MAYDAY: I've just lifted a 40 tonne lifeboat for the RNLI
Two fearless RNLI supporters lifted the equivalent of a 40 tonne lifeboat to raise money for the charity’s annual fundraising event, Mayday.
RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor Matt Childs and friend Jake Downes set themselves the target of squatting 60kg of weight no fewer than 333 times between them to match the 40 tonne weight of a Severn class RNLI lifeboat – the heaviest in the charity’s rescue fleet.
The leg-busting challenge, which took place outside the RNLI’s newly opened Visitor Centre on Paget Road, Barry Island, took almost two hours and raised more than £600 for the RNLI’s Mayday campaign, which aims to fund lifeboat kit worn by the RNLI’s lifesaving volunteers.
And if lifting one Severn class lifeboat wasn’t enough, an unexpected offer of an extra £50 of sponsorship saw the brave duo go even further and complete 500 repetitions – equal to one-and-a-half Severn class lifeboats.
The event tied in with the launch of the RNLI’s Mayday campaign on Monday (1 May). Mayday will run for the whole month, with fundraising events taking place across the UK and Ireland. This year, the RNLI hopes to raise £750,000 through Mayday, which will be used to fund essential kit for the charity’s brave volunteer lifeboat crews.
Matt Childs said: ‘RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews around the UK and Ireland are willing to drop everything to go and save lives at sea when their pagers beep. The Mayday campaign is our own call for help, as we rely on the generosity of the public to help us continue our lifesaving service, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.’
Money raised through Mayday fundraising events will help kit out RNLI lifeboat crews so they’re ready to face the harshest conditions at sea, with it costing £1,593 to provide an all-weather lifeboat crew member with all of the vital kit they need during a rescue.
The RNLI is asking people to ‘do your bit, fund our kit’ this Mayday and anyone who wishes to get involved should visit RNLI.org/Mayday to register for a free Mayday pack. The pack provides fundraising ideas, such as wearing wellies to work, doing a sponsored welly walk or cycle ride, or holding a bake sale.
The charity is also encouraging people to show their support, and join the conversation, by using the hashtag #MaydayEveryDay, donating online or buying a yellow welly pin badge to show their support.
The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. Its 4,700 volunteer lifeboat crew members provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts.
Last year, RNLI lifeboat crews across the UK and Ireland launched 8,851 times, rescuing 8,643 people and saving 431 lives.
Donations to the RNLI for the challenge are still being accepted. To donate online visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Matt-Childs4.
As well as the money raised for the RNLI, Jake also raised more than £500 for the Go Felix charity, which is raising funds to pay for treatment and specialist equipment for a 22-month-old with a very rare genetic brain disorder.
Notes to editors:
The attached pictures show:
- RNLI Lifeguard Supervisor Matt Childs during the RNLI Mayday challenge. (credit RNLI)
- Jake Downes in action. (credit RNLI)
- Jake Downes (left) and Matt Childs after lifting the equivalent weight of a Severn Class lifeboat, the heaviest in the RNLI's rescue fleet. (credit RNLI)
- An RNLI Severn class lifeboat (credit Ian Thomas)
- Matt and Jake with RNLI mascot Stormy Stan. (Credit RNLI/Jen Abell)
- Jake pushing the pain barrier for the RNLI's Mayday fundraising event. (Credit RNLI/Jen Abell)
For more information please contact Chris Cousens, RNLI Press Officer, Wales and West, on 07748 265496 or 01745 585162 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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.