Tobermory RNLI and friends from around the world smash the #Tob2Tob Challenge

Lifeboats News Release

Tobermory RNLI’s volunteers and friends from around the world smashed the #Tob2Tob Challenge in August by collectively travelling 7,836.7 miles – which is more than the circumference of the Moon.

The #Tob2Tob challenge took place throughout August with the station’s volunteers, friends and supporters 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 event, they managed not only to reach Canada but also to return to Mull and visit all of Scotland’s RNLI lifeboat stations before arriving back in Tobermory – a staggering 7,836.7 miles.

The challenge had a real international dimension. Tobermory’s lifeboat volunteers were joined by Tobermory Coastguard Commanding Officer Sondi Schmidthorst Ryersee and her Canadian Coastguard colleagues. Friends, supporters and furry friends also joined in from elsewhere in Canada, France, Romania, Scotland, England and Northern Ireland posting wonderful photos of their progress. In total, 99 people took part in the challenge.

In addition to walking, running, swimming and cycling, challengers engaged in a variety of other activities to clock up the miles, including paddleboarding, dancing, roller skating, golf, dog agility, lawn mowing, hockey and pickle ball. Tobermory Coastguard Rescue Team on Mull carried out a cliff rescue exercise adding a few hundred vertical metres to the pot. Tobermory’s retained Scottish Fire and Rescue firefighters added mega miles through cycling and wild swimming. Local Caledonian MacBrayne ferry skipper Davie Graham kicked off his miles by running in his kilt.

The #Tob2Tob Challenge was held instead of Lifeboat Day, Tobermory RNLI’s annual fundraising event which takes place in August. This is the second year running that Tobermory RNLI has been unable to hold Lifeboat Day. Nevertheless, through the collective efforts of the volunteers and international friends and a significant donation from Ben Wilson and Inverlussa Marine Services, more than £2,500 has been raised to help save lives at sea. The #Tob2Tob Just Giving page is still open at:

Lifeboat Operations Manager, Dr Sam Jones said: ‘Through the collective efforts of friends and supporters from around the world, we not only visited our friends at Tobermory Coastguard in Ontario, but we made it all the way back again – and managed to visit every Scottish RNLI lifeboat station from Kirkcudbright in the south to Aith in the north. But the challenge has been more than that. We’ve all loved catching up with old friends and making new ones around the world as well as seeing some wonderful photos. All of us at the station would like to thank everyone who took part and took time to post their miles and photos as well as to all those who have donated to our Just Giving page’.

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.

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