Byline: The crew at Rhyl lifeboat station thought they would give their backing to a national campaign over the Bank Holiday period.
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The crew are shown starting the Bank Holiday weekend off with their own twist on the “Welly” theme, and to show off the iconic Dragon bridge in the newly refurbished Rhyl Harbour. The bridge was bathed in yellow lights by the Harbour Master for the occasion.
Martin Jones, the coxswain of Rhyl lifeboat says ” We are very excited to be supporting the RNLI’s national campaign, and we have been going round various venues in the town to persuade owners to display the boxes with the iconic Yellow welly pin badges”

• In 2015 Mayday will become the RNLI’s national fundraising event. The campaign will launch on Friday 1 May, with activity running across the May Day bank holiday weekend (1–4 May 2015).

• The income target for 2015 is over £500,000 – mainly raised through street collections and other fundraising events.

• The money raised through Mayday will be used to help fund the RNLI’s lifesaving service – it could, for example, help fund crew training, buy replacement kit for the crew, or contribute towards the running costs of lifeboat stations.


Byline: A Donegal woman who lost her father in a fishing tragedy when she was just six weeks old is lending her support to Mayday, the RNLI’s national fundraising campaign which runs from 1-4 May.
Page Content: Almost 28 years on from the tragedy, Eimear McDaid recently met with Anthony Chambers, a volunteer lifeboat crew member from Portrush in county Antrim, who can remember the day when he joined in the search for two missing fishermen from a crew of five, off the coast of Donegal.

It was on the 20 September 1987, that 27-year-old David McDaid from Glengad in Malin said goodbye to wife Sally and baby daughter Eimear and went fishing for crab on the Boy Shaun, from Portleen Pier, on what was an idyllic day for fishing. The weather was mild and the water was calm as the boat headed for Inishtrahull Island just off the coast of Malin Head.

Around lunchtime, another boat which had been in recent contact with the Boy Shaun, noticed that the vessel was no longer in view.

Eimear takes up the story: ‘From what I have learned, the skipper then attempted to contact the Boy Shaun by radio but got no response. Fearing the worst, he steamed off in the direction of where they had last seen the boat and discovered a small amount of debris and oil slick on the water where they had last seen the Boy Shaun. They had just a short time earlier spoke to the crew of the boat about them both heading back to land to get home in time to watch the All-Ireland GAA football final.’

The skipper immediately raised the alarm. The area of the oil slick was searched and one survivor was discovered clinging to a short plank of wood from the stricken vessel. Two bodies, one of which was David’s, were subsequently found.

Portrush RNLI was requested to launch and began a search with their colleagues from the Coast Guard, and fishermen and volunteers who were in the area, for the two men who were still missing. Sadly however, it was not until a few months later that their bodies were found on the coast of Scotland.

‘None of the five fishermen were wearing lifejackets that day,’ Eimear continued, ‘I was told the crew would have found them to be too cumbersome to work with. Thankfully, lifejackets have much improved since then, and they are now neater and easier to wear.

‘It was a tragedy that changed the course of life for my mother and me.  I have grown up without a father and without answers as to what caused the boat to sink on what was described as such an idyllic fishing day. As a result of the tragedy however, we both have a healthy respect for the sea. It is a powerful force and one not to be reckoned with.
‘Four very experienced fishermen paid the ultimate price 28 years ago. We can only hope by sharing our story that we can encourage others to respect the water too, to wear lifejackets and to support those who work to help save lives at sea.’

Anthony Chambers, Portrush RNLI mechanic can recall the tragedy: ‘It was a Sunday and what I can remember vividly is that the water was very calm. We responded to the call as we still do by rushing to the station and preparing ourselves within minutes for the lifeboat to launch. Once on scene we searched with many others for the two remaining fishermen but unfortunately we couldn’t bring them home. It was a terrible tragedy for the families involved.

‘In the 28 years that have passed, our lifeboat crews have been on many call outs in all sorts of weathers and have faced many different types of conditions. Thankfully, we have been able to save lives and bring many people to safety and that is always rewarding.  However, it still remains just as difficult for us now as it did then, if we have to return to shore knowing that a family has lost a loved one and this tragedy serves as a poignant reminder of that.’

