‘Mayday’ is a call for help and it is a call which many lifeboat crew answer every day. The RNLI launched the 2022 Mayday Mile and asked everyone to answer the call. RNLI Rye Harbour did just that and came up with an interesting way to do it.
They asked the local community and visitors to the Harbour to come together on Bank Holiday Monday 2 May and see how far they could lay £1 coins from the boathouse to the Red Hut. To actually create a mile of £1 coins you would need over 70,000 which is ambitious, but we always aim high at Rye Harbour.
Before the event we began marketing our idea. The first fundraising effort was taken up by the local primary school in Winchelsea, St Thomas’s, which had a ‘mufti’ day and collected £128 which was a fabulous start. Then some local friends gave us generous donations and we advertised the event on Facebook and got some more.
On Monday 2 we all met at the lifeboat station, fundraisers and crew and Stormy Stan too, and the collections began. We knew we were doing well as the buckets got heavier and heavier. Stormy Stan was assisted by some of the younger members of the crew’s families and they proved to be our special ambassadors as no-one could say ‘no’ to them with their winning smiles and enthusiasm.
Our LOM, (Lifeboat Operations Manager) Paul Bolton opened up the boathouse and invited the children to climb aboard the Atlantic 85 where they loved having their photos taken. It is so good to nurture and encourage our future generation of crews. Everyone was in a jolly mood and the buckets got heavier.
Three local firms in the Harbour, Rye Harbour Sea Safaris and boat trips, The Bosun’s Bite and Rastrum, chipped in to help us raise in total over £1000 and there are donations still coming in.
It was a great team effort and there were lots of smiling faces as we counted the day’s takings at 3pm in the boathouse.
It was good to be joining a vibrant community of other Mayday fundraisers. Together we will be giving lifesavers everything they need to keep families safe this summer. The money we raised will help get our lifesavers ready for the next time they’re needed.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.
Learn more about the RNLI
Contacting the RNLI – public enquiries