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RNLI Yellow Welly relay reaches Eastbourne

Lifeboats News Release

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.

Eastbourne fundraisers about to boar vintage bus to take yellow welly to Rye Harbour

RNLI/Bob Jeffery

Fundraisers about to board Rye bound
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
Eastbourne RNLI supporters on vintage bus to Rye

RNLI/Bob Jeffery

All aboard the bus to Rye
Welly reaches Rye and passed to crew

RNLI/Bob Jeffery

Welly being passed to Rye Harbour RNLI

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