RNLI enjoys high profile visits during Volvo Ocean Race Cardiff Stopover
The RNLI has welcomed First Minister Carwyn Jones and Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport Lord Elis-Thomas, to its stand at the Cardiff event, which runs until 10 June
The RNLI was delighted to be announced Host City Community Partner of the yacht race stopover, which arrived in Cardiff on 27 May. The partner status has given the lifesaving charity a fantastic opportunity to showcase its work and raise awareness of the role of its volunteer crews around the Welsh coast. An all-weather lifeboat has been berthed on the pontoon in Cardiff Bay and visitors have been flocking to enjoy guided tours of the Tamar class lifeboat.
Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas was one of those to enjoy a VIP guided tour whilst hearing more about the work of the RNLI’s volunteer crews and lifeguards around the Welsh coast.
Matt Crofts, RNLI Lifesaving Manager, who had the pleasure of showing Lord Elis-Thomas the capabilities of the lifesaving vessel said:
‘With it being Year of the Sea, it was a fantastic opportunity to talk about the culture and heritage of the RNLI in Wales and the dedication of our volunteer crews at 30 lifeboat stations and our lifeguards on 40 Welsh beaches. Lord Elis-Thomas was particularly interested in our active role working with Visit Wales and Adventure Smart Wales to encourage responsible tourism and safe enjoyment of our epic Welsh coastline.’
First Minister Carwyn Jones visited the RNLI’s stand last week (27 May) and was keen to find out more about the launch of the charity’s Respect The Water campaign. He met with Katie Beney, RNLI Senior Corporate Partnerships Manager and Porthcawl RNLI volunteer Ross Martin.
‘Meeting the First Minister as Host City Community Partner of the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Cardiff was a unique opportunity to showcase the RNLI’s work in Wales. We spoke about our campaign Respect The Water which is aimed at young men in particular. Eight people lost their lives off the Welsh coast last year - all were men – and over half did not intend to enter the water. The First Minister was most interested in our float to live message and how people should fight their instinct to thrash about when they get into trouble in the water.
‘It’s so great for us to be here in Cardiff talking to people who may not normally come into contact with the RNLI. 70% of all visits to our Welsh coast originate from the North West / Merseyside, West Midlands and from within Wales, so it’s important that we find innovative ways to work together with the tourism industry to ensure that visitors are aware of the relevant water safety advice before and during their trip to the coast.’
Teams of community safety and youth education volunteers are present on the RNLI stand passing on lifesaving information to race village visitors. There is also presence from RNLI community fundraisers and the charity’s face to face teams. In addition, the RNLI will be providing rescue cover during the training and in-port races on 8 and 9 June.
The race started last October and the Cardiff stopover signals one of the final legs before the race finishes in The Hague. This is the first time in 12 years the race has stopped in the UK and the fact Cardiff has been chosen as a Host City during Wales’ Year of The Sea celebrations and the RNLI has been chosen as Community Partner means it’s quite an occasion.
Please find attached j-peg images:
First Minister Carwyn Jones finds out more about the RNLI’s Respect The Water campaign from RNLI Senior Corporate Manager Katie Beney and Porthcawl RNLI volunteer Ross Martin.
Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, enjoying a tour of a Tamar lifeboat at Cardiff Bay with Matt Crofts RNLI Lifesaving Manager for Wales
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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.
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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland