RNLI 911 fundraising challenge team visits Poole Lifeboat Station
Belinda and James Richardson embarked on a challenge that they devised combining 3 great passions in their lives: the UK coastline, a 911 Porsche and the RNLI.
The RNLI-911 Challenge is to drive to all 238 RNLI Lifeboat Stations throughout the British Isles and Ireland in 911 hours.
Today (Wednesday September 26) we warmly welcomed them in glorious sunshine to Poole lifeboat station , number 204, on this extraordinary road trip.
Belinda, James and their 911 ‘Splash’ started at Teddington RNLI Station at 9.11am August 23 and then went anti-clockwise to synchronise the 43 odd ferry trips with their winter time table’s, tides and other factors on the way, like the night’s drawing in. Then there is some 6 flights as there are 3 stations that the car could not physically get to, they aim to finish at Tower RNLI Station on the September 30.
Belinda and James reflected on their journey so far; ‘We have had an amazing trip and have seen some mountainous seas and racing tide, two stations we visited had a ‘shout’ whilst we were there and one was out on a ‘shout’ when we arrived. We have met some wonderful people and if anyone is having a bad day, we would say go and have a brew at a lifeboat station’.
Their lifeboat orange 911 Porsche ‘Splash’ has battled with Storm Ali and Storm Bronagh which did cause them to reschedule their trip to Poole and then on to the Channel Islands, but they are still on track.
The Poole crew gave a whistle stop tour of the new boat house and presented Belinda and James with a postcard with a good will message, in return Belinda presented the Poole station with a message from the RNLI president, HRH Duke of Kent, who has visited Poole Lifeboat station many times, it was a lovely gesture and the words were warmly received.
With royal approval driving the length and breadth of the British Isles and Ireland uniting all the stations, Belinda and James asked each lifeboat station for a knot, which they attached to a length of rope that will be displayed around a map of their route at their Home Coming Celebration.
Poole lifeboat gave them a Newfoundland Bottle Knot, as a nod to our ancestry and seafarers that went before us, leaving Poole Quay for Newfoundland and the merchants whose prosperity from the trade formed much of our town.
Poole volunteer Lifeboat Helm Jonathan Clark, who was amongst the lifeboat volunteers to greet them said;
What an incredible journey, if they have had another a seat I would have joined them, it’s a beautiful car and to visit every lifeboat station would be my kind of tour, doing it against the clock to such a tight schedule however is another story. All of us around the lifeboat stations, have been following their adventures and really appreciate what they are doing, promoting the RNLI and that length of rope with now 204 knots and counting… really does connect us all’.
Jonathan’s name was drawn out of the hat, to represent the Southern RNLI region and he will attend the RNLI 911 Home Coming Challenge Celebration early next month, something he is looking forward to and if anyone wishes to donate or give Jonathan a cheque to take along then please get in touch as to drive to all 238 Lifeboat stations within 911 hours is an amazing feat.
You can find out more about the RNLI-911 Challenge on their Website:www.rnli-911challenge.co.uk follow them on Instagram: RNLI_911_ Challenge and Twitter: @rnli_911 and they can be contacted by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.