As part of the RNLI’s Mayday Appeal, a yellow welly is travelling between lifeboat stations at Portishead in Somerset to Harwich in Essex by whatever means possible to raise funds and awareness of the charity’s latest Respect the Water campaign.
The welly was delivered to Eastbourne by Newhaven RNLI fundraiser Peter Mercer and handed to Neil Kirby owner of the Langham Hotel on Eastbourne seafront. Neil and wife Wendy then hosted a special reception for the Eastbourne fundraising team which included welly shaped cakes, tea and coffee. Whilst the fundraisers were enjoying their refreshments, Neil jogged the six miles to Beachlands in Pevensey Bay carrying the welly. With refreshments completed the Eastbourne team boarded their transport for the next leg of the relay, a veteran 1952 bus with driver Garth Porrell, kindly supplied for the occasion courtesy of Stagecoach who operates Eastbourne buses. The welly was then handed to David Sawyer and Tom Mele of Eastbourne Lifeboats and the whole party set off for their next stop, Rye Harbour lifeboat station. Once at Rye the welly was handed over to Operations Manager Richard Tollett and his crew ready for the next leg to Dungeness lifeboat station
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 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.