Eimear and Sally have come together with the RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews to show their support for this year’s RNLI Mayday fundraising campaign.  From Friday 1 May until Monday 4 May, collections and fundraising events will be taking place throughout Ireland. The events will have a welly theme, in a nod to the yellow wellies – an essential piece of kit – worn by the RNLI’s volunteer crew members. The charity is encouraging people to show their support by donating, buying and wearing a yellow welly pin badge or by using the hashtag #YellowWelly on social media.

‘My mother and I are supporting the RNLI Mayday campaign because we know first-hand the importance of having a dedicated lifeboat service.  My father wasn’t saved that day, but thousands of other fathers, men and women have been brought home safe through their bravery. Each person they have brought back is a family member brought home.’

The yellow welly was chosen for the Mayday campaign as it is an essential piece of RNLI crew kit. Waterproof with steel-capped toes, the specially designed boots keep the volunteer crew’s feet warm and dry while also protecting them in dangerous conditions on deck. During gale force winds, rain and ice, keeping a sure footing can mean the difference between life and death for the volunteers.

Lifeboat crews are on call every day, all year round. Many have full-time jobs and carry a pager with them at all times to alert them to a lifeboat call out.
Last year, RNLI lifeboat crews from Ireland’s 45 lifeboat stations launched 1,089 times, rescuing 1,414 people.

To donate and for ideas on how to get involved with Mayday visit www.rnli.org/MAYDAY.

You can also text RNLIMAYDAY to 50300 to donate €4 if you are in the Republic of Ireland.*


Notes to Editor
Media Interviews can be arranged on request.

*Please ask permission from the bill payer. 100% of your donation goes to the RNLI across most network operators. Some operators apply VAT, which means a minimum of €3.25 will go to the RNLI. Service provider: LIKECHARITY. Helpline: 0766805278.

Photo Details
Pictured ahead of Mayday, the RNLI’s national fundraising campaign in Ireland are volunteer lifeboat crew members Perry Walton, Tim Nelson, Desmond Austin, Anthony Chambers, Keith Gilmore and Jason Chambers from Portrush RNLI.

Sally and Eimear McDaid from Donegal pictured with Portrush RNLI mechanic Anthony Chambers.

Sally and Eimear McDaid from Donegal pictured with volunteer lifeboat crew members Perry Walton, Tim Nelson, Desmond Austin, Anthony Chambers, Keith Gilmore and Jason Chambers from Portrush RNLI ahead of Mayday, the RNLI’s national fundraising campaign (1-4 May).

RNLI Media Contacts
For more information please contact Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 087 6483547 Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Tel: 087 1254 124 / 01 8900 460 email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org


Byline: The volunteer crew of the All-weather Mersey lifeboat “Lil Cunningham” were paged at 5.23pm on the 25th April 2015 to assist a 24-feet leisure fishing vessel with engine failure, just off the entrance to Rhyl harbour, with two crew on board.
Page Content: The fishing vessel had been approaching the entrance to the harbour at the end of a day’s fishing, when the engine stopped and could not be restarted. The two men on board put the anchor down and called Holyhead Coastguard, who paged the Rhyl crew. The lifeboat was launched within ten minutes and was alongside the vessel seven minutes later. A tow line was passed, and the men on the casualty vessel raised the anchor. The tow was undertaken to the outer pontoons in Rhyl harbour, and the casualty vessel was made secure. The lifeboat then returned to station, being ready for service at 7pm.


Byline: Next week five amateur British swimmers will head to San Francisco to attempt to become the first non-American relay team to successfully swim 30 perilous miles from the Farallon Islands to the Golden Gate Bridge in aid of the RNLI.
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Ali Wilde, John Gunn, Ed Morgan, Simon Clarke and Mary Stokes – who are from Sussex, Surrey and Argentina –  will be taking on a swim that has been described as ‘like the English Channel, but colder, rougher and with sharks’.

It has only been completed a handful of times, and is considered one of the most challenging cold water marathon swims on earth.

The Farallon Islands are a rocky outpost off mainland San Francisco, having previously been used as a nuclear dumping site in the 1950s and 1960s. They sit in the heart of the Red Triangle – a notorious hunting ground for Great White Sharks that is responsible for 11% of global shark attacks.

Water temperatures will be between 8 and 10C and they may face swells of up to five metres high.  Their attempt has to follow a set of strict regulations in order to qualify as an official Farallon Island swim.  They are not allowed to wear wetsuits, for example, and each swimmer must take their turn in the relay in the same order all the way through, swimming for an hour each time. No-one can drop out during the swim.

