The latest RNLI rescue figures reveal there were 1,100 lifeboat launches at Wales’ 30 lifeboat stations in 2018, with 1,216 people aided between Flint and Penarth. The RNLI is now calling on the people of Wales to support RNLI lifeboat crews across the country as Mayday, the charity’s national annual fundraising campaign, is launched.
Launching on Wednesday 1 May and running for the whole of the month, the RNLI’s Mayday campaign is calling on 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.
The busiest station in Wales was Porthcawl with 112 launches, the volunteer crew also rescued more people than any other station across Wales – 144 people in total and saved 8 lives.
After a busy year for RNLI volunteers throughout Wales, the RNLI is hopeful the public will get behind the campaign and show their support.
Phil Missen MBE, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Porthcawl Lifeboat Station says:
‘RNLI volunteer crew drop everything to save those in trouble at sea when the pagers go off. Our lifeboat crew kit gives us confidence in all weathers and sea conditions and is vital to help make sure we return home safely to our families from every launch.
‘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 raise money for 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 visiting RNLI.org/Mayday.’
In South Wales, there will be a Mayday Fun Family event on Barry Island Promenade on 12 May and a Welly Walk in Penarth on 26 May.
There are so many ways people can do their bit to support Mayday, from schools to gyms and corporates. Teachers and community groups are invited to ‘go yellow’ for Mayday – by either wearing something yellow or lighting up an iconic building.
Gyms across the region are already keen to sign up to the Lift a Lifeboat challenge, where teams choose their favourite lifeboat and lift its equivalent weight during sponsored training sessions. Download information and materials: rnli.org/mayday/materials
Corporates are invited to unleash their entrepreneurial spirit and signing up to the RNLI Mayday Challenge – taking £10 and working as teams to turn it into a greater sum of cash in support of 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 currently 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.