View as PDF

Sunderland Tall Ships Race 2018 nominates RNLI as charity partner

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI has been nominated as one of two charity partners, along with Sunderland Maritime Heritage, for the historic Tall Ships Race at Sunderland this week.

The charity's retail gazebo selling RNLI merchandise

RNLI/Helen McBride

The charity's retail gazebo selling RNLI merchandise

The event takes place over five days, from Tuesday 10 July to Saturday 14 July. Sunderland is expecting to welcome a fleet of over 80 international tall ships and expects around 1.5 million visitors.

Helen Loynes, Community Fundraising Manager for the RNLI, said: ‘It is fabulous to be part of such an exciting event in Sunderland and it fits well with the RNLI and our rich maritime history.

'The atmosphere is sure to be amazing and there are huge amounts of entertainment and cultural activities planned around the event. We will be onsite fundraising, our shop will be open and members of the team will be there to talk about our work and offer advice to stay safe in the water this summer. Sunderland RNLI shop by Roker Pier is open as usual and we have a retail gazebo in the heart of the event selling RNLI merchandise.’

The RNLI will promoting the Respect the Water campaign and water safety messages during the event. The initiative supports the RNLI’s annual national drowning prevention campaign, which aims to raise awareness of the potential dangers of the water and take steps to minimise the risk of being in or near water. It is part of the charity’s drive to halve the number of accidental coastal deaths by 2024.

The RNLI urges people to remember this basic safety information when enjoying their time around the water:

· People who fall into cold water follow the same instinct, to gasp, thrash about and swim hard. But this is the worst thing to do – it increases chances of water entering your lungs and increases strain on your heart.

· If you fall into cold water, fight your instinct to swim hard. Instead just float until you can regain control of your breathing before then trying to swim to safety or call for help. You’ll have a far better chance of staying alive.

· If you see someone else in trouble in the water, fight the instinct to go in yourself. Call 999 or 112. If you are at the coast, ask for the coastguard. If you are inland by a river or waterway, ask for the police.

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact RNLI Regional Media Manager, Nicola Quinn, 07810 658 072 or

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 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