RNLI in Scotland releases new crew portraits to mark start of ‘Mayday’ campaign

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI has released new portraits of some of its volunteer crews to highlight their ongoing work and is asking the Scottish people to fundraise at home to save lives at sea.

46 portraits represent the RNLI's 46 lifeboat stations around the Scottish coast

RNLI/Nigel Millard/Nick Mailer

46 portraits represent the RNLI's 46 lifeboat stations around the Scottish coast

The portraits released by the lifesaving charity, by photographer Nigel Millard, aim to raise awareness of the continued commitment by volunteers to save lives at sea, despite the global pandemic. One image pulls together 46 different portraits, one to represent each of Scotland’s RNLI lifeboat stations. Other portraits, taken in 2019, include shots of two father and daughter volunteer duos from Girvan RNLI and a portrait from the RNLI's most northerly lifeboat station, Aith, of full-time Coxswain John Robertson with his young daughter.

Although we’re all being instructed to stay home during the pandemic, the charity’s volunteer lifeboat crews are still on-call 24/7, ready to drop everything at a moment’s notice to save lives at sea. The charity is calling on the public to help raise funds for its vital lifesaving service by taking a tea break, joining a step count challenge, or ditching their favourite tipple for its online Mayday appeal.

May would usually mark the RNLI’s largest fundraising opportunity of the year, ‘Mayday’. From baking to rowing and ‘lifting lifeboats’, fundraisers would usually be gearing up to raise money for the charity’s lifesaving work. However, as COVID-19 keeps the nation indoors, the RNLI’s support teams are quickly coming up with new ideas and opportunities for its supporters and fundraisers. This year the RNLI is inviting the public to attend “a cuppa with the crew” a Facebook live event, on May 1, where supporters can join an RNLI crew member live for their morning brew, with the opportunity to ask questions about what life is like as an RNLI volunteer crew member. Supporters are asked to make a small donation of the price they would usually pay for a takeaway coffee or tea.

The RNLI is also encouraging supporters to host their very own ‘Cuppa for the Crew’ where they invite family and friends to join them for a virtual tea break over a video-calling platform – again, donating whatever they would normally have spent on their tea or coffee.

Speaking about the different face of Mayday 2020, Alison Byers, Engagement Lead for Scotland, said: “The Coronavirus has had a serious impact on all charities and their ability to fundraise. The RNLI is no different. We hope that not only will Mayday help raise funds for our crews but that it will also help raise spirits and give people something to plan for, to look forward to and enjoy with friends, even if it is just online.”

Anyone wishing to support the RNLI can find more information at RNLI.org/mayday Once the country starts to exit lockdown there will also be plenty of opportunities for people to join the organisation’s volunteer fundraising team, those interested in getting involved with the RNLI should keep their eyes peeled on the charity’s website.

The RNLI’s 46 lifeboat stations in Scotland remain operational and ready 24/7 to assist anybody finding themselves in difficulty in the water. If you or someone else is in danger in or around water, you should call 999 and ask for the coastguard.

Chloe and John Tait RNLI father & daughter volunteers at Girvan taken in 2019

RNLI/Nigel Millard

Chloe and John Tait RNLI father & daughter volunteers at Girvan taken in 2019
John Robertson Coxswain at Aith, Shetland with his young daughter in the lifeboat station in 2019

RNLI/Nigel Millard

John Robertson Coxswain at Aith, Shetland with his young daughter in the lifeboat station in 2019
Two father and daughter volunteering duos join Coxswain Callum Govus for a portrait in 2019

RNLI/Nigel Millard

Two father and daughter volunteering duos join Coxswain Callum Govus for a portrait in 2019
46 portraits represent the RNLI's 46 lifeboat stations around the Scottish coast

RNLI/Nigel Millard/Nick Mailer

46 portraits represent the RNLI's 46 lifeboat stations around the Scottish coast

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.

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 by email.