Byline: Round Britain sailor promotes fishing and sea safety for RNLI
Paul Churchley (48) is a man on a mission for the RNLI. He’s planning to circumnavigate Britain in a small motorboat, promoting sea and fishing safety while raising funds for the charity that saves lives at sea. He will also act as a voluntary ambassador for the RNLI’s new and unique MOB Guardian man overboard and vessel locater alert system.
Self-employed Paul, who lives in Saltash (Cornwall), will set off from Plymouth in May onboard his Suzuki powered 21ft Jeanneau Merry Fisher 625 Stargate. Ahead of him will be a 1700 mile journey, which will take him clockwise around Britain stopping at 20 ports along the way. He says it’ll be an adventure, but also a huge challenge:
‘I wanted a personal challenge and I’ve certainly got one! A small boat like mine is affected by weather and sea considerably more than larger vessels. Not only that, but I’m doing the entire trip on my own, promoting the RNLI in each port, planning the next leg at each stopover and making notes for a book I plan to write, which I hope will be the definitive guide to others planning a similar trip.’
Paul moved to Cornwall two years ago with a view to doing more sailing. He joined his local sailing club, developed a taste for motor boating and seized on the idea of going round Britain. His early planning led him to a meeting with the RNLI’s sea safety representative who took Paul through one of the charity’s SEA checks and cemented his determination to use the trip to raise funds:
‘I wanted to make the trip something more than a sea based challenge and felt it was an opportunity to support the work of the RNLI. So I’m hoping to raise as much money as possible for the charity’s Train one, save many campaign, which aims to secure funds for the training of the volunteer lifeboat crews. As a seafarer it is a huge comfort to know that the lifeboats are there if the worst should happen. This is my way of saying thank you.’
Sean Friday, RNLI Fishing Safety Coordinator, adds:
‘Wherever he docks, Paul is welcoming fishermen onboard his vessel to look at a working MOB Guardian unit in situ. He’s offered to do this as he recognises the major contribution it offers to fishing safety.
‘We really appreciate Paul’s help as we’re trying to talk to as many fishermen as we can about the safety system, as quickly as possible, as grants available to help with unit costs, are running out soon. We’d like to wish Paul the best of luck with his trip and with spreading the fishing and sea safety messages.’
Paul is no stranger to adventure. A commercial flying pilot and instructor, he flew across America for six weeks, and he’s also ridden a scooter from London to John O’Groats and back. If the weather is kind, he hopes to complete his challenge in around 60 days and backing him up will be title sponsor, Suzuki and from home will be his wife, Sally Buswell.
Notes to editors
You, or a representative, are invited to meet Paul onboard his boat at Plymouth RNLI Lifeboat Station at 11am on Monday 28 April, at the start of his Round Britain Challenge launch. Please meet at the lifeboat station from where you will be taken to the lifeboat pontoons. To register you intention to attend, please call Julia on the number listed below.
1. For full information on Paul’s challenge, and to view his Round Britain itinerary, please visit his website at www.roundbritain.org.uk
2. The new MOB Guardian system, which has been developed by the RNLI for fishermen, gives an early alert to an emergency, helps reduce search time and provides the rescuers with an up to date position for the vessel or man overboard. It means search and rescue agencies including RNLI volunteer crews on lifeboats don’t have to start a search with little or no information about the location of the casualty. If a single-handed fisherman falls over the side of their vessel the system will automatically alert Search and Rescue agencies and can also shut down the boats engine remotely. The fisherman wears a fob incorporating a panic button, so should a crewman become ill or caught in machinery, he can easily request help. It is confidential so location information about a particular vessel is not available publicly. For more information visit www.mobguardian.com
3. Current grant funding for the system is as follows:
RNLI: 35% of installed price ongoing
MFA England: 40% of installed price orders placed up to 30-09-0
SEERAD Scotland: 40% of installed price orders placed up to 30-06-08
DARD N. Ireland: 40% of installed price orders placed up to 31-12- 08
Sunderland Marine: 25% of installed price to policy holders on application
Scottish Boat Owners: 25% of installed price to policy holders on application
*All financial help is off the capital cost of a MOB Guardian unit excluding vat
Funding may be available within Jersey, Guernsey and The Isle of Man – fishermen should contact their local associations or call MOB Guardian help desk on 01202 663142. Fishermen may be eligible for several grants.
- The RNLI runs a free and confidential service called SEA Check, which involves an RNLI volunteer visiting a boat to provide useful guidance and advice about all safety matters. To find out more visit www.rnli.org.uk/seasafety
- As a registered charity, the RNLI relies on voluntary contributions and legacies to ensure its volunteer crews have the very best lifeboats, equipment and training to help them save lives at sea.
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Julia Sylvester, RNLI Public Relations Officer, on 01202 663184 or 01202 336789.
The RNLI online