Long distance charity fundraiser visits Portpatrick Lifeboat Station

Lifeboats News Release

Fundraising cyclist Steve McAllister visited the Wigtownshire region as part of his epic quest to cycle around the British Isles and Ireland, visiting all 237 RNLI lifeboat stations and raising money for the RNLI.

Retired school teacher Steve left Kirkcudbright on Wednesday 23 March, arriving at Portpatrick RNLI Lifeboat Station just after 2pm. The volunteer lifeboat crew were just leaving on an exercise, during which several crew members were being assessed in various aspects of the running of the Tamar class lifeboat, the John Buchannan Barr.

Steve then met Coxswain Robert McQueen and Lifeboat Press Officer Phil Bestjan and explained that his aim was to cycle around the UK and Ireland, fundraising by visiting every one of the 237 RNLI lifeboat stations. He started this epic task from the RNLI lifeboat station in Penlee, Cornwall in September, and estimates that the total distance covered on completion will be approximately 8000 miles. Steve also emphasised that all money donated would be given directly to the RNLI, and that costs such as accommodation, food and running expenses would come from his own pocket.

On the return of the RNLB John Buchannan Barr, Steve was given a guided tour of the lifeboat by Mechanic Alistair Cerexhe, and then spent time with the crew before retiring for the evening to the Harbour House hotel, which kindly provided accommodation and breakfast free of charge in recognition of his charitable work.

On Thursday he left Portpatrick and visited the RNLI lifeboat station in Stranraer, where he was met by Lifeboat Ops Manager Terry Simpson and two volunteer crew members, who supplied him with some chocolate bars for the gruelling next section of his tour to Girvan, which included some long steep climbs at Benain Head and Glen App in poor weather.

Steve’s progress on this monumental tour can be followed on his website, www.rnlicoastalcycleride.com, where there are links to his Facebook activity page and VirginMoney-Giving page for donations which will go directly to the RNLI.

Media contacts

Phil Bestjan, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07793 025793 or phil.bestjan@btinternet.com

Henry Weaver, RNLI Press Officer for Scotland, 01738 642986, 07771 943026, henry_weaver@rnli.org.uk

Richard Smith, RNLI Public Relations Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07786 668903, richard_smith2@rnli.org.uk

RNLI Press Office, 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 over 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.