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RNLI lifeboat crew from Gravesend to Dover come together for charity rugby match

Lifeboats News Release

Crew members from Gravesend and Dover lifeboat station joined crew from Sheerness, Dungeness and Rye to play the Home Office Corsairs in a charity rugby match to raise money for the RNLI.

A photo of the Home Office Corsairs team members to the left, and RNLI rugby team members to the right, on a field in front of a rugby goal post. The people in the centre are holding an RNLI flag.


Both teams who took part in the RNLI (right) versus Home Office Corsairs (left) charity rugby match, to fundraise for the RNLI

Russell Allen, volunteer lifeboat crew member at Gravesend RNLI Station and rugby flanker, said ‘although we didn't win the rugby match against the Home Office Corsairs last weekend, the event raised £1,200 for the RNLI, and it was great to meet different crews from lifeboat stations across the region. It was a brilliant game and evening as always.’

The event was founded last year by Nic Cobb, lifeboat crew member at Dover RNLI station, and it will return next year. Nic said, ‘we are hoping that this will form the basis of a national RNLI rugby team and that these events will continue to grow and be held across the UK and Ireland in support of the RNLI.’

The charity rugby match was only possible with the support of Dover Sharks RFC and the Home Office Corsairs, as well as the many people who turn up to enjoy the event and show support for the RNLI. Whilst the rugby match is the main event, there was also live music and a bar, as well as a post-match presentation.

Ian Smith, Gravesend RNLI station manager, lifeboat crew member, and RNLI team winger, also took part in the match and said, ‘events like these are so much fun to take part in and to help fundraise for the RNLI. The RNLI relies on voluntary donations to be able to go out and save lives at sea and on the Thames.

If you're interested in playing, supporting, or coming along to cheer us on next year, get in touch with Nic Cobb from Dover RNLI Lifeboat Station at [email protected].’

RNLI Media Contacts

For further information, please contact:

Helena Lane, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Gravesend RNLI email [email protected]

Nic Cobb, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer for Dover RNLI (07541) 350439 [email protected]

Two RNLI rugby team members are stood on a rugby pitch with their arm around eachother. They are wearing striped tops, and the floodlights are behind them.


Gravesend RNLI lifeboat crew members Ian Smith (left) and Russell Allen (right) who played for the RNLI team in the charity rugby match against the Home Office Corsairs in Dover

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.