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'Owzat for a cric-kit test?

Lifeboats News Release

Lord’s, The Home of Cricket, saw a cricket practice with a different spin take place last week. Sporting stars from Middlesex County Cricket team Tom Helm, Tom Barber and James Fuller traded their usual clean and crisp cricket whites for the RNLI's new all-weather k

The kit swap took place to help promote the RNLI’s annual Mayday fundraising campaign which runs throughout May. This year, the charity aims to raise £750,000 to fund the vital new lifesaving kits for their 4,800 selfless volunteers across the UK & Ireland.

Tom Helm, from Middlesex County Cricket team says: “We were bowled over by the kits which certainly make a change to our usual outfits. The RNLI’s new kit is surprisingly flexible and lightweight – just what their crew need for their lifesaving rescue work. The volunteer lifeboat crews, are on call 24 hours a day, every day, to save lives at sea. They are true heroes.”

Chris Walker, RNLI Helm on the Tower lifeboat explains: “People can drown in the Thames in a matter of minutes, so we need to be able to get our kit on as quick as possible. This new kit has been designed with a new material which is more flexible, tailored and light weight. It’s also warmer helping protect us against the cold temperatures of the Thames, and we can adjust the layering to the conditions we face. In a nutshell it's fantastic.”

Andy Jupp, RNLI Community Fundraising Manager for London says: “We rely on donations from the public to help us stay on the water. This year we’re asking the public to get creative and go yellow throughout the month of May to help us raise money for our new life-saving kits. Our RNLI yellow wellies cost £54 a pair, a lifejacket £458 and a safety helmet £263. Having the right kit can mean the difference between life and death – for them and the people they are rescuing.”

RNLI volunteers are on standby day and night, to drop everything in an instant to save lives on waterways and at sea. In 2017 these crews launched 8,436 times, aiding 8,072 people. RNLI London lifeboat crews alone launched 697 times, aiding 273 people.

To find a Mayday event near you, or to download a fundraising pack, visit

RNLI/Emily Hazard

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