A very real risk of hypothermia, constant fear of shark attack and extreme sleep deprivation make up the physical and mental challenges necessary to overcome in a swim that should take between twenty and thirty hours to complete. They will be accompanied by a support crew of three on a boat, where they will also eat and try to sleep between swims.

Achieving a British record is only part of what’s driving the Great British Farallon Swim team. They’re also raising funds and awareness for the RNLI.

Ali said: “We were all looking for a challenge – and we wanted to raise money for the RNLI.

“While we’ve been training, we’ve found out first hand just how cold water can affect you – how debilitating it is. So it is incredibly appropriate for us to do it for the RNLI. We’re an island nation – surrounded by water – everyone should be aware of the dangers of the sea and what to do if you get into trouble

“We came to the RNLI College in Poole and did some training in theSea Survival Centre in order to practice swimming in rough water – it was an amazing experience and really changed our perspective. We were swimming in two-and-a-half metre swell. It hits you straight in the face – the first time it happened, I completely panicked, it’s very hard to breathe regularly because it’s so choppy and messy, but you have to calm yourself down”.

Ali and his team are flying out to America on May 2 and will be hoping to attempt their swim challenge on one of three dates – May 7,8 or 9 – depending on the weather and sea conditions.

Asked about the fact there are sharks in the water, Ali says: “I’m just trying not to think about it. It will be a pretty scary place to be but apparently there are fewer sharks around in May.”

British explorer Levison Wood, from Channel 4’s Walking the Nile, said: “The GB Fallaron swim is set to be an epic test of endurance and a real challenge for the team in the very best spirit of British adventure. And for such a worthwhile cause”

The team are being supported by swimwear company Swimzi.

Notes to Editors

To find out more about the swim or to make a donation, please visit:


For press enquiries contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789/ pressoffice@rnli.org.uk

To contact the team, please email:


Byline: A solo kayaker aims to raise thousands of pounds for the RNLI by paddling 2015 miles round all the charity’s Scottish lifeboat stations.
Page Content: Nick Ray, 51, will leave on 1 May and take between three and four months to kayak to the RNLI’s 47 lifeboat stations.

Nick, who has been living on a yacht in the marina on the Isle of Kerrera, just off Oban, will start at Kippford on the Solway Firth and travel clockwise before finishing in Eyemouth close to the border.

His trip is inspired by the account by Brian Wilson of his solo sea kayak journey around Scotland in the 1980s.

Nick says, ‘Ever since then I have wanted to emulate his adventure and I have held onto the dream of kayaking around Scotland too. The idea for this particular trip came to fruition when I reach Nicholas Leach’s excellent book The Lifeboat Service in Scotland – Station by Station.

‘It suddenly occurred to me that it would be an amazing challenge to visit each of the 47 active RNLI lifeboat stations detailed in his book in one continuous sea kayak journey and, in doing so, fulfil my ambition of a circumnavigation of the Scottish coastline.’

Nick’s varied career includes a spell as an instructor at Outward Bound Wales in Aberdovey. Many of his colleagues were on the lifeboat crew and Nick helped with the launching and retrieving of the then Atlantic lifeboat.

Nick, a kayaker since 1986, will be camping during his journey and he hopes to raise up to £5,000 for the RNLI.

Nick says, ‘I won’t be putting in huge distances a day – I don’t want to put myself under time pressures which would run the risk of me making marginal decisions.

‘I am fascinated by the connection coastal communities have with the sea and I want to understand more about the volunteer service, its ethos and what motivates the volunteers to join the lifeboat. It is demanding, they are on call 24/7, 365 days a year, and it can be challenging with difficult rescues.

‘There is also the possibility of physical danger, the emotion during a rescue, and yet they always demonstrate such professionalism.’

His Explorer expedition sea kayak has been donated by Sea-Kayaking-Scotland. Nick has called his adventure 2015 in 2015.

