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Crew member and family return from Paris cycle ride for Mudeford RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

On Friday 21 July at 11.49am, Mudeford RNLI volunteer Launch Authority, Graeme Staddon with his wife Elinor and son Toby returned to Mudeford Lifeboat Station, having completed an amazing 420 mile fundraising bike ride to Paris and back.

Three people stand together wearing orange RNLI sports tops

RNLI/Graeme Staddon

Graeme Staddon with wife Elinor and son Toby cycled 420 miles from Mudeford to Paris and back for the RNLI

Setting out from the Mudeford Lifeboat station on its RNLI Fun Day on Sunday 16 July, the intrepid trio cycled to Portsmouth and took the overnight ferry to Caen. There followed a daunting 90 mile leg to Evreux before the final 70 mile push to arrive in Paris just 48 hours after they started out.

The only casualties on the outward journey, were Graeme’s cycle shoes that needed some urgent, improvised repairs (duct tape), to keep him moving!

After a short break and some well-deserved, refreshments, all three were soon back on their bikes to begin the long journey home.

With only themselves for support, they miraculously completed the journey without a single puncture and although a little tired, all the family were in good shape and glad to be back.

As they returned from their 117 hour ride, the trio were greeted by friends and volunteers from the Mudeford RNLI team who warmly welcomed the family home with hugs, handshakes, and cups of strong tea.

Graeme said: ‘This trip was a dream come true for me. To be with my family on this amazing journey and at the same time raising money for Mudeford RNLI, a charity I care passionately about. A massive thank you to everyone who supported us.’

Richard Stride, RNLI Mudeford Lifeboat Operations Manager, said: ‘We are so appreciative of Graeme, Elinor, and Toby. What they have achieved is so impressive and the funds they have raised for the Mudeford Lifeboat Station will help us to continue our vital work saving lives at sea.’

Graeme first started volunteering with the RNLI in February this year (2023). In May he qualified as a Deputy Launch Authority (DLA) making him one of the people who authorises the launch of the lifeboat and ensuring that all operational activities are carried out at the lifeboat station.

With the total raised so far at just over £2,800, donations continue to come in. If you wish to donate, please see the Just Giving link or use the QR code.

https://www.justgiving.com/page/mudeford-dla-bike-ride2023?fbclid=IwAR2UalzUr-1osDNzw5rn-LWS7od8WLPg4-fc170AL6VzU-fRCkRPpi1lfYA

Media Contacts:

· Rob King, Trainee Lifeboat Press Officer Mudeford RNLI [email protected]

·Beth Robson, Regional Media Officer (North, East and South East), 07977728294 [email protected]

· For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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.

Three cyclists stand in line among RNLI crew members in uniform

RNLI/Graeme Staddon

Setting off - trio Graeme Staddon, wife Elinor and son Toby with RNLI Mudeford crew at the station's fun day
A picture of cycling shoes held together with silver duct tape

RNLI/Graeme Staddon

Duct tape saved Graeme's shoes for the duration of the fundraising bike ride
Three cyclists stand in front of an ornate monument shaped like an arch in Paris

RNLI/Graeme Staddon

Triumphant at the Toby Arc de Triomphe in Paris - but the return leg awaited them
Three cyclists stand in line joined by friends of different ages outside an RNLI boathouse

RNLI/Graeme Staddon

The trio return and are greeted with fellow volunteers at RNLI Mudeford

RNLI/Beth Robson

To donate, scan this QR code on your smartphone

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.