Fylde coast RNLI volunteers bracing themselves for busy Christmas

Lifeboats News Release

Last year, RNLI volunteers from Silloth to West Kirby experienced their busiest festive period* since records began. There were eight lifeboat launches between the 11 stations from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Day, seven people assisted, and one life saved.

RNLI/Blackpool

RNLI volunteers and paramedic Brent Kenny and emergency medical technician Jack Woolford prepare for a busy Christmas

As the festive season approaches, the RNLI in the north west is issuing its own call for help. The charity is facing a Perfect Storm, with more people drowning and a shortfall in funds, meaning support from the public is more vital than ever.

RNLI volunteers on the Fylde coast are ready to respond to their pagers 365 days a year but that is particularly challenging for volunteer lifeboat crew members who have day jobs that become extremely busy during the festive season.

Blackpool, Fleetwood and Lytham RNLI lifeboat stations have six volunteers who are Paramedics or Emergency Medical Technicians in their day jobs. These volunteers see a significant increase in call outs during their working day with the ambulance service and in recent years have also seen an increase in RNLI callouts during the festive period.

Brad, Brent, Iain, Jack, Osh and Jason will all be splitting their time between the ambulance service, the RNLI and celebrations with family and friends this Christmas. Just like their fellow RNLI volunteers across the Fylde Coast they will be on standby throughout the festivities and ready to launch in any weather at a moment’s notice should anyone need their help.

Jack Woolford Fleetwood RNLI volunteer and Emergency medical technician said, ‘We don’t think anything of being on call at Christmas – it’s what we do and what we’re trained for. Christmas is just like any other day for me and our volunteer crew, if someone needs our help, it really doesn’t matter what day of the year it is. Working for the ambulance service and volunteering for the RNLI means Christmas can be a particularly busy time but it’s also really rewarding helping people when they really need it.’

Brent Kenny, Blackpool RNLI volunteer and Senior Paramedic added, ‘I am really proud to be an RNLI volunteer but we couldn’t do what we do without the support of the public. The RNLI has experienced a shortfall in funds, but we are rescuing more people than ever before. We are facing the Perfect Storm and are calling on people to make a donation this Christmas to ensure we can continue saving lives at sea.

The RNLI’s Perfect Storm appeal has been launched in response to some major challenges the charity is facing. In 2018, the RNLI’s financial resources dropped by £28.6M, while its crews are busier than ever.

To support the RNLI’s Perfect Storm appeal this Christmas, helping to ensure the charity’s brave volunteers can continue saving lives at sea, please visit RNLI.org/ThePerfectStorm

*Festive periods calculated from 24 Dec – 1 Jan

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact Esther Lowe, Blackpool RNLI Press Officer on 07917091948 or Danielle Rush, RNLI Media Relations Manager in Wales and the West on 07786 668829. Alternatively, call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email pressoffice@rnli.org.uk.

RNLI/Blackpool

RNLI volunteers and paramedic Brent Kenny and emergency medical technician Jack Woolford prepare for a busy Christmas

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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