Skegness RNLI volunteers cause a stir on the London Underground
Volunteer crew members from Skegness RNLI Lifeboat Station, Brad Johnson and Nick Walton headed to London between Friday 18 February 2022 and Sunday 20 February to complete two challenges from crew member Brad Johnson’s ‘200 for 200’ challenges, celebrating 200 years of the RNLI.
Brad is undertaking these challenges between 2022 and 2024.
The epic fundraising task caused quite a stir on the Underground, as the crew took on the challenge in full all-weather lifeboat kit including wellies and helmets.
The kit designed for seagoing operations isn’t the best suited to being underground, especially in some of the deeper tube lines during peak periods.
The challenges; over the three year period; are being undertaken to celebrate the 200-year anniversary of the RNLI in 2024. Skegness has had a lifeboat station since 1827, with the RNLI operating it since 1864, making 2024, RNLI Skegness 160 years old in the same year.
Brad Johnson and Nick Walton visited all four Thames Lifeboat Station’s in a weekend (Chiswick, Teddington, Tower, and Gravesend) alongside ticking off 204 different tube stops across the London Underground network.
This year (2 January 2022), the four River Thames lifeboat stations celebrated 20 years of search and rescue on the tidal river, so as part of the bicentennial challenge series, it was obvious to undertake one in the capital to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Thames service.
Starting at 5:45am on Saturday 19 February 2022, from Farringdon Underground Station they headed towards Amersham for their first major journey of the day. This was the first leg of many, seeing them visit all the different tube lines on the network and visiting landmark stations such as Victoria, London’s King’s Cross and Waterloo.
The fundraising challenge took 17 hours in total and saw the two volunteer crew members return to the station they began at 10:45pm after completing an epic 204 stations in the timeframe. The pair passed the 200 mark whilst on the Hammersmith and City line arriving at Great Portland Street Underground Station.
Brad Johnson said: 'The challenge itself was exhausting. But above all, it was so rewarding. Visiting 204 tube stations in 17 hours in our full kit took it out of us but the reception from the general public was beyond anything we could’ve dreamt about.
'We spent a lot of time chatting with families, children and the public about water safety and the work of this amazing charity. Would I do it again? Not straight away, but in the future, I’d say yes in a heartbeat.’
Despite thinking it would be a very sedentary challenge, the pair managed to average around 16,500 steps during the day, standing for 270 minutes and climbing an average of 58 floors in stairs. The challenge was exhausting but the pair had the opportunity to talk to many members of the public about the work of the RNLI including the work on the coast and on the River Thames.
The duo was unable to fundraise in person on the tube network due to the rules surrounding fundraising on Transport for London sites, therefore the pair are relying on their online donations to drive their fundraising targets. They’re currently sitting at just over £1100, after a surge in donations following the features in some national news outlets.
Anyone can find out about the challenges being taken on by Skegness RNLI Lifeboat Station crew member Brad Johnson and his crewmates by visiting: lifeboatfundraising.org/200.
More information on challenges: https://lifeboatfundraising.org/200
Notes to Editors
Brad Johnson is available for interviews in print, radio and television.
RNLI Media Contacts
Adam Holmes (Lifeboat Press Officer) - [email protected]
Nick Walton (Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer) - [email protected]
Nikki Wrench (Community Fundraising Manager).- [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
Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries