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Staithes and Runswick RNLI lifeboat crew welcomed to Hartlepool Tall Ships 2023

Lifeboats News Release

Two volunteer crew from Staithes and Runswick RNLI lifeboat station assisted the charity, joining volunteers from Hartlepool RNLI lifeboat station and Cullercoats RNLI lifeboat station, at the 2023 Tall Ships event in Hartlepool.


Warm Welcome form the Habour Master, Singing Sailor and the Songbirds at Tall Ships Hartlepool. Part of the Hartlepool Welcomes project with a group of fantastical balladeers to welcome visitors to Hartlepool

Not only did crew form an operational role but also took part in community-based activities, particularly passing on safety messages such as float to live, chatting to the public about the Atlantic 85 lifeboat, one of many lifeboats which the charity uses to save lives at sea, and fundraising around the vast Tall Ships site.

The RNLI’s Staithes crew members were greeted with a warm welcome, with a group of fantastical balladeers serenading with shanties and singing. A song from the Harbour Master, Singing Sailor and the Songbirds welcomed the volunteer crew to the Tall Ships event as part of the Hartlepool Welcomes project, a special commission for Tall Ships Races 2023 created by Gobbledegook Theatre in collaboration with BloomInArt.

The weekend was successful not only for the ships sailing from Den Helder in the Netherlands to Hartlepool, Hartlepool itself and the organisers of the event, but positive for the RNLI too: 'With the event appealing to a wide range of people we were able to engage directly with the visitors to pass on key safety messages such as float to live and raise much needed funds for the charity by both one off and regular donations', says Neil Hancock, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager.

Engagement both with the charity’s face to face fundraising teams, branch representatives and crew allowed the imparting of key safety advice, with float to live being key.

Explaining the RNLI’s advice including the five steps; 1. Tilt your head back with ears submerged, 2. Relax and try to breathe normally, 3. Move your hands to help you stay afloat, 4. It's OK if your legs sink, we all float differently and 5. Spread your arms and legs to improve stability.

Particularly this advice was provided to children and young people, some of whom may be inspired not only by the Tall Ships but also by the RNLI’s presence to think about a career in the maritime industry or pursue an interest in water-based activities.

RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager, Neil Hancock added that the event was: 'Also a chance to pique the interest of some of the visitors with the display of an Atlantic 85 lifeboat. Ably explained by our volunteer crew, this may have inspired some of our future crew.'

To find out more about volunteering for the RNLI, visit the RNLI’s volunteering page or visit your local RNLI lifeboat station

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RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact James Stoker, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer at: [email protected] or Clare Hopps, Regional Media Officer on 07824 518641 or, [email protected] or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.


Warm Welcome form the Habour Master, Singing Sailor and the Songbirds at Tall Ships Hartlepool. Part of the Hartlepool Welcomes project with a group of fantastical balladeers to welcome visitors to Hartlepool

RNLI/James Stoker

Relief Atlantic 85 lifeboat B-850 Edna May was on display over the course of the event, attracting the attention of possible future crew

RNLI/James Stoker

(left to right) Bima Suci (one of the largest tall ships in the world), Dar Mlodziezy, Statsraad Lehmkuhl alongside at Hartlepool’s Victoria harbour, these ships were the backdrop to the RNLI’s community zone engagement

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.

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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.