Fourteen year old Joe visits the Vale RNLI Stations
Joe Scotney and his Dad Matt plan to visit every RNLI Lifeboat Station in the UK, and all before Joe turns eighteen.
Matt and Joe spend their time between gymnastic training, which is five times a week, to plan and travel to explore RNLI Lifeboat Stations around the UK. This half term they left their home in landlocked Slough to visit lifeboat stations from Portishead to Burry Port (numbers 55-62) including Penarth, Barry Dock and Porthcawl.
Fourteen year old Joe has always been fascinated with the RNLI Lifeboats, probably due to his Father’s and Great Grandfather’s interest too. His Dad siad:
‘The idea to visit all stations can from a trip to the shop at Weston-Super-Mare. The shop volunteer showed us the Lifeboat Station tea towel and made a the throw away comment - ‘why don’t you visit them all’. Joe thought this was a great idea and decided that with his Dad they should commit to doing this before he was 18. It is turning out to be a little harder because of my Gymnastics but we are going to give it a good try!’
When asked are there any particular memorable visits, Joe replied, with tongue firmly in cheek: ‘Well, there was one of our first visits which was a two hour journey on the M25 to Sheerness. Unfortunately, we hadn’t realised the station is in a commercial dock which we couldn't access without having pre-booked, and the security guard explained we couldn't access the dock. As a result we ended up in a local super market with a meal deal instead!’
One day Joe hopes to move to the coast to be able to become crew, and hopefully move up the ranks with a future career as a Coxswain or Mechanic. He said ‘Doing the tour is a great way to see which stations I like best to possibly ‘crew’ at!’
Whilst reflecting on the RNLI family challenge, Matt said: 'We really enjoyed the time together making memories by seeking out new places, chatting to local volunteers and promoting the RNLI Charity in the areas we visit through the facebook page.’
Jen Payne, a volunteer Helm at Penarth Lifeboat Station and her crew James and Freddie were delighted to welcome the boys and take some photos.
Jen said: ‘It is a pleasure to see youngsters take such interest and we hope to see Joseph in full crew kit in the future. We wish them safe travels on their quest’
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
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