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Tobermory RNLI’s #Tob2Tob challenge gets off to a flying international start

Lifeboats News Release

Tobermory RNLI’s #Tob2Tob challenge has got off to a flying start with the station’s volunteers being joined not only by local supporters but also friends from around the world.

Local ferry skipper, Davie Graham sets the bar high to be the best dressed #Tob2Tob challenger

RNLI/Sam Jones

Local ferry skipper, Davie Graham sets the bar high to be the best dressed #Tob2Tob challenger

The #Tob2Tob challenge is taking place throughout August as Tobermory RNLI is unable to hold its annual fundraising event, Lifeboat Day. The station’s volunteers, friends and supporters are aiming to walk, run, cycle, swim or row the 3,205 miles between Tobermory RNLI lifeboat station and Tobermory Coastguard station in Ontario, Canada. In the first week, a staggering 1,579 miles have already been completed.

The challenge has been joined by Tobermory Coastguard Commanding Officer Sondi Schmidthorst Ryersee and her Canadian Coastguard colleagues. Friends and supporters are also joining in from elsewhere in Canada, France, Romania, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.

Highlights of the first week include:

  • Former Tobermory volunteer crew member and emergency mechanic Jane Slade has been accompanied by a Tobermory RNLI teddy on her walks along the canal where she lives with her husband Ian on a barge in Brittany, France.

  • Supporter and friend Ciprian ‘Chip’ Jucan has been walking in 42 degrees in Bucharest, Romania and posting some stunning photos of this beautiful city.

  • Tobermory’s retained Scottish Fire and Rescue firefighters are giving the lifeboat crew a run for their money with Brian MacLeod and Bryan Gibson putting in mega miles on their bikes and Vanessa Maclean joining other wild swimmers on Mull to help cross the North Atlantic.

  • Caledonian MacBrayne Kilchoan ferry skipper, Davie Graham has set the bar high for the Best Dressed #Tob2Tob Challenger award by heading off for his first run wearing a kilt and a hard hat.

  • Jackie Terry of Burlington, Ontario, 100 miles away from Tobermory, has been showing us the beautiful area where she has been getting her steps in.

  • Lots of children and dogs are also joining in the #Tob2Tob Challenge too.

Tobermory RNLI Station Coxswain David McHaffie said: ‘We are all blown away by how enthusiastic our friends and supporters have been about our #Tob2Tob Challenge. To have so many people taking part not only on Mull but from around the world, including our Canadian friends at Tobermory Coastguard, means a lot to everyone at the station and we have loved seeing your photos. There are another three weeks to run and so there’s still lots of time to join the fun. To have travelled more than 1,000 miles in the first week is a great achievement and we may have to think about going the scenic route across the Pacific to Ontario if we smash the Atlantic target or going #Tob2Tob2Tob’.

If you want to take part, start logging your miles and posting your photographs on the #Tob2Tob Challenge Facebook page at Taking part is free but if you want to contribute to the RNLI, the charity which saves lives at sea, you can make a donation at

We also have some special awards:

  • Most Inventive #Tob2Tob Mile Travelled – are you into walking in a deep sea diving suit? Then this could be the category for you.
  • Best #Tob2Tob Photo – it could be in a spectacular location or make us laugh out loud.
  • Best Dressed #Tob2Tob Challenger – for all you black tie or ball gown runners, cyclists and walkers out there.
  • Greatest Variety of #Tob2Tob Miles – how many different ways can you cover a mile? Must be self-propelled - driving not included!
  • Best #Tob2Tob Pet Challenger – bring along your furry, feathery or scaly friends for company.
  • Best Collective Team Effort – join up with your friends, family and colleagues to make a collective push across the Atlantic.

RNLI Media Contacts

For further information, please contact

Dr Sam Jones, Tobermory RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager and Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07747601900 or [email protected]

Martin Macnamara, Regional Media Officer (Scotland), 07920 365929 or [email protected]

Gemma McDonald, Regional Media Manager (Scotland), 07826 900639 or [email protected]

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.