Chris drives forward RNLI fundraising challenge to visit all 238 lifeboat stations

Car mechanic and keen amateur photographer Chris Mason is going full throttle to raise funds for the RNLI by visiting every lifeboat station in the UK and Ireland.

Chris Mason stands outside of Bamburgh Castle holding an RNLI flag

Photo: Chris Mason

The 57-year-old grandfather is going to spend his free time during weekends and holidays over the next year, clocking up hundreds of miles to complete the challenge. RNLI supporter Chris, who lives in Cornhill-on-Tweed in the Scottish Borders, was so moved by the bravery and efforts watching lifeboat crew in action on TV programme ‘Saving Lives at Sea’, he decided he wanted to do his bit to help support the charity that saves lives at sea and on the water. 

Chris says: ‘Some things catch the back of your throat and I thought, ‘I’m going to raise the RNLI some money’. My main aim is to raise as much money for the RNLI as I can. I love to help people and be able to make a difference.

‘I love driving and love the coast so this is a perfect challenge for me. I'm visiting every lifeboat station in the UK and Ireland, including Orkney, Shetland the Channel Islands and the Isles of Scilly. I’m looking forward to meeting the crew at each station and having the chance to thank them for the amazing work they do saving lives at sea.’

Chris, a motor mechanic and recovery patrol driver for Seahouses-based auto repair centre AJK Thompson, will be putting his automotive skills to good use, as he will be driving to each station in his trusty Vauxhall Astra, which he describes as ‘old and clapped out’. He will take a photo of himself at each station as evidence of his visit and post these on his Facebook page.

Chris started his challenge at Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland, which served as the first lifeboat station in the world after castle trustee Dr John Sharp commissioned the first ‘unimmergible’ lifeboat for Bamburgh in 1786, making Bamburgh Castle the first known lifeboat station of the time.

Bamburgh Castle owner Francis Watson-Armstrong and former RNLI volunteer lifeboat crewman said: ‘What a fantastic challenge Chris is undertaking for such a worthy cause. We wish him every luck with his mission. It is thanks to the support of fundraisers like Chris that the RNLI can save lives at sea with their 24-hour rescue service. We are honoured that Chris began his challenge here at Bamburgh. One lifeboat station down and just another 238 to go!” 

Chris is looking for donations to support the cost of ferry crossings for his challenge via his fundraising GoFundMe page. His Facebook page gives donations directly to the RNLI.

Chris Mason stands outside of Bamburgh Castle holding an RNLI flag

Photo: Chris Mason

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.