Byline: A unique, one-of-a kind board game has been commissioned and presented as a gift to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) – the use of which will help raise money to save thousands of lives at sea.
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The game, entitled ‘Sea of Life’, was made by young apprentices from The Camelia Botnar Foundation, a charity that helps disadvantaged young people to learn new skills such as carpentry and metalwork. It will be used as a tombola at RNLI fundraising events, therefore raising vital funds for the lifesaving charity.

The game, measuring 6ft by 3ft and carved from plywood, was presented to Naomi Pickard from the RNLI by Alan Woods, the man behind the idea, at Lymington Lifeboat Station on Wednesday, 23 October.

Alan said: ‘The original idea for the commission came to me when I saw a paper-version of the tombola game being used at an RNLI event last year held on board the Silver Sturgeon, a river cruiser owned by my family’s business, on the River Thames. I liked the idea and wondered whether we could create a more sustainable version that would be re-usable for different fundraising events.

‘The Camelia Botnar Foundation were kind enough to agree to the commission, and I am delighted to present it to the RNLI today.’ 

Alan continued: ‘I don’t think the charity has ever seen anything like this before – it’s certainly a unique way to raise funds and it’s comforting to think that by simply having a go at the game, you can contribute directly to helping those in peril at sea.’

Before arriving at the station, apprentices from The Camelia Botnar Foundation paid a visit to the Berthon Boat Company, where the RNLI’s new class of lifeboat, the Shannon, is currently being built. The Shannon is the first modern all-weather lifeboat to be powered by waterjets instead of propellers, making it faster and more manoeuvrable when reaching casualties. Swanage Lifeboat Station will be one of the stations receiving a Shannon to replace their Mersey-class lifeboat in 2015.  

The Sea of Life game will primarily be used by the RNLI’s fundraising branches at key events across the country in order to raise vital funds for the charity.


RNLI media contacts
For more information, please contact:
• Lauren Hockey, PR Officer, on 01202 336134 or 07884 117369 or by email

Notes to editors

Alan Woods is Chairman of his family owned Silver Fleet river cruisers on the Thames. In 2012, Alan gifted the RNLI the use of the Silver Sturgeon river cruiser for an RNLI event, which is where he first saw us using the ‘Sea of Life’ game.


Byline: Royal National Lifeboat Institution volunteer crew members are featuring in a new YouTube film created to raise awareness of the RNLI and its lifesaving gifts – gifts that provide a vital source of funds for the charity.
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The film highlights the extraordinary work of ordinary people, RNLI lifeboat volunteers who are ready to drop everything 24/7 to answer the call for help.

The film features 41 crew members from seven lifeboat stations, alongside the charity’s lifeguards and RNLI volunteers from a lifeboat station manager to an RNLI shop volunteer. Towards the end of the film the crew prepare for the launch of the lifeboat and put on their kit. The cost of items that they put on, from sea boots to safety helmets, is displayed to drive home the cost of keeping volunteers safe in what can be treacherous sea conditions. The RNLI depends on the generosity of the public in order to continue its lifesaving work and buying its lifesaving gifts is one way that the public can help the charity.

Ben James, RNLI volunteer crew member from Tenby lifeboat station, took part in the filming. He is also an ICT Technician at a local secondary school in his day job. He explains:

‘It was great to get involved in a project like this, helping to show what we do and what we need the donations for. Lots of people really value gifts with meaning rather than something they already have or don’t really need. So an RNLI lifesaving gift is a great way to show that you care about your friends or family and the worthwhile cause that is close their heart.’

The RNLI’s lifesaving gifts and gift cards are available at, with all funds going towards the charity’s lifesaving work. The RNLI uses the money from lifesaving gift purchases where the need is greatest in order to continue saving lives at sea. The recipient of the gift receives a thank-you card or e-card that explains the value of the gift and how it benefits the charity. Free delivery is offered on all lifesaving gifts.

Notes to editors

Crew from the following RNLI lifeboat stations feature in the film: Swanage, Lyme Regis, Blackpool, Chiswick, Fleetwood, Tower and Tenby.

RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact RNLI PR Officers: Pamela Saunders on 01202 336064 / or Julia Sylvester on 01202 336225 /


Byline: Flood rescuers from UK-based charity the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) are today arriving in Bangladesh to deliver essential flood rescue and survival training in one of the world’s most flood-stricken countries.
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Each year around 18 per cent of the country is flooded, killing over 5,000 people and destroying 7 million homes. During severe flooding, up to 75 per cent of Bangladesh can be affected.

