Young people visit Lochinver RNLI during a fundraising trek

Lifeboats News Release

An historic 70 mile crossing from east to west coast of Sutherland has been made by pupils from three Sutherland high schools in aid of the RNLI.

Pupils visiting RNLI Lochinver lifeboat

RNLI/

Pupils visiting RNLI Lochinver lifeboat

With a 12 strong support team made up of volunteers, teachers and the Army, 23 young people from Golspie High School, Dornoch Academy and Kinlochbervie High School made this first ever crossing over five days.

They walked in all weathers, slept under canvass, carrying much of their own equipment, suffered midge attacks and pressed on regardless of blisters, sore feet and wet clothes. It was an experience of a lifetime through wild country that many will never have seen before.

Patrick Marriott, organiser of the walk said: "The pupils were amazing. They showed real determination and no little courage. The venture was all about 'unlocking talent' by stretching them and giving them challenges.''

The sponsorship monies raised will go to funds for all three participating schools, as well as Sutherland Coastal Rescue (for the RNLI Lochinver Lifeboat and the Dornoch rescue boat) and the Friends of Sutherland Veterans. The team are hoping to exceed their fundraising target of £5,000.

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 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.

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