Guy, who is a helm on the station’s two inshore lifeboats, began his daily routine
of taking a shower outside with a hose on September 1 2021 and since then has
endured sub zero temperatures, hail, storms and driving winds – and even
catching Covid - while at the same time recording a daily video on You Tube.
On Wednesday 31 August Guy, watched by friends, family and supporters, took
his final shower outside Margate Lifeboat Station. Also there to witness his last
time under the hose were members of the volunteer crew from the RNLI station and
colleagues from HM Coastguard and Kent Fire and Rescue Service.
Following cheers from the assembled crowd Guy said he was amazed at the all
the people who had turned out for his last cold dousing: ‘I’m absolutely blown
away by the support and all the people who have travelled to see this. It’s a bit
weird being watched by so many people when I’m having a shower’!
One of those joining Guy was his sister Susy Matthews, who had come across
from Lee-on-Solent to be there and joined Guy for one of his cold showers
outside on Day 244. ‘It’s been a huge commitment for him. He’s got lots of great
friends and supporters and it shows his messages about water safety – and the
responsible use of water – are being understood and shared’.
Guy’s cold shower marathon began as a bet with his wife Emily who challenged him to
shower outside. He then decided to make it count. . ‘I’m passionate about
trying to stop lives being lost at sea and also wanted to do my bit to help prevent
coastal and sea pollution,’ said Guy who has been a lifeboat volunteer for the
RNLI for almost 30 years.
Over the year he admits there have been some incredibly tough days. The
coldest day of the challenge was on Thursday 6 January when temperatures
plummeted to minus 3.5C and even the hose was frozen.
On Day 88 Saturday 27 November, he was hammered by hailstones (‘It
genuinely hurt,’ said Guy) and on Day 71 (10 November) Guy was staying at a
hotel in York and couldn’t get the hose hooked up, so he went to Kent Street
Fire Station where Red Watch hosed him down. ‘It was brutal, particularly the
pressure,’ Guy recalls.
The windiest day was on Monday 31 January (Day 154) when Guy was in
Chatham and for a couple of days in October Guy had to use a bucket and
saucepan as he was on holiday in a caravan and there was no hose available.
‘One of the worst things in the cold was the ice-cream headache I got from the
water, I never worked out how to cope with that, especially if it was windy,
although a lot of people found those videos quite amusing,’ said Guy.
Apart from the weather conditions one of the biggest challenges has been
filming, editing and uploading the daily films to his You Tube channel. On Day
169 Guy was editing his footage and accidently lost it, so there was no choice
but to strip off, go outside and shower all over again. ‘You can tell how annoyed
I was in the video!’ he explained. ‘At home it’s straightforward getting in the
shower but for this you have to go outside, get the camera set up and then get
the hose ready’.
Each day on his videos Guy has reported on the daily temperature, given a
‘brutality rating’ based on the weather conditions and read out birthday requests.
During his year-long challenge, Guy who is also the RNLI’s Water Safety Lead
for the South East and London, was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the
British Empire (MBE) in recognition of his efforts in saving lives and promoting
water safety. As a volunteer he has launched more than 300 times on service,
aided more than 370 people and saved 13 lives.
One key element of the challenge has been promoting water responsibility:
‘Showering outside is great for water responsibility, not only by diverting water
away from the drainage and sewer system but also saving water because one
tends to be a bit quicker and I stop the hose with a trigger when lathering down’,
He estimates that during the challenge he has saved 37 litres of water a day,
and 13,505 litres over the year with between 11,000 and 14,000 litres of water
diverted from the sewer network. Plus it means he has been able to keep his
grass watered. ‘Give it a go, you’ll be surprised!’ added Guy.
His wife Emily has been supportive throughout the challenge although Guy
admits she does get a little fed up with him talking about soap, sewage and
Note to Editors
Guy’s challenge has taken place in an area supplied by Southern Water which
does not currently have a hosepipe ban. He has been in contact with the
company who have supported his challenge as it highlights the responsible use
He has been supported by Bare Bar Soap who have provided him with soap for
the challenge and Frontline Coffee who have supplied coffee to warm him up
Guy’s You Tube Channel which shows his films is available here:
A link to his fundraising page is here:
RNLI Media contacts
Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East), 07785 296252
Julie Rainey, Regional Media Manager (South East) 07827 358256
RNLI duty press office (24/7) on 01202 336789
releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and
video, are available at the RNLI News Centre.