The RNLI is running two new programmes in the country, to help Bangladesh prepare for floods and save more lives from drowning. Three members of the charity’s own flood rescue team are delivering the programmes. The first is for 40 members of Bangladesh’s Fire Service and Civil Defence. Over four days, they will learn about swift-water swimming techniques; crossing moving water; using a rescue boat; assessing risks and keeping themselves safe; rescuing others, and taking command of an incident.

The team will then train 25 personnel from other charities operating in Bangladesh, including Save the Children, Voluntary Services Overseas and Plan International. These organisations, which provide important support to local communities, often struggle to carry out their work when flooding occurs. In just two days, they will learn about the dangers of flood water; protecting themselves should they end up in the water; types of rescue boats and how to load them safely; using suitable safety equipment; paddling a boat in flood waters, and what to do in the event of a capsize. This training will give them the skills needed to continue their work in the event of flooding.

One of the RNLI team delivering the training is Martin Blaker-Rowe, who was among three RNLI flood rescue team members awarded a Pride of Britain Award earlier this month for the dramatic rescue of a mother who was swept from her car by raging flood waters last December.

RNLI flood rescue team members are trained in swift-water rescue, to ensure they are prepared to carry out rescues in dangerous and unpredictable floodwaters. They will be passing on some of these skills during the training in Bangladesh.

Steve Wills, the RNLI’s international development manager, says:

‘Flooding is a major issue in Bangladesh, claiming a staggering 5,000 lives there each year and displacing many more people from their homes each time. Flood waters are usually powerful and dangerous – it takes very specialist knowledge and skills to recognise the hazards, stay safe and save others. The training the RNLI is delivering will give the Bangladeshi fire service and other charity personnel the key skills they need to prepare for flooding, and to cope better when it happens.

‘This flood rescue training is part of a bigger programme of work the RNLI has been carrying out in Bangladesh over the past couple of years, to help the country tackle its drowning problem – it currently has one of the highest drowning rates in the world. We’ve helped set up the first ever beach lifesaving service in Bangladesh, and have also delivered specialist maritime search and rescue training to the Bangladesh Coast Guard.’

The flood rescue training is part of a broader package of lifesaving work being delivered in Bangladesh by the RNLI from 29 October to 11 November. While in the country, the trainers will also provide maritime search and rescue training to 25 members of the Bangladesh Coast Guard, teaching them about search planning and management.

Separately, two RNLI lifeguard trainers will re-visit the beach lifesaving club they have helped to set up in the Cox’s Bazar area over the past two years – the first ever fully-established lifesaving club in Bangladesh. This time, the trainers will monitor the Bangladeshi lifeguards running their lifesaving club and training courses, stepping in to offer advice and further training where required. They will spend time instructing the Bangladeshi lifeguards on how to run water safety education programmes in school, and helping them develop the content for those sessions.

The RNLI’s international work aims to help developing lifesaving organisations and reduce the 1.2M drownings that occur around the world each year. The charity is focusing on helping other organisations to help themselves by providing a range of services such as training, supply of equipment, safety education, and guidance on search and rescue and flood resilience.

The charity’s overseas work is funded primarily through overseas sales of consultancy, equipment and training to countries that require those services; and external / government funding where available. In time, the RNLI will begin to fundraise for specific international projects.

Notes to Editors
• A photo of the RNLI flood rescue team (FRT) in training is attached. Please credit RNLI/Robin Goodlad.
• The RNLI FRT was introduced following the RNLI’s involvement with the Mozambique floods of February 2000.
• Since 2000, the RNLI FRT has deployed up to three times a year and been involved in major flooding events including Guyana in 2005, when heavy rain and flooding affected 250,000 people; Cockermouth in Cumbria at the end of 2009, where over 200 people were rescued from the rapid influx of water.

RNLI media contacts
For more information, please contact Laura Fennimore, RNLI Public Relations Officer, on 01202 663181 /


Byline: The Dart D Class lifeboat was tasked to rescue two yachtsmen trapped on their yacht as a storm approached.
Page Content: The Dart D class lifeboat had just launched on exercise when they were tasked by the Coastguard to evacuate two sailors marooned on their 28ft Falmouth work boat, moored above Dittisham on the River Dart. They had gone out to check the yacht in their small inflatable tender with an outboard. By the time they had finished their work the weather conditions had deteriorated and the wind and wave conditions were poor with a severe storm approaching, so they requested help. They were taken on board the lifeboat which then took them in near gale conditions, with their tender, to Dittisham.


