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Deeply dippy fundraiser for Redcar RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

A marine biologist has come up with a novel alternative to the traditional Boxing Day Dip to raise funds for the RNLI lifeboat station near the town she grew up in.

Alice Walpole/NMA

Heather Coston Williams' alternative Boxing Day Dip

Rather than dip her toes in the sea on Boxing Day though, on 23 December 2020 Heather Coston Williams plunged the depths of the National Marine Aquarium (NMA) in Plymouth, Devon, in her finest dress and surrounded by sharks, rays, fish and other marine creatures.

Heather said: ‘I grew up in Guisborough, just a few miles inland from Redcar and Saltburn on the North Yorkshire coast. I learned to dive aged 14 with my dad at the Cleveland Divers club. We would explore the rocks and wrecks off Redcar.

I live in the Tamar Valley on the border between Devon and Cornwall now and I work at the NMA as a biologist/diver. I decided to dive into the Eddystone Reef to try and raise some money for Redcar RNLI.

‘I’ve seen the volunteers at Redcar RNLI in action in the “Saving Lives At Sea” TV series and when I saw on social media that the usual Boxing Day Dip at Redcar was cancelled because of Covid-19, I thought they’d miss out on those all-important donations.’

Dave Cocks, spokesman for Redcar RNLI, said: ‘The Boxing Day Dip at Redcar has been on the go for over 50 years. It used to be organised by the Lion’s Club and more recently it is organised by the Redcar Round Table.

‘Like a lot of other events the dip had to be cancelled this year so we've lost out on a lot of sponsorship and donations. When we heard about Heather’s brilliant alternative we were delighted.’

Heather can be sponsored by going to the Redcar RNLI Facebook page at and clicking the Donate button at the top of the page.


Notes to editors:

Attached is an image of Heather Coston Williams in the Eddystone Reef zone of the National Marine Aquarium. Credit Alice Walpole/NMA

Redcar lifeboat station has been operating since 1802

Redcar currently operates a B-class lifeboat named Leicester Challenge III, paid for by the people of Leicester, and an IB1-class lifeboat named Eileen May Loach-Thomas, paid from the legacy of the late Mr Nick Thomas of Shropshire

For more news, information and images go to Find us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at

Any images used should be credited RNLI/Redcar unless indicated

RNLI media contacts:

For more information please contact Dave Cocks, RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer on 07894 558 483. Alternatively, contact Clare Hopps, RNLI Press Officer, North 07824 518641 or at [email protected], or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789; [email protected]

Alice Walpole/NMA

Heather Coston Williams' alternative Boxing Day Dip

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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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