Apr 19
Byline: A Speedboat with engine failure requested assistance as their main engine had failed, and the spare engine also had mechanical problems.
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The volunteer crew of both of Rhyl's lifeboats were called out for the second time over the bank holiday weekend on Saturday 19th April at 2.48 PM, to help the speedboat with 5 anglers on board back to Rhyl harbour. The anglers were well equipped and were wearing lifejackets, but were unable to re-start both the main and the auxiliary engines. The All-weather lifeboat launched first and took the 5 men on board, transferring 1 lifeboat crew on to the casualty vessel. A tow was commenced back to Rhyl harbour.

The inshore lifeboat was also launched as the all-weather boat reached the harbour. The new Pont-Y-Ddraig bridge was raised to enable the boats to reach the new harbour slipway, where the inshore boat took the casualty to the slipway. The 5 anglers were landed at the upstream pontoon and re-united with their craft on the harbour quayside.

All being well, the incident was handed over to local coastguard teams and the lifeboats returned to station by 4.20pm.

Martin Jones, Rhyl lifeboat coxswain said " Although they were well equipped, it was unfortunate that both their engines failed. We are just happy that Rhyl's All-weather lifeboat and inshore lifeboat at the end, were able to assist"

Apr 18
Byline: Without any consultation the volunteer manager of the RNLI's Ramsgate and Broadstairs sales outlets recently announced on a town Facebook site that he was resigning and that this would result in the Broadstairs outlet closing altogether.
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This action caused an outcry by many of the town’s residents with the local press and even the town’s mayor getting involved and the matter quickly came to the attention of the Ramsgate Lifeboat Fundraiser group who have now undertaken to run the outlet and ensure its continuation.

Group chairman, Eric Burton, got in contact with Broadstairs Sailing Club who own the large shop-fronted kiosk which they have allowed the RNLI free use of for sales for over 25 years. They were keen to continue their support for the RNLI and agreed to the ongoing use of the kiosk which is situated in a very prominent position on the main access road to the harbour and beach. Additionally, Amanda Champs who manages the Margate RNLI shop readily agreed to supply the Broadstairs kiosk with stock.

Until 2011 the kiosk was run by volunteers from the Broadstairs Ladies Lifeboat Guild and was one of the most profitable outlets around the coast. Unfortunately, due to the dwindling number of active members the Guild was unable to continue to run the outlet and it was agreed that the manager of the RNLI’s then newly opened Ramsgate shop would run and stock it with volunteer help on a seasonal basis.

The kiosk opened on Good Friday for the Easter weekend under its ‘new management’ and it is intended that it will open again during the upcoming Bank Holiday weekends and during the coming summer season.   

RNLI media contacts
• John Ray, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer (Ramsgate Lifeboat)
07759 480825 / john.g.ray@talk21.com
• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 / tim_ash@rnli.org.uk
• James Oxley, RNLI Press Officer (London/South East/East)
0207 6207425 / 07786 668825 / james_oxley@rnli.org.uk
• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 33678.

Apr 18
Byline: Eastbourne all-weather lifeboat (ALB) raced to the assistance of a stricken yacht which had lost steerage dangerously close to submerged rocks near the Holywell pleasure beach.
Page Content: The 37ft yacht put out a Mayday distress broadcast shortly after noon today (17 April) when it suddenly lost steerage under full sail after rounding Beachy Head in a brisk SW wind. Being rapidly blown towards submerged rocks at an area known locally as The Pound the crew were left with no alternative but to request immediate assistance. The distress broadcast was simultaneously picked up by the rescue co-ordinating centre at Dover Coastguard and the Coxswain of Eastbourne lifeboat who put out a page for the crew to assemble and launch immediately. Meanwhile the crew aboard the stricken yacht were frantically trying to drop their anchor and reduce sail.     
Soon on scene, the ALB found the yacht with their anchor deployed but still struggling with their sails. Lifeboat crewman Richard Larmour was put aboard the stricken vessel to assist the crew and to rig a towline. With the tow attached and the anchor recovered the yacht was towed out to deeper water. Safely away from the rocks the yacht’s crew rigged their emergency steering and deployed a drogue whilst being towed to Sovereign Harbour. Safely in the outer harbour the tow was passed to a waiting marina workboat which took the stricken vessel through the locks and on to a holding pontoon awaiting repair works. Meanwhile the ALB was refuelled and made ready for service.