Byline: At 4.40am this morning Holyhead inshore lifeboat launched to help recovered a male in his late twenties from the inner harbour in severe hypothermic condition.
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At 4.40am this morning Holyhead inshore lifeboat volunteers recovered a male in his late twenties from the inner harbour in severe hypothermic condition.  A member of the public heard the cries for help from his bed and alerted the rescue services.

On arrival the man was hanging onto a rope and face down near the water.  The volunteer crew lifted him onboard and quickly took him to an awaiting ambulance and Coastguard team. 

RNLI media contact

For further information please contact Holyhead Lifeboat Press Officer, Ray Steadman, on 07867 506939.


Byline: Newhaven lifeboat conducted a search for almost six hours after a boy was washed into the sea during a severe storm.
Page Content: The casualty was pulled into the waves west of the main breakwater at approximately 4:20 pm on 27 October. The lifeboat was assisted by local Coastguard teams on the beaches and Coastguard helicopter Rescue 104.

Newhaven lifeboat battled large waves and a huge backwash from the West Arm in what were extremely tough conditions. Despite a long and comprehensive search, unfortunately the teenager has not been found.

Newhaven Lifeboat Press Officer Alan Novis explained ‘our crew battled some very challenging conditions, doing everything possible with our coastguard colleagues on the beaches and in the air to try locate the missing boy. One crew member suffered bruising during the search and the lifeboat sustained some slight damage by the exceptionally large waves.’

‘This is a very distressing incident; our thoughts are with the family at this incredibly difficult time.’

A decision will be made in the morning by Coastguards as to whether the search will be resumed.

Notes to editors

To follow Newhaven lifeboat services visit, Facebook, Twitter & You Tube for the latest pictures and video.

Newhaven has celebrated over 210 years as a lifeboat station, also being the oldest RNLI station in the UK. Newhaven operates an all-weather Seven Class lifeboat ‘RNLB David and Elizabeth Acland’

RNLI media contacts

• Alan Novis, Newhaven RNLI Station Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer 07916 272861,
• Paul Legendre Newhaven RNLI Station Coxswain 01273 514143,
• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East) 0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 /
• Philly Byrde, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East) 0207 6207425 / 07786 668825 /
• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789


Byline: Tobermory RNLI’s volunteer crew have been commended for their ‘commitment, perseverance and professionalism’ in carrying out a marathon 31 hour rescue mission to a cargo ship aground on the east coast of Mull in the summer.
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The RNLI’s Operations Director, George Rawlinson, singled out the station’s full time Coxswain and Mechanic for particular praise. Tobermory Coxswain Andrew McHaffie is commended for ‘his leadership and co-ordination of resources’ during the rescue operation. Station Mechanic Jock Anderson, who was on board throughout the 31 hour ‘shout’, is praised for ‘his guidance on board the casualty vessel in protecting the crew of both vessels from the dangers of CO2 poisoning’.

The rescue operation – the longest in the station’s history – began early in the morning of 14th June when Tobermory’s Severn class lifeboat, Elizabeth Fairlie Ramsey, was launched shortly after 6am to go to the aid of a 90 metre cargo vessel hard aground two and a half miles south of Tobermory. The volunteer crew assisted the crew of the vessel with pumping operations for much of the day and then stood by awaiting an opportunity to refloat the vessel. That evening the vessel was successfully refloated and was escorted to the shelter of Salen Bay until first light with Tobermory lifeboat standing by.

The following morning, Tobermory lifeboat escorted the cargo ship to Oban and working with Oban RNLI’s lifeboat, the vessel was safely anchored in Oban Bay for further investigations and a damage assessment to take place.

In his letter of commendation, RNLI Operations Director wrote: ‘The crew demonstrated excellent teamwork and perseverance during a long service with several crew changes and I commend the commitment, perseverance and professionalism of all involved.’

Tobermory RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Ian Stevens said: ‘This rescue operation was not only the result of first rate teamwork but also demonstrates the commitment of our volunteers who give up so much of their time to save lives at sea. I’m also pleased that Andrew and Jock’s outstanding commitment has been recognised by the RNLI.’

Notes to editors

The photograph shows Tobermory lifeboat alongside the stricken cargo ship. Please credit RNLI/Sam Jones.

