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10 year old girl walks nearly 50km to help Fowey RNLI save lives at sea

Lifeboats News Release

During the October half-term 10 year old Catalina McManus walked nearly 50km, raising over £1,245 for Fowey RNLI lifeboat station.

Fowey RNLI

Catalina in the helm’s seat on Fowey’s all-weather lifeboat.

Catalina, who lives with her family in Bath, spent her holiday in Fowey this year where she visited the lifeboat station every single day. She was inspired to do the walk to raise money for the charity after taking tours of the lifeboat and chatting to some of Fowey’s volunteer lifeboat crew. Catalina said: ‘I am ten and I have always loved the RNLI, but recently I have discovered that as a charity they are having to spend a lot of money on repairs, fuel, safety kit, training, boats and foundations for the new jetty in Fowey - and they don't get anything from the government. This is why I wanted to help. When I was on holiday in Fowey I went to see the lifeboat every day and I was allowed to sit in their boat before they went out training one evening.’


Catalina and her parents paid another visit to Fowey in November, where they were invited to have a guided tour of the lifeboat station and the all-weather lifeboat and to chat to some of the volunteer crew. Fowey Coxswain, Jonathan Pritchard, said: ‘As the charity that saves lives at sea, we rely on the support of fundraisers like Catalina to help train and equip our volunteer lifeboat crews. Catalina’s fundraising achievement will be of immediate use to Fowey lifeboat station. All of our crew are extremely impressed by her efforts and very grateful for her donation. We were delighted to welcome her to the station, to hear all about her epic walk, and to present her with an RNLI mascot and a certificate of thanks.’

Catalina and her parents covered nearly 50km in three days battling some grim weather conditions. Catalina’s mother Marcelle said: 'After walking 14km on day 1, day 2 was the biggy! We awoke to the sound of howling wind and torrential rain on the roof of the youth hostel. The forecast was 40-45mph gusts and rain all day. We decided to go for it (with the knowledge that we could turn back or take an escape route down one of the other valleys if we needed to), although we knew we didn’t want to be calling out any rescue services in our effort to raise money! At one point the technology decided enough was enough and ceased working all together, so route tracker and phone was out of service. Astoundingly Catalina stayed cheerful almost constantly and she didn’t complain once! She really was true to her word about keeping going by thinking about all the people the RNLI help. We walked over 22km on this day alone – including up and over two of the highest peaks in South Wales. Over nine and half hours of solid walking – NO STOPS! – and she was still going. The last day got us back to Llanfrynach. It was a shorter walk, which was just as well as reserves were low! We tracked our route using a great walking app but the weather was so bad that the technology failed so a couple of km were not mapped. With the missing phone data we think we walked over 48km in the end. ‘

Catalina’s original fundraising target was £500 but she quickly exceeded this with the total now over £1,245. Catalina’s JustGiving page is still open if you would like to donate at


Fowey RNLI

Catalina with volunteer Fowey lifeboat crew members, Harry Smith, Oli Luck and Nat Wilkinson.

Fowey RNLI

Fowey coxswain, Jonathan Pritchard presents Catalina with her RNLI mascot and thank you certificate.

Fowey RNLI

Catalina takes at helm of Fowey’s inshore lifeboat with volunteer crew members, Nat, Harry and Oli.

Fowey RNLI

Catalina trying out the radio on the inshore lifeboat.

Fowey RNLI

Catalina in Fowey’s crew room, trying on one of their lifejackets.

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.