Sun, sea and a surprise presentation at Ramsgate RNLI annual Fishing Competition

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteer crew member Jason Parrott and his wife Dawn,organisers of the event couldn’t have hoped for better conditions with a gloriously warm, calm day.

Two volunteers being presented with an award by the Mayor.

RNLI/Karen Cox

Organisers Dawn and Jason being presented with the Excellance in Volunteering Award by Mayor of Ramsgate Raushan Ara.

Fourteen local fishing boats donated their time and fuel and set off on Friday 23 July with sixty five excited youngsters ranging from four to sixteen years old onboard, armed with fishing rods and life jackets. The calm conditions meant that the fish were biting, one boat said that they had over one hundred and twenty Bass caught, although the majority were too small to keep. Plenty of fish to keep the children occupied and happy!

Upon their return the hungry children tucked into a BBQ and homemade cakes supplied by local sponsors. This was followed by the prize giving with the Mayor of Ramsgate Raushan Ara handing out the prizes.

In light of recent events at Sandwich, before the presentations took place Harvey Cole, Ramsgate RNLI’s Water Safety Officer gave a brief talk on the importance of behaving sensibly around water and wearing life jackets. Volunteer crew member and organiser Jason then called for a minutes silence to honour little Lucas Dobson, who sadly lost his life last week. This was a poignant moment as Ramsgate's RNLI crew had been involved in the search for the six year old boy who had fallen into the River Stour last Saturday when he returned from a fishing trip with his father, and slipped between the boat and the jetty and despite a large multi agency search was sadly not recovered until the following Tuesday.

Then it was the turn of the organisers to be honoured, as they were presented by Mayor of Ramsgate Raushan, with an Excellence in Volunteering Award from the National RNLI in recognition of their efforts, of which they were totally unaware of and completely taken by surprise. They had been put forward for the award by Station Chairman Eric Burton as over the past three years they had raised over thirteen thousand pounds for the RNLI. A huge roar of approval from the watching crowd showed how popular and well deserved the award was. As we are entirely funded by donations from the public, the RNLI relies on the support of people like Jason and Dawn to carry on their vision to end preventable loss of life at sea.

Of course everyone is a winner who took part in the competition but the top prizes went to Scarlet Reich and Noah Adams for the most fish caught. The top boat was Peganina from Rye owned by Anthony Hills, who had travelled down through the night to attend the event. And the Gary Dunk and John Parrott Memorial Trophy for the most amount of sponsorship went to Riley Williams aged seven who managed to raise two hundred and sixty five pounds on his own. Well done to everyone!

Due to the generosity of local businesses every child who took part was given a medal, goody bag, a commerative tee-shirt and fishing rod and reel so that they can continue fishing. One parent from last year said that the change in his son was incredible, from spending all his time playing computer games indoors he was now out fishing in the fresh air with a new group of friends, and it had helped build his confidence.

Final figures are still not in with money from raffles and donations still being counted, but they have already exceeded last years amount of five thousand pounds for Ramsgate RNLI station.

A hugely successful day which was thoroughly enjoyed by the local community, just need to start planning next years now!

Ends

Karen Cox Local Press Officer Email coxinthebox63@gmail.com Tel. 07779848431.

Paul Dunt RNLI Regional Media Officer London and South East. Email paul_dunt@rnli.org.uk Tel. 01202 336789 or M. 07785 296252.

RNLI/Karen Cox

Two of the children waiting to go out fishing.

RNLI/Karen Cox

The Mayor of Ramsgate with two of the prize winners.

RNLI/Karen Cox

The crew of one of the fishing boats decked out with the RNLI flag.

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