Apr 17
Byline: The skill and bravery of Newhaven RNLI’s coxswain during a six hour search for a teenager missing in atrocious sea conditions is to be recognised with one of the charity’s highest accolades.
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Paul Legendre will be presented with the RNLI’s ‘Thanks of the Institution on Vellum’ for his role in the search for 14-year-old Dylan Atkins, who was swept into the sea off Newhaven's West Beach on 27 October 2013.

Amid dreadful sea conditions and storm force 10 winds, Paul led his volunteer crew during an extensive search from the shoreline to the open sea. Conditions were made more challenging by waves rebounding from the nearby breakwater and breaking over the lifeboat – pushing water into the engine room and forcing the crew to rely on their safety lines as they were knocked from their feet. 

Dramatic video footage and photographs taken from the beach show the lifeboat pitching and rolling in turbulent conditions. 

Such was the ferocity of the sea, one wave tore the handrails from  the after end of the lifeboat, forcing Coxswain Legendre to briefly seek shelter in the harbour to assess the damage and check his bruised crew. Less than twenty-five minutes later they returned to the open sea to continue searching in the failing light.

The crew were eventually stood down 9.45pm and got back to station after six hours at sea and an extensive search of the area,. Tragically, Dylan was not found by the lifeboat crew or the coastguard shore teams and search and rescue helicopter also searching that day. He is still missing

Now the efforts and determination of Paul and his crew are to be officially recognised by the RNLI.

George Rawlinson, RNLI Operations Director, said: ‘To launch into such atrocious conditions with darkness approaching takes great skill and courage.  The seamanship Paul displayed during this service was second to none and the concentration required to hold the lifeboat in position in shallow waters and breaking waves was intense.

‘This shows the dedication, bravery and teamwork demanded of a lifeboat crew working in extremely challenging conditions to try to save a life and I’d like to thank Paul and his crew for their efforts to find Dylan.’

The lifeboat crew’s efforts also received praise from key figures in the local community. Reverend David Tutt, chaplain with the South East Coast Ambulance Service, wrote to the RNLI saying: ‘I would like to acknowledge and pass on my admiration for the skill and courage that you and your crew exhibited in attempting to locate the casualty. At times I wondered how ever you could retain control of the vessel in such close-in and turbulent seas, with a sea wall on one side and a steep shingle beach on the other. It is sad that the outcome could not have been better, but that takes nothing away from the courage shown.’

The crew were also honoured by local broadcaster Sovereign FM, when they were given a ‘Courage Award’ at the radio station’s annual awards ceremony.

George Rawlinson continued: ‘It is with a mixture of sadness and pride that I nominate Paul for the Thanks of the Institution on Vellum. I know first-hand how much he was affected by this incident and am confident he did everything humanly possible to lead his crew in searching for Dylan that day. His actions epitomise the commitment that our lifeboat crews make and the spirit with which they go about their work to save lives at sea.’

Detailed rescue report

At 4.25pm on Sunday 27 October 2013, the volunteer crew at Newhaven lifeboat station launched their lifeboat at the request of the Coastguard after reports of a person in the water off West Beach, west of Newhaven breakwater.

Coxswain Paul Legendre and seven volunteer crew launched their Severn class all-weather lifeboat Volunteer Spirit into atrocious sea conditions. While visibility was good, the weather was a squally south westerly storm force 10 and the sea outside the harbour was very rough, with 5 metre swells.

Aware of the difficult conditions they faced, Coxswain Legendre briefed his crew thoroughly – all wore full protective equipment, including helmets, and were secured to the lifeboat with lifelines. The crew took up positions around the deck and upper steering position in order to scour the turbulent waters for both the missing person and any dangers that could threaten the safety of the lifeboat and her crew.

Once outside the harbour, Coxswain Legendre steered the lifeboat through the rough water as close to the western breakwater as possible and started searching the area. Waves rebounding from the breakwater made already challenging sea conditions more difficult. Large waves broke over the stern of the lifeboat, pushing water into the engine room and forcing the crew to rely on their safety lines as they were swept off their feet by the force of the breaking water. This, combined with the failing light, severely tested the lifeboat’s crew.

