VOLUNTEERS at Lyme Regis lifeboat station had the honour of starting the 31-day Mayday Yellow Welly Relay in aid of the RNLI on Tuesday.
At 4pm, one of the RNLI’s famous yellow welly boots set off by car from Lyme Regis harbour with lifeboat operations manager Nick Marks, his wife Anne, and deputy launching authority Ian Marshall, and his wife Anne-Marie, on the first leg of the relay to meet members of the West Bay branch of the RNLI.
Next the welly was driven to Weymouth lifeboat station to be handed over to volunteers there for the second leg.
RNLI volunteers around the South and South East coast are planning their route for the iconic yellow welly, which will end its journey on May 31 on the Thames in Teddington, raising money and awareness for the charity that saves lives at sea.
The RNLI’s Mayday event began today on May 1 and will run for the whole month, with fundraising taking place across the whole of the UK and Ireland. This year, the RNLI hopes to raise £750,000 through Mayday, which will be used to fund essential kit for the charity’s brave volunteer lifeboat crews.
Nick Marks, volunteer lifeboat operations manager at Lyme Regis, said: “RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews around the UK and Ireland are willing to drop everything to go and save lives at sea when they get the call. Their specialist kit protects them against extreme conditions, gives them a firm footing on unsteady surfaces, and shields them from injury, allowing them to carry out their lifesaving work.
“The Mayday campaign is our own call for help, as we rely on the generosity of the public to fund this vital kit that helps keep the crews safe when they risk their lives for others.”
Money raised through Mayday fundraising events will help RNLI lifeboat crews to face the harshest conditions at sea with the best kit possible. It currently costs £1,598 to provide one all-weather lifeboat crew member with all of the kit they need when responding to the call for help.
This year, the RNLI is going yellow for Mayday – just like volunteer crews do every day to save lives at sea. Anyone who wishes to get involved can visit RNLI.org/mayday to register for a free Mayday fundraising pack. The pack provides a host of fundraising ideas, such as encouraging friends and colleagues to , get sponsored to run, walk or cycle, cooking up some yellow-themed bakes to sell or even getting together to lift the weight of a 42 tonne Severn class lifeboat!
The charity is also encouraging people to show support on their social media, joining the conversation using the hashtag #MaydayEveryDay, or by donating online or buying a yellow crew member pin badge.
The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. Its 4,700 volunteer lifeboat crew members provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts.
In 2017, RNLI lifeboat crews across the UK and Ireland launched 8,436 times, assisting 8,072 people.