Kellie goes the extra 31-miles!

Lifeboats News Release

Whitstable lifeboat crew member Kellie Gray will be going the extra mile or 31 miles to be exact, throughout May to raise money for the RNLI Mayday Mile appeal by running and walking 1 mile a day in full lifeboat shore based launchers personal protective equipment.

Whitstable lifeboat's Kellie Gray.

RNLI Whitstable/Chris Davey

Whitstable lifeboat's Kellie Gray.

Kellie has been a member of the Whitstable lifeboat crew for nearly 20 years, starting as a shore based launcher before joining the sea-going crew and later returning to shore based duties and has answered more calls than she can remember. She also spent 4 years as the station mechanic!

Over the years, Kellie who has worked in the licensing trade, event management and is currently working as a part time bar staff in the Whitstable Yacht Club as spent much of her time not only as part of the operational crew but actively supporting the fundraising efforts for the station and RNLI.

Said Kellie ‘2020 was the busiest year for some time for the Whitstable lifeboat which answered 64 calls to a variety of incidents involving water users and small craft'.

'I am only too pleased to be able to help with both the operational and fund-raising sides of the station and help keep both our own crew and others fully trained and equipped for any emergency situation the lifeboats are called to attend’.

Kellie continued ‘so far I have already raised £273 towards my target of £750 and will be starting the challenge on 1st May from the Whitstable lifeboat station at 9.30am . Please stop and say a socially distant hello, and follow my progress on Whitstable lifeboat's social media pages'.

Mayday is the international code word to signal a life threatening emergency, it’s also the name of the RNLI’s annual fundraising campaign.

The RNLI Mayday appeal has been running for several years appropriately enough in May, its title coming from the term ‘Mayday’ the universal distress call at sea which is the most urgent plea RNLI lifesavers receive, and used when life is in immediate danger.

However it is usually RNLI lifeboats and lifeguards who answer calls for help but today, with summer on the way, it's the RNLI who need your help.

As a result of the Covid pandemic the RNLI is expecting more families than ever to book holidays in the UK and Ireland this year and is warning holiday makers and other water users that it so easy to get into trouble by the water and is raising funds to keep brave lifesavers kitted and trained to deal with these emergencies – and come home safe themselves. The RNLI is inviting others to join in The Mayday appeal and help make sure the memories made this summer are precious ones.

To see more about Kellie’s efforts go to

RNLI media contacts

  • Chris Davey, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Whitstable Lifeboat Station.
    07741 012004/ [email protected]

  • Paul Dunt RNLI Press Officer London/southeast/east Tel: 0207 6207416 Mob: (07785) 296252 [email protected]

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

Whitstable lifeboat's Kellie Gray.

RNLI Whitstable /Chris Davey

Whitstable lifeboat's Kellie Gray.

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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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.