Fishing Competition to raise funds for Ramsgate RNLI is interrupted by a shout!
Last Monday (24 August), RNLI Volunteer Jason Parrott and his wife Dawn held, for the second year running, a Junior Fishing Competition for children under the age of fifteen which raised more than £4,500 for the RNLI.
The previous year, just over fifty children had competed but this year over sixty children took part, some of whom had no fishing experience at all.
Jason and Dawn have been working hard on this for over four months, and it has turned into a community event with eleven local fishing boats giving up their time, the Thanet Fishermen's Association donating the fuel for all the boats, the 6th Ramsgate Sea Scouts lending the lifejackets, the local radio station broadcasting from the event and many local small businesses providing the raffle and prizes.
Every child was a winner with each one receiving a tee shirt and medal, a fishing rod or reel for competing as well as fishing tackle and a goodie bag, again all donated by small local companies.
After a couple of hours fishing the children returned back to the Lifeboat station to be greeted by their families and for a free bbq and ice cream, and it was during the prize giving that the station was called out to a yacht in distress.
Each child had been asked to take a sponsorship form and raise a minimum of £10 each which would all go to the RNLI, in fact over £4500 was raised. When the pagers went off, the crew quietly and without fuss got changed and then launched the Inshore lifeboat and sped off to cheers from the assembled crowd.
Throughout the day the Water Safety Team got over their Sea Safety messages in a fun and informative way with the children shouting out the answers to simple quizzes about how to dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
But the best example was the crew themselves launching the boat for a real emergency with the parents proudly explaining to their children how they were all volunteers and just how the money the children had raised would be used to save lives, and the pride on the children’s faces. Who knows, maybe there are some new crew volunteers amongst them, it will definitely be a day that they will remember for a long time.
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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.