RNLI volunteers to row in charity crew at the World Pilot Gig Championships

Lifeboats News Release

A gig crew made up of RNLI volunteers and supporters is taking to the water in the 2019 World Pilot Gig Championships on the Isles of Scilly this weekend (May 4 and 5).

RNLI rowing crew

Duncan Norris

RNLI rowing crew

The team, made up of volunteers from Salcombe, Looe, Exmouth and Bristol, will be talking to gig rowers and raising awareness of the RNLI’s prevention and safety advice over the course of the two-day event.

Duncan Norris, RNLI volunteer Community Safety Officer at Salcombe RNLI and mens captain at Salcombe Gig Club, organised the crew after the Salcome gig club were short of a mens’ C crew for the event.

Duncan thought it would be great opportunity to raise awareness of the RNLI’s safety work in the gig community, by having a visible presence and involvement in the sport’s biggest event in the calendar.

He put a plea on Facebook and several people came forward. The crew is made up of Dan Margetts, helm at Looe RNLI and 2018 mens world champion, Mark Champion from Exmouth RNLI, and RNLI supporters Geoff Goddier from Salcombe, James Boundy from Cotehele and Luke Griffith and Len Collacott from Bristol.

Duncan is the crew’s cox. He explained:

‘The rowing community is made up of people who are used to being around the sea and have an awareness of the dangers such as tides and wind. Our aim is to raise awareness of the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign and be a catalyst to conversations about water safety and gig rowing.

‘We will be in RNLI branded kit so easy to spot, and will be chatting to rowers and gig clubs as relatable people from the same sporting world with the same passion about rowing. We’ll also be flying the RNLI’s Respect the Water campaign flag while on the water.’

Duncan has been organising the crew’s training sessions, which is no mean feat with such a geographical spread. He added:

‘We have trained about five times as a full crew, which considering everyone is based so far apart is pretty good! We’re not necessarily focused on results, although some of our more competitive crew members may be, but rather to represent the RNLI at such a momentous event for the rowing community.’

The crew will also have a collection bucket with all monies collected going to St Mary’s Lifeboat Station on the island.


Notes to editors

Duncan Norris is available for interview across the two day event on St Mary’s. Please contact him on 07890 301238

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Emma Haines, RNLI Regional Media Officer on emma_haines@rnli.org.uk or 07786 668847 or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

RNLI crew training in Salcombe

Duncan Norris

RNLI crew training in Salcombe

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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 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and 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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