RNLI New Brighton lifeboat volunteers welcome driving duo on national challenge

Lifeboats News Release

Close to 20 of the RNLI team turned out to greet James and Belinda Richardson when the couple visited the lifeboat station at 9.15am on 16 September 2018. The stop was part of their RNLI-911 Challenge to raise funds for the charity.

RNLI volunteers and Stormy Stan stand in a line behind the orange Porsche 911 in front of the open doors of the boathouse and the tractor

RNLI/Cherie Rowlands

RNLI New Brighton lifeboat volunteers and Stormy Stan welcome James and Belinda to the boathouse

The 145th stop of the quest, the husband-and-wife team toured the RNLI New Brighton boathouse, learning about its history, inshore lifeboat and the types of rescues the coastguard tasks the volunteer crew to.

RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Ian Thornton said: ‘That so many of our volunteers made it down to welcome James and Belinda speaks volumes for how much we appreciate their fundraising efforts. We are incredibly grateful for the time and commitment they’re giving.

‘As a life-saving charity independent of government and separate from the coastguard, we are funded purely by donations and depend on support such as this to continue saving lives at sea.’

The couple are driving anticlockwise around Britain in a Porsche 911 – custom painted to match the RNLI lifeboat orange – visiting each of the 238 RNLI lifeboat stations along the way in a bid to raise the equivalent of £238 from each visit.

Belinda and James have been supporters of the RNLI for many years. The RNLI-911 Challenge arose as a way of combining their other two passions, the Porsche 911 car and the coast.

‘Not only have we been fervent supporters of the RNLI since owning an inflatable on the River Thames more than 20 years ago, but we’ve also owned a Porsche 911 for at least 50 years,’ Belinda said. ‘And we’re always at our happiest visiting the British Isles coastline, come sun, wind or storm.

‘We wanted to put something back into society by supporting a truly worthy cause such as RNLI. Visiting each lifeboat station is also our way of saying thank you.’

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rnli-911challenge. Read more about the RNLI-911 Challenge at www.rnli-911challenge.co.uk.

Belinda and James are due to complete their trip at Tower RNLI on 30 September.

The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea by operating a 24-hour search-and-rescue service. Twenty two people were aided by RNLI lifeboat volunteers each day in 2017, with more than 8,000 people were aided over the year.

RNLI crews and lifeguards have saved more than 142,400 lives since it was formed in 1824.

Belinda and James in yellow Helly Hansen jacket, facing left of the picture addressing the RNLI lifeboat team who are largely out of shot

RNLI/Cherie Rowlands

James and Belinda Richardson introducing themselves to the RNLI team
Stormy Stan looks at the camera as he sits in the passenger seat of the Porsche 911, which has its top down

RNLI/Cherie Rowlands

Stormy Stan making the most of a moment in the Porsche 911

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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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.