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RNLI’s Mayday call is answered with hundreds turning out in support

Lifeboats News Release

People across the south west have turned out to support their brave RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews as part of Mayday, the charity’s national annual fundraising campaign.

The campaign is ongoing for the whole of May and as the campaign this year draws to a close the RNLI is thanking those who have given their support to the lifesaving charity. The call went out to members of the public to ‘do their bit, fund our kit’ and it was hoped £750,000 would be raised to fund the crucial kit volunteer crews rely on, like lifejackets, helmets and the RNLI’s iconic yellow wellies.

As part of the fundraising events RNLI crews and volunteers have been getting involved in a Yellow Welly Relay, which has seen an iconic RNLI yellow welly transported from Portishead around the south west coast in many different ways.

From lifeboat, tall ship, helicopter and even a penny farthing, the yellow welly has made its way along the coast with the help of lifeguards, lifeboat crew members and RNLI, fundraisers and staff. It has also travelled by quad bike, rescue watercraft and bicycle as it was met by welcome parties and supporters from local communities.

As part of the fundraising efforts in the south west the Jurassic Skyline in Weymouth was illuminated yellow to highlight the Mayday campaign and the vital work the RNLI does.

Community Fundraising Manager Ellie Walker says: ‘The response from our volunteers has once again been terrific. More than £20,000 has already been raised across the south west over the last month, which will go towards the vital kit our RNLI crews rely on to keep them safe while they are saving lives at sea. It costs £1,593 to provide an all-weather lifeboat crew member with all of the vital kit they need during a rescue. We want to thank all of those who have generously supported this event so far.’

Last year, RNLI crews launched 8,851 times and saved 431 lives. RNLI volunteer crew members are willing to drop everything to go and save lives at sea when their pagers beep. The kit they wear is essential when they are out in all weathers.

The RNLI Mayday Welly Relay team will keep you updated on the event and what is going to be happening in your area!

With 4,800 volunteer lifeboat crew members providing a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts, money raised through Mayday will help kit out RNLI crews so they’re ready to face the harshest conditions at sea.

To find out more about the event visit www.facebook.com/RNLIMaydayWellyRelay

RNLI notes to editors

Attached are images, including captions. Credit RNLI

Video of the yellow welly being transported across Watergate Bay. Credit RNLI

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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.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

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