’s Aberdeen inshore lifeboat played a major role in helping the Ballater community after flooding in a storm in December 2015 when RNLI volunteers brought rocket-powered line throwers to enable strengthened new overhead lines to be strung across the River Dee by engineers.

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.

Anne Scott, RNLI Community Fundraising Manager for the Aberdeen 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 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.

Anne 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

Picture: The Ballater and District Pipe Band try on the RNLI’s yellow wellies. Credit:

RNLI Media Contacts: Please contact the RNLI Mayday press office at / 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 News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre

The Ballater and District Pipe Band try on the RNLI’s yellow wellies

The Ballater and District Pipe Band try on the RNLI’s yellow wellies

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