Laden Lifeboat Lasses visit Withernsea RNLI on their journey around the coast
Kate Bourn and Beth Barratt are cycling to 100 RNLI Lifeboat Stations around the coast of England and Wales, unsupported and camping all the way, to raise money for the RNLI.
On 7 September, they set off from Poole Lifeboat Station on a 1,500 mile journey around the coast and up to Scarborough. From there they plan to get the train to Liverpool before heading back down the coast of Wales, finally finishing in Minehead at the beginning of October.
The ladies visited Withernsea RNLI on Sunday (20 September) early in the morning before the volunteer crew launched on exercise. With a high tide and an onshore wind, the crew decided to postpone their training for an hour to let it calm down. This gave Kate and Beth time for a brew and a chat with the volunteers of the D class lifeboat, ‘The Mary Beal’.
Trainee helm Dan was put through his paces when they launched for the exercise to practice veering down, which is a manoeuvre used when the sea is too rough to take the boat right onto the beach.
Kate and Beth left Withernsea to start the next stretch of their journey up to Bridlington.
Why are these ladies doing this cycle?
Kate commented: ‘We love the sea but have a healthy fear and respect for the water. Between us, we row, kayak, paddle board, surf and sail. Luckily, we have never needed the support of the RNLI, but they are there for us every day, just in case’.
‘There are so many charities struggling as a result of Coronavirus. During the pandemic we were both furloughed; this adventure has given us a purpose, something to plan, train for and challenge ourselves’.
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.