Poole RNLI volunteer swaps blue lights for yellow wellies this Christmas
Felicity Dalladay (Flick) knows more than most about keeping people safe. When the station's manager asked for volunteers for the 25 December, her name was at the top of the list. Detective Sergeant Dalladay will be on call this Christmas, but for Poole RNLI.
As an experienced police officer, Flick is used to spending Christmas Day working to help others and this year is only a little different. Like all RNLI lifesavers who are prepared to launch 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Flick will drop everything when the call to rescue comes in.
Flick says: 'I offered to be on call for Christmas because I wanted to turn the day into something positive, and make it special by giving something back to the community. I also wanted to support my fellow crew members by allowing them to spend the day with their families without worrying about the pager going off.'
‘If I’m tasked to help someone at Christmas, I'll be grateful to be there and ready to help. I hope to give others the support they need and get them home safely for their Christmas.'
Flick joined the station at the beginning of this year, and in March she started training as lifeboat crew. Although she didn't have any previous maritime experience, and there was 'an awful lot to learn', Flick has successfully passed her initial assessments and is now trainee crew.
When not juggling the responsibilities of her day job and volunteering, she enjoys Christmas with food, carols, and spending time with loved ones. Sadly Flick’s mum passed away this year.
Flick said, 'I’d usually spend Christmas day with my mum. We would go to church, have a Christmas lunch, and spend time at home with our two dogs. It has been a very sad time, but the crew have been wonderful in supporting me through this.’
Although Christmas won't be the same without her mum, Flick will be on call this year so that others can enjoy their day safely with their loved ones. And together with the crew at Poole RNLI, who will celebrate the Christmas holidays with mince pies and nibbles on station, she is wishing everyone a Merry Christmas:
'Thank you for all your well wishes to the RNLI. As crew, we appreciate your support, whether it's donations or kind words. Please stay safe and give us a wave if you ever see the lifeboat out on the water. Merry Christmas!'
The RNLI encourage those visiting coastal areas this Christmas to:
- Check the weather forecast, tide times and read local hazard signage to understand local risks.
- If you get into trouble Float to Live – lie on your back and relax, resisting the urge to thrash around.
- In an emergency dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
Over the past five years, RNLI lifeboats in the South East have launched 188 times during the festive period. Last Christmas (24 December 2021–1 January 2022), RNLI lifeboat crews across the South East saved the lives of four people, the highest number recorded in five years. The charity’s volunteer crews also aided 46 people during the 2021 festive period, which is the highest number recorded since 2017.
But these rescues would not be possible without donations from the RNLI’s generous supporters, helping to fund the essential kit, training and equipment needed by lifeboat crews all year round.
The RNLI is launching its Christmas appeal, as the charity asks for help to continue its lifesaving work at sea.
To make a donation to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal visit: RNLI.org/Xmas
Notes to editors
- Operating from the historic Poole Quay since 1824, Poole Lifeboat Station has two inshore lifeboats: a B class Atlantic 85 - B826 Sgt Bob Martin (Civil Service No.50) and a D class - D-804 Gladys Maud Burton. To learn more about the lifeboat station please follow this link
- The Christmas period refers to 24 December to 1 January
- The five-year period is from 2017 to 2021
RNLI media contacts
For more information, please contact Julie Rainey, RNLI South East Regional Media Officer, on 07827 358256 or email [email protected] or Paul Dunt, RNLI South East Regional Media Officer, on 0778 5296252 or email [email protected] Alternatively, please call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336 789 or email [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 over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, 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.
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
Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries