For one day only the Independent Lifeboat Crews of the United Kingdom will be joining forces on Friday 26th February to raise awareness for the Lifeboat stations that operate outside the auspices of the RNLI.
Throughout the UK there are around 60 lifeboat units that are not run by the RNLI and every year their volunteer crews respond to pager callouts in an identical way to the RNLI crews.
Training is to the same high standard and all rescue craft must adhere to the same strict code as the RNLI, there is only one major difference; Unlike the RNLI the Independent units do not have a big head office full of people working on their behalf, the people you see out on the boats and in the watchroom windows are the whole team, not only responding to emergencies at sea and on the shores nearby, they are also responsible for their own fundraising, training and maintenance of equipment. If something breaks it is up to those present to work out how to fix it, unlike the RNLI whom have a big team of mechanics and spares at hand.
The Independent Units within the UK have existed for many years and need support to continue to run at the same high standard at which they have become renowned. Often mistaken as the RNLI the work of these units can go unnoticed, or the public will donate to the RNLI thinking that this money is going towards their local Independent Unit.
Our hope is that by all celebrating being Independent on the same day we can highlight the number of non RNLI units around raising awareness for our causes.
We urge everybody who has an Independent lifeboat unit around them to join in with the day by wearing something orange or holding an “orange” fundraising event and donating the funds raised to their local lifeboat unit.
We will never be as large as the RNLI, but our services in the areas we operate are just as crucial and with rising costs every year it is more important now than ever for our local communities to realise just who we are.
So please for one day only join us as we unite and help raise funds for all these volunteer run lifeboat stations throughout the United Kingdom.
On the Island there are 3 independent lifeboats based at Ryde, Freshwater and Sandown and they all need your help... so please make the 26th feb an Orange day