A Coastguard rescue helicopter, Rescue 104, joined the search at 4.52pm and Coastguard search teams from Newhaven, Birling Gap and Shoreham also searched along the shoreline.

During this initial search a member of the public reported seeing a person in the waves near the lifeboat but unfortunately neither the lifeboat nor helicopter crew could identify anyone in the water.  After about 30 minutes, daylight gave way to darkness.

Just after 5pm a large wave broke a section of handrail at the back of the lifeboat and Coxswain Legendre briefly took shelter inside the breakwater to assess the damage and check his crew. At 5.25pm he returned to the open sea to continue searching having dropped one crew member at the lifeboat station and taken two more on board.

Throughout the search Second Coxswain Lee Blacknell helped Coxswain Legendre by occasionally taking the wheel in order to provide some relief in the difficult conditions.

The search was broadened to both the inside and outside of the eastern and western breakwater and east towards Seaford Head, before returning to the original search area near the breakwater. Nothing was found by the lifeboat or any of the other search teams.

At 9.45pm the lifeboat was stood down and returned to the lifeboat station at 10.25pm.  At 11.10pm she was refuelled and ready for service.

RNLI media contacts
• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 / tim_ash@rnli.org.uk
• James Oxley, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East)
0207 6207425 / 07786 668825 / james_oxley@rnli.org.uk 
• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789 

Apr 15


Byline: Lifeboat called to two separate incidents on Loch Ness - Video and pictures
Page Content: Volunteers from RNLI Loch Ness were called to two back to back incidents on Loch Ness yesterday, Monday 14th April.
 The first incident involved a large motor cruiser pinned against the weir at Dochgarroch at the north end of Loch Ness.The Drumnadrochit based RNLI volunteers launched their Atlantic class lifeboat and proceeded towards the incident which involved a group of four people and two dogs.Crewed by helms, Howie Whyte, Jamie MacPherson and Martin Douglas, the initial phase of the rescue went to plan.En route to the incident the lifeboat experienced a failure of one of it's engines but continued on with the remaining engine functioning perfectly.Aberdeen Coastguard informed the RNLI crew that a local vessel was able to tow the cruiser free of the weir.The lifeboat was then immediately re-tasked to a holiday cruiser aground at the entrance to Urquhart Bay which had two adults and two children aboard.​RNLI Helm Jamie MacPherson, a Flood Rescue Team member, entered the water and swam to the casualty vessel taking a portable radio and rescue line with him.Jamie says: "The only way to get to the cruiser was to enter the loch and swim. This is where my Flood Rescue Team training kicks in".Once aboard the cruiser, Jamie was quickly able to establish that there was no injured parties and the vessel wasn't taking on water.A tow was established and an attempt was made to free the cruiser from grounding but due to the reduced, single engined power, the lifeboat was unable to release the vessel.Local tourist boat skipper Gordon Menzies, and RNLI crewmember Joy Cameron arrived and used Gordon's vessel, the Morag Mo Cridhe, to tow the cruiser free.The RNLI team then escorted the cruiser into the harbour.Additional reassurance and information had been given by the skipper of the tourist and research boat, Deepscan, whilst the lifeboat was attending the first incident.The entire operation had been overseen by the duty watch team at HM Coastguard in Aberdeen.​

Apr 14
Byline: With Easter weekend fast approaching, the RNLI, as a member of the British Diving Safety Group (BDSG), has produced seven top tips for divers to follow before they embark on their first dives of the season.
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Nick Fecher, Coastal Safety Product Manager, said: ‘With Easter traditionally heralding the start of the diving season, the British Diving Safety Group has come together to produce and promote a set of consistent safety tips for divers.

‘We are encouraging divers to follow our seven top tips to ensure they enjoy the start of the diving season safely.

‘Simple steps like checking your kit is in working order after a winter in the garage and practicing in a pool or in shallow water before the first dive of the season can help ensure your safety.’

The seven top tips are:

• Have your kit serviced in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
• Check all your kit is in working order, such as suit seals and rubber straps for perishing, zips and SMB reels.
• Practice your skills in a pool/shallow site before the first dive of the season.
• Plan some work up dives to ease yourself back into the water if you have not dived since last year.
• Be realistic about your fitness levels before commencing the season.
• Don’t let complacency creep in. Inform the Coastguard of your plan and undertake a thorough buddy check before each dive.
• Do not underestimate the risks; accidents do happen to people like you.

Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Luke Blissett, Public Relations Officer, on 01202 663184 or email luke_blissett@rnli.org.uk. Alternatively, contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email pressoffice@rnli.org.uk. 

Apr 14
Byline: The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is expressing its thanks and pride to a host of dedicated runners who completed the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday to raise vital funds for the charity.
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For some it was the chance to beat that elusive personal best while for others it was the opportunity to do something monumental in memory of a heroic rescue or a loved one lost at sea.

Lee Popplewell, who survived a heart attack only 18 months ago says: ‘I’m so happy to have completed the London Marathon in a time of 04:16:52, I’ve succeeded in a great personal challenge while raising much needed funds for this lifesaving charity.
‘I’m already thinking about signing up for next year, though for now I might enjoy a couple of days rest.’

John Figiel, who, along with friends Paul and Lee, will be running over 400 miles for the RNLI in 2015 said: ‘What a great day, perfect weather and a brilliant run. Looking forward to next year!’

Notes to editors
For more information or images contact Joanna Dey, PR Officer (Campaigns) on joanna_dey@rnli.org.uk, 01202 336064. Or contact pressoffice@rnli.org.uk, 01202 336789.

Apr 14
Byline: The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) today launches a new campaign ‘H2Only’ that challenges the public to master the art of self-control by substituting all drinks for water for two weeks.
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The challenge will run between Tuesday 27 May and Tuesday 10 June 2014 and aims to raise awareness and funds to support the charity’s lifesaving work.

By giving up all drinks except water for two weeks, and asking family, friends and colleagues for sponsorship and donating the money saved through only drinking water, participants can raise money for the charity whose volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards rescued 9,951 people last year alone.

All those brave enough to take on the challenge can sign up now online at www.H2Only.org.uk and download the free app from Google Play or the Apple App Store which will provide them with information about the money saved through giving up all drinks but water – and the calories they’ve ditched too. Through the app, people will also be able to unlock rewards like adding a slice of lemon to their water if they can manage to raise £5 in five minutes. Participants can also take on the H2Only challenge as a team through the app and can share encouragement when will-power hits choppy water.

The H2Only challenge is a simple exercise in self-control, but the RNLI does not underestimate how hard it will be for people to succeed. Just as dedicated RNLI lifeboat volunteers and lifeguards need to be selfless and committed, participants will need to commit to self-control to succeed in this challenge. It’s not just alcohol that participants will have to give up for two weeks, they’ll also need to say goodbye to fizzy drinks, tea, coffee, juice and squash.

Paul Boissier, RNLI Chief Executive, is taking on the challenge. He said: ‘We hope the H2Only challenge will help raise awareness of the important work the RNLI does. It reflects what the charity does and the commitment that all RNLI lifesavers display day-in, day-out. In 2013, during the same two week period which the H2Only campaign covers, RNLI lifeboat crews and lifeguards rescued 787 people, saving 18 lives across the UK and Ireland.’

Chris Speers, volunteer crew member at the RNLI’s Poole lifeboat station, is also taking on the challenge. He said: ‘Through taking part or sponsoring participants in this challenge, the public will help raise vital funds to support RNLI lifesavers across the UK and Ireland. As a crew member, I know just how important every pound raised is. It pays for the lifeboats we use, our kit and our training – all of which keeps us safe when we’re out on a shout.’

As a charity, the RNLI relies on the generous support of the public, with 92% of its total income coming from donations. The RNLI’s lifeboat volunteers drop everything 24/7 to save lives on the water. The H2Only challenge is the public’s chance to do something heroic for them.

For more information, to join the campaign and to download the app visit: www.H2Only.org.uk.

Media contacts
For more information please contact:

James Hardy
Ketchum for the RNLI
020 7611 3672

Pippa Maloney
Ketchum for the RNLI
020 7611 3642

Apr 14
Byline: The RNLI is today (Tuesday 15 April) revealing the ten stunning short-listed images from its My Coast photography exhibition. The short-list will now be narrowed down to one winner by a public vote on the charity’s Facebook page.
Page Content: The My Coast photography competition was launched in September last year, coinciding with the launch of the Courage on our Coasts photography book and exhibition, which showcased the photography of volunteer lifeboat crew member and professional photographer Nigel Millard. The exhibition of Nigel’s photos, featuring over 50 images of the RNLI’s lifesaving work, has been touring major cities of the UK and Ireland for the past seven months.

