Volunteer RNLI lifeguard Richard Webster and eleven others have cycled, swam and ran from Birkenhead to Holyhead in aid of two very worthy causes – the RNLI and mental health charity The Open Door Centre.
A team of twelve friends, who are all seasoned adventure seekers, cycled, swam and ran from Birkenhead to Holyhead on Thursday 4 July.
The group combined their love of extreme sport and adventure with their desire to raise money for charity and created the ‘Rustman’, which is a non-competitive charity fundraiser.
They began their journey at 5am on Thursday 4 July cycling from Mother Redcaps beach in Wallasey to Red Rocks in Hoylake. Next, they ran and swam to Talacre lighthouse and then reached Port Dinorwic by bike along the North Wales Cycle route. They then swam across the Menai Straights and cycled to Rhosneigr, before running to Cwmbran. To finish their adventure, they swam across the Cwmbran straits and ran cross country along the Anglesey coast path to finish the day in Holyhead harbour at 11:15pm.
The team completed the Rustman in just 18 hours and 15 minutes, and found time to visit RNLI Lifeboat Stations including New Brighton, Hoylake, Rhyl, Llandudno, Conwy, Trearddur Bay and Holyhead.
The group noted that it wasn’t the length of the journey that was the challenge, but the conditions that they had to compete with. Although it was a warm day with clear skies, the sea is always unpredictable and it was important that the team had checked the tide times and had alerted the coastguards to their plan.
Richard Webster, RNLI Senior Lifeguard, who completed the Rustman said, ‘To share this unique experience with such a good group of people was so special and it was amazing to have the support of local people on the way. We checked in with RNLI Lifeboat Stations along the way and were in regular contact with the coastguards.’
The Rustman event has surpassed their initial target of £2000, with the current total sitting at over £3000. Thanks to support and donations, RNLI lifesavers can be trained and equipped ready to rescue thousands of people each year. The money that has been raised will be split between the RNLI and the mental health charity The Open Door Centre.
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 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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