Media contacts

For more information please contact Sam Jones, Tobermory RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07747 601900 or or Richard Smith, RNLI Public Relations Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07786 668903, or Henry Weaver, RNLI Press Officer for Scotland, 01738 642946, 07771 943026, or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789.


Byline: The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has urged people to heed safety warnings ahead of potentially storm-force winds forecast for some regions tonight.
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The charity’s volunteer lifeboat crews are on call 24/7 around the coast of the UK and Ireland, but are hoping they won’t be required to launch.

Colin Williams, RNLI Regional Operations Manager, said: ‘The forecasters have given us plenty of warning so hopefully people will be doing the sensible thing and staying away from the sea tonight. I know many boat owners are busy making their vessels secure and ensuring they are in a safe harbour. We would advise everyone to follow this course of action when severe weather warnings have been issued.

‘The worst of the storm should hit overnight so we are not expecting too many people to be out and about at the coast. However, we would urge anyone by the sea, on cliffs, jetties and any other exposed areas at the coast to be extremely cautious. The sea is always unpredictable but there will be big seas tonight with large waves washing over piers and promenades. These could easily swamp people and wash them out to sea.

‘RNLI lifeboat crews are on standby 24/7 and will respond if they receive a call for help, whatever the weather. However, I’m hoping our pagers will be quiet tonight because people have heeded all the warnings and stayed at home.’

If the storm is followed by flooding, the RNLI Flood Rescue Team will also be on standby to help people at risk in flooded areas.

Further beach and sea safety information can be found by logging on to the RNLI website,

RNLI media contacts
For more information call Alison Levett, RNLI PR Manager on 07786 668912.


Byline: RNLI Angle’s all weather lifeboat was alerted on Thursday night (17 October), following reports of a vessel on fire off Neyland.
Page Content: The Tamar class lifeboat Mark Mason was launched at 10.37pm, with further reports on route that the vessel, a 14 foot dory, was in very shallow water and there was concern that the occupants might be in the sea.

The lifeboat reached the scene in 13 minutes to find the dory was on the beach and Mid and West Wales firefighters were extinguishing the blaze.

The lifeboat’s Y Boat was deployed to identify the vessel, while the lifeboat conducted a search between the nearby moorings. The Y Boat reported that the fire was at the bow, the engine was in the stowed position and there were fresh footprints to and from the vessel.

With this information, the Y Boat was recovered and the lifeboat returned to her station, arriving at 11.36pm.

Note to editors

RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Ted Goddard, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Angle, on 01437 763675 or Danielle Rush, Public Relations Manager (Wales & the West) on 07786668829 or 01745585162 or by email: or RNLI Public Relations on 01202336789


Byline: Eastbourne’s all-weather lifeboat (ALB) was launched early this morning in response to a ‘Pan-Pan’ distress call from a vessel with three people on board two miles off Beachy Head
Page Content: Shortly before 06.00 this morning (25 Oct) Dover Coastguard picked up a Pan-Pan distress call from a 27ft motor-sailor which was on passage from Port Solent to Eastbourne. The initial report indicated that two of the three men aboard had become incapacitated, one had sustained a head wound and one was suffering severe sea sickness in the challenging sea conditions with SW winds gusting to force 7 (35 mph) against an ebbing tide. Soon after the alert was broadcast the Eastbourne RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew were assembled including paramedic Guy Emery and lifeboat medical advisor Dr. Stephen Lytton. On scene shortly thereafter Guy Emery was put aboard the casualty’s vessel to assess the situation. During the transfer the casualty suffering sea sickness took his opportunity to clamber aboard the ALB. Guy deemed the head wound to be of a minor nature but was more concerned about the previously unreported medical condition of the elderly skipper of the vessel. It was decided to transfer both remaining sailors to the ALB to facilitate additional first aid which was becoming increasingly difficult in the treacherous sea conditions. Once again the ALB was manoeuvred alongside the motor-sailor and the transfer was completed leaving experienced yachtsman Guy in command.

All three casualties were treated aboard the ALB by Dr Lytton and the crew whilst they steamed back to Sovereign Harbour to liaise with two waiting ambulances. With all casualties passed into the care of the ambulance service Dr Lytton left the lifeboat to return to his patients at his surgery and Second Coxswain Mark Robinson replaced him aboard the lifeboat. The ALB again put to sea to assist with the recovery of the motor-sailor which by this time Guy had brought to within a mile of harbour. Again the ALB was manoeuvred alongside and Mark transferred aboard to assist Guy with the recovery. Both boats entered Sovereign Harbour shortly after 07.30.