Picture Caption: Nick Ray is pictured at Oban with Oban crew members, from left, James Hardie, Gavin Turner and John Hill. Pic RNLI/Richard Smith

Notes to Editor: You can follow Nick’s progress by reading his blog http://2015in2015journey.blogspot.co.uk

To track the progress of his kayak go to: yb.tl/lifeafloat

For donations: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/2015in2015

RNLI media contacts:
Richard Smith, RNLI Public Relations Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07786 668903, richard_smith2@rnli.org.uk

Henry Weaver, RNLI Press Officer for Scotland, 01738 642986, 07771 943026, henry_weaver@rnli.org.uk


Byline: The Lifeboat Operations manager at Rhyl, Darrel Crowther, was recently invited to the annual dinner of the R.A.O.B. in Eccles, Manchester, to receive a framed picture and a cheque raised by the Buffaloes in memory of a departed brother.
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Darrel attended the function at the invite of Brother John Richardson of the Eccles Provincial Lodge, to receive a cheque for £2650 from the lodge, towards the upkeep of the lifeboat station at Rhyl. He was also presented with a framed montage of RNLI pictures, donated to the station in memory of Bro. Malcolm Edwards.

Mr. Richardson says “Malcolm was a member of the R.A.O.B. During his time in the R.A.O.B he was very good at helping with organising, and donating to, our charities. He was in the order for 2 years and in that time he worked very hard with us. He would do anything for anybody, nothing was too much trouble, and he gave up a lot of his spare time to help with our charities. This is the reason we made the presentation in honour of of such a worthy brother and a great member of our organisation. For this we will always remember Brother Malcolm Edwards.
I presented the picture to the R.N.L.I. in memory of Malcolm so that he will be remembered for all the work he did for others and for the organisation of R.A.O.B.
The cash was raised by myself with the help of the secretary Brother Jim Whitehead and the members of the lodge over three charity events”.  The picture will be placed in the lifeboat station’s committe room.

Darrel gave a short talk on the RNLI and Rhyl station in particular, stating the crew are valued members of the community, and enjoy giving something back to the town of Rhyl. The money will be used to maintain the station and pay towards the costs of keeping the lifeboats at Rhyl fuelled and ready for service. As a Thank-you in return,  Darrel presented the lodge with a framed picture of the All-Weather Mersey class lifeboat “Lil Cunningham”.

The attached pictures were taken at the event by one of the lodge members, and are given with permission to publish free of charge.


Byline: A host of celebrities have donned yellow wellington boots for a photoshoot in support of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) as the charity launches its national fundraising campaign, Mayday.
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Entrepreneur and Virgin Founder Sir Richard Branson, television and radio presenter Dermot O’Leary, five-time Olympic rowing gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave, the most successful sailor in Olympic history Sir Ben Ainslie, radio presenters Lisa Snowdon and Dave Berry, and TV presenter and author Fern Britton have all taken part.

The photos, shot by RNLI volunteer crew member and professional photographer Nigel Millard, capture the celebrities from the worlds of business, sport and entertainment, giving it some welly for the RNLI’s Mayday fundraising campaign, which runs from 1–4 May. The brightly-coloured boots are a nod to the yellow wellies – an essential piece of kit – worn by the charity’s volunteer lifeboat crew members.

Virgin Founder Sir Richard Branson has long been a supporter of the RNLI, and says:

‘I’m wearing yellow wellies to show my support for the RNLI. I have a huge amount of respect for their volunteer lifeboat crews. Whatever the weather, they’re prepared to head out to sea and put their own lives in danger to save others. If you can, please donate to the RNLI this Mayday.’

BBC Radio 2 host Dermot O’Leary praised RNLI crew members and asked the public to support their lifesaving work, saying:

‘RNLI lifeboat crews are an outstanding group of people. They’re on-call 24/7, whatever the weather, to go to the rescue of anyone in danger at sea. The fact that they are volunteers, all specially-trained to carry out that rescue service, is really incredible. They also provide an absolutely sterling service on the River Thames. So given everything they do to keep us safe, I’m proud to put on a pair of yellow wellies to show my support for the charity’s Mayday campaign. If you can, please donate to the RNLI this May Day.’

RNLI volunteers have responded to the Mayday calls of those in distress for more than 190 years. In 2014 alone, the charity’s lifeboat crews launched the lifeboats 8,462 times, rescuing 8,727 people. That’s an average of 24 people every day.

This May Day, the RNLI is issuing its own call for help, appealing for the public to support its national fundraising campaign. All the money raised will help the RNLI’s volunteers to continue to save lives at sea.

TV presenter and author Fern Britton talks of her passion for the RNLI:

‘I love the RNLI. I spend a lot of time near the coast and I’m always in awe of the sheer bravery of these wonderful people, who volunteer their time to save others. That’s why I’m wearing yellow wellies – to show my support for volunteers of this super charity. If you can, please do make a donation to the RNLI this Mayday. You never know when you might need them!’

