Grateful sailing couple deliver wedding donations to RNLI New Brighton

Lifeboats News Release

Liverpool newlyweds Alison and David Harrison visited the RNLI lifeboat station on 13 October 2018 to hand over funds collected from guests on their wedding day. The gesture comes after RNLI volunteer crew came to the pair's aid when their yacht had mechanical difficulties on the Mersey.

A shoebox covered all over pictures of RNLI lifeboat crew in action

RNLI/Cherie Rowlands

The shoebox Alison and David delivered with donations from wedding guests inside

Sailors Alison and David delivered a hand-decorated shoebox containing around £100 to RNLI New Brighton, after guests donated to the charity during the couple's 31 August wedding.

RNLI Helm Mike Stannard was at the lifeboat station when the newlywed couple called in. He said: ‘We are all really touched by the efforts Alison and David have gone to since we helped them out on the river.

‘From their creative and colourful efforts on the shoebox the donation came in, to fundraising for our lifeboat station on their special day, it’s fantastic and we are so grateful.’

Long-time supporters of the charity that saves lives at sea, Alison and David asked that friends and family attending their wedding make the donation after RNLI l ifeboat volunteers came to their rescue earlier in the year.

Alison said: ‘We are always keen to support RNLI as we have our own yacht and often enjoy sailing in and around Liverpool, the Irish Sea and the Menai Strait.

‘In March 2018, we were most grateful for the assistance of New Brighton RNLI crew when we had propulsion difficulty while on the River Mersey. So there was no question about using the occasion of our big day to raise funds for the team.’

Helm Mike Stannard was also onboard the inshore lifeboat on the day of rescue and had just taken the RNLI crew through a training session when the call came in to the Coastguard.

‘Keeping an ear on the radio meant we picked up Alison and David’s call so we could advise the Coastguard we were only two minutes away and could reach them quickly,’ said Mike. ‘Ably assisted by the yacht’s crew, one of our team boarded the yacht to set up the tow. Twenty minutes later the vessel was safely berthed back at Liverpool Marina, all within the 45-minute window we had before the marina was due to be locked.

‘Despite following safety guidelines, even the most experienced sailors can be caught out by engine problems. Alison and David did exactly the right thing by promptly calling the Coastguard. This meant we were able to offer speedy assistance getting them out of the channel and back to safety.’

Whenever anyone is in difficulty in, on or near the water RNLI advises they dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Alison and David in the foreground with the RNLI tractor and inshore lifeboat on its trailer, in the background

RNLI/David Harrison

Sailors Alison and David at RNLI New Brighton on the day they delivered their donations
Alison and David stand side by side in hotel foyer with falling confetti in front of them
Alison and David on their August 2018 wedding day

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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