Donate now

Nick’s Smugglers Way Run Raises Over £2,200 for the Looe Lifeboat Appeal

Looe RNLI’s volunteer deputy launch authority, Nick Pope, ran the Smugglers Way from Boscastle to Looe overnight and unaided, raising over £2,200 for the Looe Lifeboat Appeal.

A man in a hat and running gear smiles broadly at the camera with the sea in the background.

Photo: RNLI/Ian Foster

Nick Pope finishes his run outside Looe Lifeboat Station.
Nick Pope has been a volunteer with Looe RNLI since the lifeboat station was re-established in 1992. When he stood down as an inshore lifeboat helm Nick, took on the role of deputy launching authority (DLA) for the station’s lifeboats. 

Nick says he wanted to do some kind of ‘challenge event’ as part of the fundraising campaign for Looe’s new D-class inshore lifeboat Ollie Naismith II.  “As one of the original crew from 1992 and now as DLA, my bond with the station and its crew is immense and I wanted to help get them what they deserve.” 

Nick has over 40 years’ experience of hillwalking and mountaineering and after reading about the Smugglers Way from Boscastle to Looe he hit upon the challenge of running the route in winter, at night and on his own. As Nick puts it “In a way, I wanted to reflect the dedication of all RNLI crews, who will turn out 24/7/365 in all weathers to help others. I would do the same. Naturally, this is not something to take on lightly, it takes training, experience, and planning. Just like RNLI crews who train regularly, build experience in all conditions, so that when the time comes, they are as prepared as they can be to put themselves in harm’s way.”

After months of training and meticulous planning, crewmate James Chudleigh with his wife Becky along with helm Toby Bray took Nick over to Boscastle to start his challenge at 10pm last Friday, 17 December 2021. Nick’s 56km run began, dipping his feet in the north Cornish waters. The route will take him along river valleys and woodlands inland to Davidstow and the high moor. Along the way Nick’s headtorch picked out herds of Belted Galloways and Highland cows. A near full moon helped Nick to navigate around the cows along the moorland paths to Rough Tor and Brown Willy, but he did not linger on the top of the tors as there was a cold and strong easterly wind blowing. Leaving the high moor his next waymark was Jamaica Inn, where Nick had conveniently parked his van with a change of clothing, dry shoes and a hot brew. It was difficult for Nick to leave the warmth of his van but off he went again running past Dozmary Pool, Colliford Lake, into Dobwalls before dropping down to the West Looe river valley for the final push home.

Some of our crew were following Nick’s progress overnight on his livetracker feed. However once in the West Looe river valley, around Herodsfoot, we lost the signal and were nearly caught out when his signal suddenly reappeared to tell us he was running along the Millpool!
Crew members Clive, Amber, Toby, Carol and Ian were joined by Nick’s wife Mags at 7.45 am on Saturday morning to welcome Nick and witness him dip his feet in the south Cornish waters on the lifeboat station slipway, to mark the completion of his challenge.

Reflecting on his achievement later, Nick says “I’ve done it! Coast to coast across highest Cornwall, alone, at night and in winter. What’s perhaps even stranger is that I’ve loved every minute, even the cows!

“More importantly though, I’ve raised some money for a new lifeboat (£1825, plus gift aid, as I sit here writing, but hopefully it will rise further).
Thank you, to each and every one of you who donated.”


Notes to editors


Re-established as an inshore lifeboat station in 1992, Looe RNLI operate two inshore lifeboats
An Atlantic 85 Sheila and Dennis Tongue II and a D Class Ollie Naismith

There is still time to sponsor Nick’s achievement through his justgiving page 

Looe RNLI have launched the Looe Lifeboat Appeal – Ollie Naismith II to raise £78,000 for a replacement D Class inshore lifeboat Ollie Naismith II 

For further information on Looe RNLI Lifeboats please visit our website

Looe RNLI Facebook page 

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone  Ian Foster, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Looe Lifeboat Station, on 07902 753228 or [email protected] or [email protected] or Amy Caldwell, RNLI Regional Media Manager, on 07920 818807 or [email protected] or Emma Haines, RNLI Regional Media Officer, on 07786 668847 or [email protected].

Alternatively you can contact the RNLI Duty Press Officer on 01202 336789.
A man in winter running kit smiles broadly at the camera with an orange lifeboat visible behind him.

Photo: RNLI/Ian Foster

Looe RNLI volunteer Nick Pope standing next to the D Class inshore lifeboat, 'Ollie Naismith'.

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.