Hurrah! The end is in sight: Porsche 911 visits Rye Harbour RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

On September 28 as dusk fell villagers and RNLI families welcomed the Richardsons and their elegant sports car on the latest leg of their fund-raising tour

Children and families from Rye Harbour cluster round the red Porsche 911 sports car

RNLI/KT Bruce

Rye Harbour families gather round the Porsche 911

Suppose that by careful saving a couple has finally achieved the ambition of owning a classic car: there would be many possible ways to celebrate. Retired builder James Richardson and his wife Belinda, an interior designer, saw an opportunity to do something special with their Porsche 911 and launched their project to visit all 238 RNLI lifeboat stations in the British Isles within 911 hours, covering all petrol and accommodation costs themselves. Their aim was to raise £238 per station – over £56,000 in total.

They set off from Teddington back in August and will reach the end of their journey at London's Tower lifeboat station on 30 September. Their visit to Rye Harbour RNLI, near the end of their project, found them in reflective mood. 'The common thread in all the stations we have been to,' said Linda, 'is the pride and passion shown – by volunteer crew, fund-raisers, press-officers – in the RNLI's work to save lives at sea. We have felt this in the same warm, welcoming and strong handshake everyone has given us.'

Amongst the couples' many memories of the trip they recalled the police escort at Stonehaven (a local policeman was RNLI crew); Father Liam's cooked breakfast on Arranmore (another volunteer crew member); and the Atlantic inshore lifeboat dangled by crane just above their beloved Porsche at Macduff in Banffshire.

James and Belinda are already looking to the future, as he explained: 'Our experiences have made us passionate about making sure that the RNLI's mission to save lives is supported in the best way possible and that is why we want to continue fund-raising in the future.'

RNLI Media contacts

· Martin Bruce, Rye Harbour RNLI volunteer Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer (07789) 818878 martinthebruce@gmail.com

· Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East), 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk

· For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

RNLI online: For more information on the RNLI please visit http://www.rnli.org/. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre.

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 237 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 180 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.

Tony Edwards, Lifeboat Operations manager, presents James Richardson with a friendship knot

RNLI/KT Bruce

Tony Edwards, Lifeboat Operations manager, presents James Richardson with a friendship knot
A friendship knot tied in blue cord against the background of a chart

RNLI/KT Bruce

This friendship knot will be used to indicate the position of Rye Harbour on a display of all the stations visited by the Richardsons
Rye Harbour villagers greeting James Richardson

RNLI/KT Bruce

A warm Rye Harbour welcome for James Richardson
James and Belinda Richardson having a quick tea break in Rye Harbour Station with Press Officer Martin Bruce

RNLI/KT Bruce

James and Belinda Richardson having a quick tea break in Rye Harbour Station

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.

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 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.

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