Funds raised could go towards training and kitting out the charity’s 4,600 crew members and maintaining the charity’s 237 lifeboat stations. Fundraising kicks off with street collections in London on 28 April and, following that, collections and fundraising events are taking place throughout the UK and Ireland across the May Day bank holiday weekend. People are encouraged to show support by making a donation, buying and wearing a yellow welly pin badge and by taking to social media using the hashtag #YellowWelly.

To donate, to find out what is going on in your area, and for more ideas on how to get involved, visit RNLI.org/Mayday.

Media contacts
For more information, please contact Sarah Mehigan (Sarah.Mehigan@freshwater-uk.com) or Sarah Bartlett (Sarah.Bartlett@freshwater-uk.com) on 020 7067 1595.

Notes to Editors
Photos are attached showing the celebrities wearing yellow wellies in support of the RNLI Mayday campaign. Credit RNLI/Nigel Millard (except Richard Branson image, which should be credited Virgin).

High res versions of the images are available from the contacts above.

Quotes from each of the celebrities are in the attached document.


About Nigel Millard
Nigel Millard is a leading UK maritime and advertising photographer and a volunteer RNLI 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 for almost a decade. In 2010, Nigel was awarded an RNLI Supporter Award for his continued support. See www.nigelmillard.co.uk.


Byline: Bethan Corlett, a 27-year-old digital advertising account manager, will be running the London Marathon for the RNLI on 26 April becoming the third generation in her family to be connected with the charity.
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Bethan explained her strong family links to the Ramsey Lifeboat Station on the Isle of Man: ‘My grandfather Rev Dr Ewan Corlett, a naval architect, was Chairman of the Ramsey Lifeboat committee and then went on to be President. My grandmother was the Chairwoman of the Ramsey Ladies Lifeboat Guild, and my aunt is currently a member of that committee too. My father has also been involved in several projects building new lifeboat houses for the RNLI.’

As a keen rower and a former American Red Cross Lifeguard, Bethan feels very strongly about water safety and is passionate about raising money to support the life-saving work of the RNLI.

Commenting on her training so far, Bethan said: ‘I’m very new to running, when I started training properly the furthest I’d run was less than four miles! I am absolutely loving the training now. Running my first 10k was really motivational, showing myself I could really do this, and I ran a half-marathon just after Christmas which has really spurred me on. I have really loved getting the training in as part of my routine, plugging into my running playlist and hitting the road.

‘Now I’ve completed my 20 mile long training run I feel ready for the big day!’

To sponsor Bethan please visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/BethanCorlett  

Notes to editors:
Photo Caption – Bethan in training on a visit to the RNLI Kirkcudbright Lifeboat Station in Scotland

RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Ruth Bessant, RNLI Public Relations Officer on 01202 336789 or email ruth_bessant@rnli.org.uk

RNLI online
For more information on the RNLI please visit www.rnli.org.uk. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre www.rnli.org.uk/press


Byline: A naval architect and a doctor from Southampton are attempting their first marathon together to raise support for the RNLI in memory of a loved one who passed away in a boating accident.
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Nick Burton and Mairi Reynolds will be getting married in July but first they have to endure 26 miles of pushing their physical and mental limits to the extreme.

Nick explained what motivated them to run for the RNLI, he said: ‘Having grown up in Guernsey and been involved in sailing and boating from a young age, I have been surrounded by friends and family who feel protected by the great service that the RNLI provides.

‘My father passed away in a boating accident, and I want to raise money for the RNLI to help them to prevent as many boating accidents as possible in the future. Further to this, I have pursued a career in the marine industry, and so for me, raising the profile of the RNLI and the really important work they do is really rewarding.’

Training together has been challenging to fit in around their day jobs but they’ve previously run a number of half marathons and have even managed to find the time to recently complete a training run of 20 miles.

Nick added: ‘Mairi is an A&E doctor working long hours, so training can be challenging to fit in, but it gives us a good opportunity to spend time catching up with each other whilst we run which makes the miles go much faster!’

To sponsor Nick and Mairi visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/mairiandnick

Notes to editors:
Photo Caption – Nick Burton and Mairi Reynolds in training

RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Ruth Bessant, RNLI Public Relations Officer, on 01202 336789 or email ruth_bessant@rnli.org.uk

RNLI online
For more information on the RNLI please visit www.rnli.org.uk. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre www.rnli.org.uk/press