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Are you ready to give it some welly and answer the RNLI’s Mayday call?

Lifeboats News Release

As the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) announces its 2018 annual rescue figures, the charity is calling on the people of Hartlepool and East Durham to support their volunteer lifeboat crews as Mayday, the charity’s national annual fundraising campaign, is launched.

RNLI/Tom Collins

Hartlepool all weather lifeboat and volunteer crew pictured at sea.

RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews across the UK and Ireland launched 8,964 times in 2018, rescuing 9,412 people – an increase of 17% on 2017. Volunteer crew from Hartlepool launched 50 times, rescuing 62 people in trouble in the water and saving 1 life – rescues which are only possible because of the donations made to the charity by supporters.

Launching on Wednesday 1 May and running for the whole of the month, the RNLI’s Mayday campaign asks people to ‘do their bit, fund our kit’ with the lifesaving charity hoping to raise £700,000 to fund the crucial kit volunteer crews rely on, like lifejackets, helmets and the RNLI’s iconic yellow wellies.

Hartlepool RNLI Lifeboats Operations Manager Chris Hornsey says: ‘Hartlepool RNLI volunteer crew members drop everything when the pagers go off, and RNLI lifeboat crew kit gives each volunteer the confidence to face all weathers and sea conditions to help those in trouble at sea. The right kit really is vital in helping to make sure they return home safely to their families from every launch.

‘In 2018, RNLI Hartlepool crews launched 50 times, rescued 62 people and saved 1 life. The RNLI’s Mayday fundraiser is our own call for help, and we’re asking people to ‘do their bit to fund our kit’ throughout May.

‘There are all sorts of ways to fundraise for the RNLI’s Mayday. From wearing wellies to work or doing a sponsored welly walk, to holding a bake sale or doing a sponsored cycle ride. Anyone can register for a free fundraising pack by visiting RNLI.org/Mayday.’

With 4,900 volunteer lifeboat crew members providing a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts, money raised through Mayday will help kit out RNLI crews so they’re ready to face the harshest conditions at sea. It currently costs £2,161 to provide one all-weather lifeboat crew member with all the kit they need when responding to the call for help.

Anyone who wants to get involved should visit RNLI.org/Mayday to register for a free Mayday pack. The pack provides a host of fundraising ideas, such as encouraging friends and colleagues to plan a wear-yellow fundraiser, getting sponsored to run, walk or cycle, cooking up some yellow-themed bakes to sell or even getting together to lift the weight of a 32 tonne Tamar class lifeboat!

The charity is also encouraging people to show support on their social media, joining the conversation using the hashtag #MaydayEveryDay, or by donating online or buying a yellow welly pin badge.

Notes to editors

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact Tom Collins, volunteer lifeboat press officer on 01429 266103. Alternatively, call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email pressoffice@rnli.org.uk.

RNLI online

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

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. 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.

ROYAL NATIONAL LIFEBOAT INSTITUTION charity registered in England and Wales (209603), Scotland (SC037736), the Republic of Ireland (20003326) and Bailiwick of Jersey (14) of West Quay Road, Poole, Dorset BH15 1HZ (“the RNLI”)

RNLI/Tom Collins

Hartlepool RNLI inshore lifeboat and volunteer crew pictured at sea.

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 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 or by email.

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