During this time, the charity has been running the My Coast photography competition, in partnership with Epson. Budding photographers were challenged to capture what the coasts of the UK and Ireland mean to them.

A panel of judges at the RNLI reviewed all 107 entries, supervised by an independent representative from sponsors Epson, to create a long-list. Nigel Millard then short-listed the top ten entries, which are today being uploaded to the charity’s Facebook page for the winner to be decided by a public vote.

Voting will be open for one week, so those wishing to vote should visit www.facebook.com/rnli before Tuesday 22 April. If they are not already fans of the charity on Facebook, they will need to ‘like’ the page before they can vote.

The winner will receive an image of their choice from the Courage on our Coasts exhibition, signed by Nigel Millard, an Epson R3000 Compact A3+ printer (donated by Epson), an Ewa Marine CAF100 Rain Cape and an iPhone waterproof housing (donated by Cameras Underwater).

Nigel Millard says:

‘The RNLI’s volunteer crews and lifeguards are at the heart of the coastal experience, taking care of sea farers and beach-goers around the UK and Ireland. This is what I have been capturing in my photographs over the past 10 years, and it’s what’s showcased in the charity’s Courage on our Coasts exhibition. So we thought it was apt for the My Coast competition to ask other photographers to capture what the varied and beautiful coasts of the UK and Ireland mean to them.

‘The short-listing process was difficult – there were some fantastic entries – but I really enjoyed seeing the range of approaches to coastal photography; the range of styles and subject matter was vast. I looked for striking images that really encapsulate the photographer’s experience of the coastline. Now it’s over to the public to crown the winner!’

The winner will be informed within two weeks of the end of the public vote and will be announced on Facebook. They will be invited to receive their award at the RNLI’s Annual Presentation of Awards at the Barbican in London on Thursday 22 May 2014.

Notes to Editors
• The attached image sheet shows the short-listed photos. All ten of the short-listed images can be seen at www.facebook.com/rnli and are available for media use. Contact RNLI Public Relations (details below) to request copies.
• Nigel Millard is an international photographer and a lifeboat crew member at Torbay in Devon. He is best known for his ongoing commissions for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, for his special issue Royal Mail stamps, and for commissions for companies including Mercedes, Land Rover and Lloyds Bank. He has been working with the RNLI now for almost a decade. In 2010 Nigel was awarded an RNLI Supporter Award for his continued support.

RNLI media contacts
For more information, please contact Laura Fennimore, RNLI Public Relations Officer, on 01202 663181 / Laura_Fennimore@rnli.org.uk or RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789.

Apr 13
Byline: Eastbourne Mayor, Councillor Mike Thompson presented senior crewman Paul Rogers with a specially struck badge and letter of appreciation from Paul Bossier, chief executive of the RNLI, to acknowledge 20 years loyal service with Eastbourne lifeboats.
Page Content: Paul volunteered to join the crew of Eastbourne inshore lifeboat at Fisherman’s Green when he was just 17 as a shore helper. Since then he has received extensive training and taken part in countless rescues at sea and is now Deputy Second Coxswain and mechanic aboard the all-weather lifeboat and helmsman aboard the inshore lifeboat. His experience and training has enabled him to become an Offshore Yachtmaster and Power Boat instructor, he has also received specialist training in swift water rescue techniques and is a member of the RNLI flood rescue team. Not content with his seafaring qualifications, and being a keen distance runner, he is currently studying on the UK Athletic Coaching course.

Paul is fortunate that his wife Dawn is fully aware of the dedication and commitment required of a volunteer crewman aboard a busy lifeboat in that she too was once a member of crew aboard Eastbourne’s inshore lifeboat. Their early courtship was in fact set in the romantic setting of a damp lifeboat station dressed in dry suits. Despite that they now have two delightful children Sydney 13, and Charlie 10.

With all his voluntary commitments it’s hard to believe Paul still has time to run his own successful plumbing business, PR Plumbing. If he’s not saving lives at sea or running along the South Downs he can probably be found replacing a faulty boiler or mending a leaky tap somewhere!

Picture shows Paul with his family and fellow lifeboat crew receiving his award from Councillor Mike Thompson.