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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Fundraisers needed to help keep RNLI service afloat

THE RNLI needs fundraising volunteers to help it continue its life-saving work.

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saving lives: Dick Beddows in the St Bees RNLI rescue craft

By Lucy Grosvenor

Whitehaven’s fundraising branch has been around longer than RNLI’s lifeboat station at St Bees and it needs new volunteers to keep the service afloat.

The Whitehaven News met some of the crew at St Bees to find out where the money raised by volunteers goes.

Dick Beddows has been the station manager for 12 years.

He said: “We are a charity so we rely on fundraising, every member has to be fully trained to be allowed out at sea and that obviously costs.”

The crew tends to be called out more in the spring and summer, when the weather is finer and more people want to be nearer the sea.

Mr Beddows said: “It’s the tragic call-outs that stick with you the longest, but that’s always the case.

“Our job is to save lives and only last week we launched the boat to find a walker who should have returned home at 4pm but didn’t.

“The tide had turned and his friends were concerned about him.

“We were just launching the boat into the sea when he walked up the beach. That was a happier tale but we can never be too careful.”

All of the volunteers have other paying jobs and are prepared to put their work for the RNLI first.

“Being part of the lifeboat station is a way of life, when you hear the beep, you just drop everything and go,” said Mr Beddows.

He was also keen to highlight the good work that goes on at the Whitehaven fundraising branch.

He said: “We are saving lives at sea and we couldn’t do this without the continued effort and fantastic support from the volunteers at Whitehaven.”

To get involved with the Whitehaven fundraisers apply online at rnli.org.uk/volroles or call 0300 300 9902 for more information.

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