Plymouth Argyle players call on the south west to support RNLI's Mayday campaign

Lifeboats News Release

RNLI’s Mayday campaign begins tomorrow (Tuesday 1 May) and will run for the whole month, with fundraising events taking place across the south west. This year, the RNLI hopes to raise £750,000 through Mayday, which will be used to fund essential kit for the charity’s brave volunteer lifeboat crews

RNLI/John Baldry

Plymouth Argyle support RNLI Mayday by donning yellow wellies;Alex Fletcher, Gary Miller, Remi Matthews, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, David Fox and Gary Sawyer

To kick off the campaign, members of the Plymouth Argyle team have shown their support by swapping their football boots for the RNLI’s iconic yellow wellies.

In addition, one of Plymouth’s most celebrated landmarks, Smeaton’s Tower will be going yellow at sunset on 1 May, in support of the Mayday fundraising campaign. The lighthouse will make a striking sight after dark, an unmissable reminder to residents and visitors alike to ‘do your bit, fund our kit’ and help to fundraise this May.

Plymouth Argyle’s Captain, Gary Sawyer who comes from Bideford in Devon urges the public to support the RNLI’s Mayday campaign:

‘As football players our training is pretty gruelling – we’re always pushing ourselves to the max in all kinds of weather conditions, but at least we know when we’re expected to perform!

‘That’s why I have so much respect and admiration for the volunteer RNLI crew members as they drop everything in an instant to respond to a distress call to go out on a rescue, no matter what. The photo shoot has been fun although there is a serious message, so I’m asking everyone to help this amazing charity continue its essential lifesaving work by supporting them this Mayday.’

Fundraising events are taking place right across the south west, many with a yellow welly theme in a nod to the lifesaving kit that RNLI lifeboat crew members wear on their feet when saving lives at sea.

Money raised through Mayday will help RNLI lifeboat crews to face the harshest conditions at sea with the best kit possible. It currently costs £1,598 to provide one all-weather lifeboat crew member with all of the kit needed when responding to the call for help.

A recently-announced partnership with global brand Helly Hansen will see all-weather lifeboat crews supplied with new kit later this year, providing better endurance levels and greater freedom of movement for the charity’s crew members.

RNLI fundraisers across the country will also be joining Smeaton’s Tower and the Argyle players in going yellow for Mayday – just like volunteer crews do every day to save lives at sea. Anyone who wishes to get involved can visit to register for a free Mayday fundraising pack or donate to the campaign online. You can also show support on social media, joining the conversation using the hashtag #MaydayEveryDay, or buy a yellow crew member pin badge.

Dave Millford, Plymouth RNLI’s lifeboat Coxswain said: ‘RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews are willing to drop everything to go and save lives at sea when their pagers beep. The Mayday campaign is our own call for help, as we rely on the generosity of the public to help us continue our lifesaving service, which we operate day and night, 365 days a year.

‘Our crews rely on lifesaving kit, like their yellow wellies, lifejackets and helmets, when they go out in all weathers to save lives. We’re delighted to have the support of the Plymouth Argyle players and that Smeaton’s Tower will be joining us in going yellow this Mayday. We hope that many local people will be inspired to lend their support as well.’

Notes to editors
  • Please find attached images of the Plymouth Argyle training session with players Alex Fletcher, Gary Miller, Remi Matthews, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, David Fox and Gary Sawyer credit RNLI/John Baldry
  • Last year, lifeboats in the south west launched 1,266 times, assisting 1,188 people on the water.
RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Amy Caldwell, RNLI Regional Media Manager on 07920 818 807 or or the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

RNLI/John Baldry

Plymouth Argle players supporting RNLI Mayday
Smeaton's Tower light up yellow for Mayday 2018

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, in a normal year, 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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