Rye Harbour roadtrip drives home message volunteers are backbone of the RNLI
Rye Harbour Lifeboat Station Press Officers KT and Martin Bruce, recently went on a roadtrip visiting RNLI lifeboat stations in other parts of the country. During the trip it affirmed their view that volunteering with the RNLI is like being part of one big dedicated family.
'It's a family of which we are proud to be members,' said Rye Harbour Lifeboat Press Officer (LPO) KT Bruce, who made the trip with her husband Martin, who is the station's Deputy Lifeboat Press Officer. The couple's first visit was to Torbay Lifeboat Station in Devon.
'We received a warm welcome from Vicki Bowen, the LPO there, who talked to us about her role, which is a really busy one –the station had 96 shouts last year,' said KT. 'We learned a great deal and were then taken to their pride and joy, Alec and Christina Dykes, a Severn class lifeboat. There are 35 of these around the country.
We were shown round the vessel by Carole Pearson, their Lifeboats Visits’ Officer, who gave us a comprehensive tour packed with information. It is an impressive vessel and a great deal bigger than our Atlantic inshore craft.'
But KT explained that what the two stations have in common is the dedication of their crews, fundraising teams and press officers who all come together to help save lives at sea and keep people alert to the dangers of the water. 'It is good to remind ourselves that the vast majority of these people are volunteers who give up many hours of their free time for the common good,' KT added.
The couple continued their travels and then visited Bembridge Lifeboat Station which is located at the eastern end of the Isle of Wight, adjacent to the infamous Bembridge Ledge. Founded in 1867, it has a Tamar class all-weather lifeboat, Alfred Albert Williams and a D class inshore lifeboat, Norman Harvey.
'We were hosted at Bembridge RNLI by Mike Samuelson, the LPO. The Bembridge experience is really interesting because the lifeboat station is situated at the end of a very long walkway out to the boathouse on concrete stilts. Visitors say it has the ‘wow’ factor,' explains KT.
'One thing that comes across when you visit different stations is that the people we meet are really proud of the job they do, from the LOM ( Local Operation manager) through to fundraisers, people manning the shops, the coxswains, helms, crews, Press Officers and mechanics.'
If you want to support your local lifeboat station please give your backing to 'Mayday' the RNLI's yellow-themed annual fundraiser which runs from 1 - 31 May. The initiative is a celebration of the charity's volunteer lifeboat crews who are on call 24 hours a day, every day, to save lives at sea.
This year, the RNLI wants to raise £750,000* to fund the vital kit that will keep them its volunteer crews safe, whatever the weather throws at them. Will you help us by raising money this Mayday?
*Any funds raised over our £750,000 target will go towards funding our lifesaving work around the UK and Ireland.
RNLI Media contacts
Kt Bruce, Rye Harbour RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer (07789) 818878 Kt@ktbrucephotography.com
Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East), 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 email@example.com
For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789
RNLI online: For more information on the RNLI please visit http://www.rnli.org/. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre.Key facts about the RNLI
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 237 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 180 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.
The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.Learn more about the RNLI
Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.
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.