Lifeboats prove to be a shining light for fundraising at Ramsgate RNLI
This Christmas will see not just one, but three RNLI lifeboats lit up in Ramsgate Royal Harbour as part of the town's festive illuminations, which last year raised £400 for the charity.
This will be the fifth year boat owners in Ramsgate Royal Harbour have lit up their boats in December to raise money for Ramsgate RNLI. This event has attracted television coverage worldwide and people travel from Europe and all over England to witness it.
As well as being home to Ramsgate's Trent class life boat Esme Anderson, additional lifeboats are also occasionally seen in the harbour. These boats are part of the RNLI's relief fleet, inshore and all-weather lifeboats sited around the UK and the Republic of Ireland ready to go into action when station boats need to be taken off service for repairs, updates or maintenance.
The relief Mersey class lifeboat Lady of Hilbre is currently stored out of the water and ready to support Margate lifeboat station, which also has a Mersey. While on standby it has been decorated with lights.
This year a relief Trent class lifeboat, the Dora Foster McDougall is also being based in Ramsgate to provide cover not only for the town's lifeboat, but also for Sheerness and Gorleston-on-Sea lifeboat at Great Yarmouth.
On hearing that the lifeboat was due to arrive the Ramsgate Illuminations Committee asked if it was possible to moor the Dora Foster McDougall in a previously dark area of the harbour to provide a wider coverage of illuminations.
Jon Rudd, Divisional Maintenance Manager for RNLI, was at the station at the time and was happy to oblige, happy knowing that the lifeboat would not only provide a beacon of light during the illuminations, but would also be a beacon of hope to all mariners if its services are required at sea.
'If you are free over December we can recommend a trip down to Ramsgate to see the lights and the lifeboats!' said Ramsgate volunteer Press Officer Karen Cox. 'Without the support from all of our volunteers and the public we cannot do our job of saving lives at sea as we are entirely funded by public donations. This is a great chance to see the Christmas lights - and raise money for the RNLI at the same time!'
Karen Cox Volunteer Press Officer email firstname.lastname@example.org (07779) 848431.
Paul Dunt RNLI Regional Media Officer London and South East. Email email@example.com (07785) 296252
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.