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Round The Island Race – Meet Calshot RNLI volunteer crew member Sean

Lifeboats News Release

On 15 June thousands of sailors will take part in the annual Round The Island Race, with the RNLI as their nominated charity.

RNLI/Justyn Leonard

For many years Calshot RNLI has provided safety cover to ensure that all those participating in the event have the best possible experience.

One of our volunteer crew members, Sean Marsh, has a unique perspective having both provided support from Calshot’s inshore lifeboat and participated in the race itself.

Name: Sean Marsh

Age: 40

Day Job: Assistant Land Agent

Crew Role: Boat Crew, LVD and Visits Officer

Why did you join the RNLI?

My friend capsized his kayak off of Elmore and was rescued. This was a joint rescue with the Navy training boat recovering him from the water, Calshot D class putting crew onboard to assist with Casualty Care, and Hamble Lifeboat recovering his kayak. My friend was then taken to hospital by Coastguard helicopter. after witnessing all that from the beach, I looked in to joining the lifeboat.

What do you like most about volunteering for the RNLI?

The thing I enjoy the most about volunteering is the satisfaction you get after a shout has concluded and you have been able to help someone.

How do you feel about being the Round the Island Race charity partner and how will it impact lifeboat stations?

I think its great that the RNLI is the charity partner for this year’s race. We rely on donations to continue to save lives at sea, so this is a wonderful way of raising funds to ensure we can continue our life saving work.

Have you ever taken part in the race or provided safety cover as RNLI crew before?

I have been boat crew on several Round The Island Races over the years and have been tasked to many different incidents from dismasted yachts to head injuries, so I know first-hand what can happen out there and how quickly things can go wrong and the assistance of the RNLI is very welcomed by those competitors who end up in difficulty.

In 2023 I took part in the Round The Island Race on a friends yacht and witnessed several incidents off the back of the island where the wind had really picked up. I watched both Yarmouth and Bembridge Lifeboats attending incidents. We even had a close call ourselves, when we ended up broaching and our boat was completely on its side, which was a hairy moment as we thought we would lose our mast, but fortunately we were able to salvage the situation. Others were less fortunate and quite a few were dismasted and had sails torn. It was certainly a busy time for Yarmouth and Bembridge!

What’s your message to competitors on the day?

My message to competitors is to enjoy it and remember the race isn't over till you get back to safe harbour. Over the years lifeboats have attended several incidents at or just after the finish when competitors have completed the event and are tired after a long day of racing!

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact:

Justyn Leonard, Lifeboat Press Officer on 07540 920678 or email [email protected]

Neil Lewin, Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer on 07727 600518 or email [email protected]

RNLI Press Office 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.

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.