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The RNLI ‘Yellow Welly’ arrives on The Isle of Sheppey

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness RNLI lifeboat play a part in the RNLI Mayday Yellow Welly Relay

RNLI lifeguard at Leysdown on Sea receives the welly from the Whitstable RNLI lifeboat crew

RNLI/Vic Booth

The Yellow Welly arrives on the Isle of Sheppey

The journey of the Yellow Wellys began on Sunday 30th April at the Portishead RNLI lifeboat station which is close to Bristol.
They have since travelled by various means right around the South West coast and along the South Coast calling at numerous lifeboat stations along the way and eventually arriving in the South East over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Whitstable RNLI lifeboat collected the wellys from the Margate RNLI lifeboat station on the morning of Sunday 28th May and then transported them across to The Isle of Sheppey where they were ‘rescued’ at 1.20pm by Alex Wilmshurst who is an RNLI Lifeguard on the beach at Leysdown on Sea
Having been rescued by Alex on his body board the wellys were handed over to Mark Tucker from the Sheerness RNLI lifeboat crew who supervised whilst they were placed into a classic Bentley and then whisked away to the Sheerness RNLI lifeboat station where the crew of the all weather lifeboat were waiting to take them on board for a rendezvous out in the Thames estuary with the Southend RNLI lifeboat.
The wellys were safely handed over to the Southend crew at 2.30pm halfway across the Thames Estuary approximately four miles from Sheerness and from there will visit further stations along the Essex coast before completing their journey on Wednesday 31st May at the Harwich RNLI lifeboat station after having visited 65 lifeboat stations along the way and with each station visited helping to raise awareness of the great work done in saving lives at sea by the volunteer crew of the RNLI lifeboats plus the many shore based helpers of the RNLI


Media contacts:

• Vic Booth RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer (Sheerness) 07926904453 / 01795 880544 /

Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer S.E. 07786668825

• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) on 0207 6207426, 07785 296252

• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

The welly is handed over to Mark Tucker who is a Sheerness RNLI inshore lifeboat helmsman,pictured on the left.Also pictured are RNLI lifeguard Alex Wilmshurst in the centre who made 'the rescue' and on the right is Whitstable RNLI lifeboat helmsman Dave Parry with the rest of his crew in the background.

RNLI/Vic Booth

Safely ashore
The welly about to begin the journey to the Sheerness boathouse in a classic Bentley

RNLI/Vic Booth

In safe hands
Safely on board the Bentley for the trip to Sheerness dockyard

RNLI/Vic Booth

'Ready for the off'
Sheerness RNLI lifeboat coxswain Robin Castle welcomes the 'Welly' aboard for the next step of its journey

RNLI/Vic Booth

On board the George and Ivy swanson
The Sheerness crew hand over the Welly to members of the Southend RNLI lifeboat crew out in the middle of the Thames Estuary from where its journey continues along the Essex Coast.

RNLI/Vic Booth

The Welly leaves Kent

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