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Great British weather fails to prevent RNLI Yellow Welly arriving at Torbay!

Lifeboats News Release

Even though last weekend’s planned Yellow Welly Relay was sadly cancelled in Torbay owing to heavy rain and rough seas last Saturday morning, fabulous RNLI supporters stepped up to ensure the Yellow Welly made it to Brixham lifeboat station after all!

RNLI/Vicki Bowen

Yellow Welly Welcome Party aboard the Alec & Christina Dykes

Following last weekend’s cancellation, the Yellow Welly arrived to much better weather at Torbay boathouse on Tuesday 9 May to be met by RNLI volunteer crew Second Coxswain Richard Fowler, Lifeboat Mechanic Will Bower and fellow crew members James Hoare and Ian Barnaby, together with RNLI Brixham Guild Chair Lynn Spillett with her fellow Guild member and husband Mark, to welcome the Welly aboard Torbay’s all-weather lifeboat, the Alec & Christina Dykes.

Intrepid Community Fundraising Manager Ellie Walker (hereafter known as ‘Ellie of the Welly’) pledged to ensure the famous footwear would still travel through Torbay en route from Lyme Regis, towards its final destination in Harwich - and inclement weather was not going to stop her! Ellie arrived at Torbay lifeboat station having walked from Dartmouth to Brixham (making a PR stop at National Trust property Coleton Fishacre on the way) and carrying the glamorous illuminated rubber boot. After a brief stop to celebrate with a well-deserved cuppa and a photo taken aboard Torbay’s Severn Class all-weather lifeboat, she continued on her way by bicycle to Teignmouth, a (very hilly) distance of some 20 miles!

After regaining her breath, Ellie said: ‘From the outset when the Yellow Welly left Portishead (near Bristol), it has travelled all around the coast with phenomenal support from the local RNLI lifeboat stations and Guild branches. It has been a mammoth task so far, but there will be plenty more Welly Relay still happening!’ ... and with that, she was off!

This amazing relay has raised £6,340.00 to date which will be used to purchase essential kit for RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews as part of the national Mayday fundraising event. The final relay ‘runner’ will be able to hang up their boot (!) at Harwich – if you’d like to contribute to this fantastic fundraising event, please visit to donate.

Notes to editors

For more information on the RNLI’s national May Day fundraising day, visit:


L-R aboard Torbay all-weather lifeboat Alec & Christina Dykes in both photos are:

Ellie Walker, Lynn Spillett, Mark Spillett, Richard Fowler (holding the Welly), James Hoare, Ian Barnaby and Will Bower

(credit: RNLI/Victoria Bowen)

Torbay Lifeboat Station Key Facts:

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Victoria Bowen, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07794 043 428 -, or contact Amy Caldwell, RNLI Public Relations Manager (South) on 07920 818 807 - or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789

RNLI/Vicki Bowen

A wave from the Yellow Welly Welcome Party at RNLI Torbay boathouse

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.

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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