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Working from home and raising funds for Margate RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Thanet radio amateurs are maintaining contact despite the lockdown while at the same time raising funds for the RNLI and awareness of the National Coastwatch Institution (NCI).

HRS radio amateurs during 2019 SOS Week at the lifeboat station (RNLI Margate)

RNLI Margate

HRS radio amateurs during 2019 SOS Week at the lifeboat station (RNLI Margate)

In recent years throughout May, radio amateurs from Thanet’s Hilderstone Radio Society G0HRS (HRS) have put on a special event radio station using the call sign GB1RNLI at Margate RNLI lifeboat station as part of SOS Week organised by the Lifeboat Amateur Radio Society.

This year there was concern that Covid-19 restrictions would cause the event to be cancelled but some imaginative adjustments by the organisers, along with flexibility of the Government agency that issues the special licence means GB1RNLI will be heard.

Various members of HRS will take turns during the month making the call from their home radio stations based all over Thanet. They will publicise the work of the RNLI and NCI while contacting fellow amateur radio enthusiasts worldwide.

Hilderstone Radio Society has a special relationship with Margate RNLI, five of the lifesaving charity’s local team holding amateur licences including the Lifeboat Operations Manager and all the Deputy Launching Authorities, one of whom is also club secretary of HRS.

The RNLI relies upon contributions from members of the public to enable it to provide its lifesaving services but the Covid-19 situation has dramatically restricted its ability to raise funds with all lifeboat stations closed to the public while still having to maintain availability when needed to answer calls for help. RNLI shops are closed and all face to face efforts by fundraising branches have been cancelled resulting in troubling times just as the charity launched its ‘Perfect Storm’ appeal last autumn due to its planned expenditure exceeding income in recent years.

The RNLI’s Mayday appeal, the major annual appeal to fund its work has been heavily affected by the current situation. Please do consider donating to support this lifesaving work at

Peter Barker, Lifeboat Press Officer, Margate RNLI said: “We are grateful to HRS for its continuing support. The current situation makes fundraising difficult for the RNLI but of course ‘working from home’ is standard practise for amateur radio enthusiasts and thus a novel way of fundraising and raising public awareness of the work of our volunteers.”

For more information about HRS contact [email protected]

External links:


SOS Radio Week:

National Coastwatch Institution:

Radio Society of Great Britain:

Photo caption: HRS radio amateurs during 2019 SOS Week at the lifeboat station (RNLI Margate)


RNLI Media contacts

· Peter Barker, RNLI Margate Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer 07974 064304 [email protected]

· Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (SouthEast), 0207 6207416, 07786 668825 [email protected]

· For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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.

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.