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Sun shines bright for RNLI Walmer Open Day

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteers from across Walmer lifeboat station welcomed visitors to their annual Open Day yesterday 20 August.

Walmer volunteers at the end of a tring day.

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

Volunteers at the end of a tiring day.

Local group The Kellet Gut Shantymen entertained with their sea shanties and visitors were also able to view a Kent Fire and Rescue appliance and two Kent Constabulary police vehicles.

The British Divers Marine Life Rescue Service, HM Coastguard, and the lifeboat station’s Water Safety Officer were also on hand to explain their work and provide advice as were the RNLI’s face-to-face team, our own fundraising team, along with our highly successful Betty’s Pots co-ordinator.

The in-station shop and a pop-up on Walmer Green celebrated record takings for the day.

Refreshments were provided by a coffee and cake stall staffed by Walmer volunteers and Solley’s ice cream and a barbeque ‘crewed’ by the licensee from local public house The Stag. Children were entertained with stone decorating and colouring sessions, Bizzie Lizzie’s face painting and a Test your Speed football facility provided by the Dover District Council’s Community Services team in their Community Roots van.

Other attractions included a history of the Walmer lifeboat stations, ‘welly wanging’ and an opportunity to throw wet sponges at family and friends held in stocks.

A viewing platform had been set up to enable visitors to look inside our Atlantic 85 lifeboat Donald McLauchlan, and they also had opportunities to have their photo taken in our D Class lifeboat Duggie Rodbard II.

The event culminated in an afloat display highlighting the rescue work undertaken by RNLI crews around the UK and Ireland on a daily basis with both of our lifeboats going afloat. These included a person in the water and drifting on an inflatable unicorn, a simulated fire and people overboard from a raft put out by the lifeboat from our flanking station at Dover, two people taken from the water, one who had fallen from a paddleboard and the other who had tried to rescue him suffering a capsize in a kayak. On returning to shore these ‘casualties’ were assisted by members of the Deal Coastguard Rescue Team.

Speaking after the event, Walmer Lifeboat Chair Roger Blown thanked all the volunteers who gave up their time to make the event such a success, and the local businesses around Deal and Walmer who agreed to take our advertising posters. He said:’ Events such as this help raise the profile of Walmer lifeboat and the RNLI . Special thanks need to go to crew member Max Bowyer who organised the event, helms Dan Sinclair and Lee Waddon for co-ordinating and the commentary on the afloat display, which included aspects of safety advice when undertaking coastal activities, and volunteers from across the lifeboat station who gave up their time to make the event such a success. Finally, as always, we wish to thank the local residents for their continued support of their lifeboat station.’

Notes to editors

Walmer lifeboat station was established in 1856.

It currently operates two inshore lifeboats – a B Class Atlantic 85 Donald McLauchlan and a smaller D Class Duggie Rodbard II.

Crews have received 28 Awards for Gallantry

To find out more about Walmer lifeboat station go to

RNLI media contacts

  • Chris Winslade, Lifeboat Press Officer, Walmer Lifeboat Station on 01304 374475 or 07906 623037 [email protected]
  • Julie Rainey, RNLI Regional Media Manager on 07827358256 [email protected]
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) on 07785 296252, [email protected]
  • For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789 or [email protected]

Capsized kayaker rescued from the sea

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

Capsized kayaker 'rescued' from the sea
Rescuees wearing horseshoe life rings

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

Rescuees wearing horseshoe life rings
Walmer's Atlantic 85 lifeboat with Dover's all-weather boat

RNLI/Christopher Winslade

Walmer's Atlantic lifeboat with Dover's all-weather boat.

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.