Lifesaving Hartlepool RNLI volunteers rescue scores of people off the coast: You can help raise cash to keep up the good work

Hartlepool's RNLI volunteers have rescued dozens of people and save one life in the last year, new figures have revealed.

Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 12:17 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st May 2019, 12:20 pm
Hartlepool all weather lifeboat and volunteer crew pictured at sea. Picture: RNLI/Tom Collins.

As the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) announces its 2018 annual rescue figures, the charity is calling on the people of Hartlepool and East Durham to support their volunteer lifeboat crews as Mayday, the charity’s national annual fundraising campaign, is launched.

In the last year volunteer crews from Hartlepool launched 50 times, rescuing 62 people in trouble in the water and saving one life – rescues which are only possible because of the donations made to the charity by supporters.

RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews across the UK and Ireland launched 8,964 times in 2018, rescuing 9,412 people – an increase of 17% on 2017.

Launching today and running for the whole of the month, the RNLI’s Mayday campaign asks people to ‘do their bit, fund our kit’ with the lifesaving charity hoping to raise £700,000 to fund the crucial kit volunteer crews rely on, like lifejackets, helmets and the RNLI’s iconic yellow wellies.

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Hartlepool RNLI Lifeboats Operations Manager Chris Hornsey says: "Hartlepool RNLI volunteer crew members drop everything when the pagers go off, and RNLI lifeboat crew kit gives each volunteer the confidence to face all weathers and sea conditions to help those in trouble at sea.

"The right kit really is vital in helping to make sure they return home safely to their families from every launch.

"In 2018, RNLI Hartlepool crews launched 50 times, rescued 62 people and saved one life. The RNLI’s Mayday fundraiser is our own call for help, and we’re asking people to ‘do their bit to fund our kit’ throughout May.

"There are all sorts of ways to fundraise for the RNLI’s Mayday. From wearing wellies to work or doing a sponsored welly walk, to holding a bake sale or doing a sponsored cycle ride. Anyone can register for a free fundraising pack by visitingRNLI.org/Mayday."

With 4,900 volunteer lifeboat crew members providing a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts, money raised through Mayday will help kit out RNLI crews so they’re ready to face the harshest conditions at sea.

It costs £2,161 to provide one all-weather lifeboat crew member with all the kit they need when responding to the call for help.

Anyone who wants to get involved should visit RNLI.org/Mayday to register for a free Mayday pack. The pack provides a host of fundraising ideas, such as encouraging friends and colleagues to plan a wear-yellow fundraiser, getting sponsored to run, walk or cycle, cooking up some yellow-themed bakes to sell or even getting together to lift the weight of a 32-tonne Tamar 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 welly pin badge.