RNLI New Brighton lifeboat crew win tug of war as fundraiser tops 2018 total

Lifeboats News Release

The lifeboat volunteers pulled to a 2-0 victory against Mersey Divers at the annual RNLI fundraiser on New Year’s Day 2019. Nearly £500 was raised from the bucket collection, up around £150 on 2018. Mayor of Wirral Councillor Geoffrey Watt acted as referee .

Team captains both hold the trophy with the two teams behind them

RNLI/Cherie Rowlands

Mersey Divers captain John Dunne during the trophy handover to RNLI lifeboat captain Mike Jones

Spectators lining Fort Perch Rock beach on a bright-but-bracing day watched RNLI New Brighton and Mersey Divers compete in the second annual tug-of-war challenge on Tuesday 1 January.

Mayor of Wirral Councillor Geoffrey Watt – acting in an unofficial capacity – was referee for the competition which saw RNLI lifeboat crew pull to a 2-0 win against the divers, as supporters cheered on their chosen teams.

RNLI volunteers and family members collected close to £500 in bucket donations, which was around £150 more than that raised in last year’s tug-of-war challenge.

RNLI Fundraising Chair Malcolm Smith said: ‘We’re delighted with the amount raised, which comes straight to our lifeboat station. The proceeds will be used towards crew equipment, helping us to continue saving lives at sea.

'Mersey Divers are a great team and it’s their involvement that helps us raise funds at this event, so we are grateful to them. Also to the mayor for freely giving his time and doing such a grand job of refereeing the two sides.But enormous thanks must go to the spectators who came out on a chilly day, cheered on their chosen teams and so generously put cash in our buckets.'

This year marks the first time a trophy has been presented in the competition. Handcrafted by RNLI Tractor Mechanic Mike Jones who captained the lifeboat team, he received the brass-and-rope prize on behalf of the lifeboat crew.

The memento has special significance not only because it was designed and made by Mike, but injuring his shoulder the night before the challenge meant he was unable to compete on the day, taking up coaching from the sideline instead.


Two women stand with a younger child between them, with all three holding RNLI collection buckets

RNLI/Cherie Rowlands

RNLI crew family members Carol Greensmith, Abbie McGinn and mum Sharon McGinn about to start collecting
Lifeboat crew stand with mascot Stormy Stan and Mersey Divers in front of the RNLI lifeboat and trailer

RNLI/Cherie Rowlands

RNLI New Birighton lifeboat crew and mascot Stormy Stan line up with Mersey Divers
Mike Jones stands with arm in sling holding the trophy inside the RNLI boathouse

RNLI/Cherie Rowlands

RNLI New Brighton captain Mike Jones with the trophy he made for the 2019 challenge

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.

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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.