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RNLI Kent Reindeer Relay to start with a team from Gravesend Lifeboat Station

Lifeboats News Release

At 5am on Saturday 25 November 2023 a team of crew members from Gravesend Lifeboat Station will set off on their bikes in the dark, to do part of a relay ride between nine Kent lifeboat stations to raise money for the RNLI.

An orange road bike from the rear left, with a Lifeboat sticker on the frame. A cartoon reindeer with a red nose is overlaid. The reindeer is in RNLI lifeboat crew kit: a yellow drysuit and red lifejacket.The reindeer is waving at the viewer.


A team of crew members from Gravesend RNLI Station will be cycling to Sheerness for the first leg of the relay between nine Kent RNLI Lifeboat Stations.
Chris Maher has volunteered with Gravesend RNLI station for 16 years and is one of the five volunteer lifeboat crew members who will start off the relay from Gravesend.

Chris explains: 'The reindeer relay will start off from Royal Terrace Pier, where the lifeboat station is located in Gravesend, and make its way first to Sheerness, a journey of over 29 miles. Each team will complete a section between Kent's nine RNLI lifeboat stations, finishing at Dungeness. The whole relay totals over 130 miles.

'The teams will be made up of RNLI crew and supporters who are cycling, running, or walking to raise funds for the charity, which provides a 24-hour search and rescue service around the UK and Ireland. Last year over £2,000 was raised by the reindeer relay for the RNLI so we are hoping to raise as much or more this year.'

Alan Carr has been a volunteer lifeboat crew member at Gravesend station for 14 years and is also one of the team members set to cycle the first leg of the relay. He said: The funds raised by events like this are vital to help equip our crews with the kit, training, and materials they need to go out and saves lives at sea and on the River Thames.'

Some of the team of lifeboat crew members even plan to cycle on from Sheerness and complete the next leg of the relay to Whitstable, a journey of another 27 miles.

You can find out more about the challenge, and support the crew and the RNLI by donating at Gravesend Station's Just Giving page at

RNLI Media Contacts

For further information, please contact:

Helena Lane, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Gravesend RNLI on 01474 328 465 or email [email protected]

Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (London and South East), on 02076 207 425 or 07785 296 252, or email [email protected]

Julie Rainey, Regional Media Manager (South East), on 07827 358 256 or email [email protected] RNLI

Press Office on 01202 336 789 or email [email protected]

Key facts about Gravesend RNLI

Gravesend RNLI is one of the RNLI’s newest lifeboat stations and one of four lifeboat stations operating on the River Thames. The first stations to specifically cover a river rather than estuarial waters or the sea.

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.