April 25, 2018
Berthon MD Brian May took to the skies last week with his 21 year-old daughter willingly in tow to raise money along with a team of predominantly New Forest yachties led by the fearless RNLI Fordingbridge & Ringwood Branch Chairman Bridget Glasgow by skydiving from 14,500 feet. Funds raised so far are a few whiskers off achieving our £25k target which is vital for helping the RNLI save lives at sea and is specifically focussed on funding crew kit to ensure they have the right personal equipment to keep them safe when doing so. Our 2½ mile skydive is raising funds specially for our volunteer crews at the seven lifeboat stations in the Solent area – Lymington, Yarmouth, Cowes, Calshot, Bembridge, Portsmouth and Hayling Island.
The Solent is one of the busiest stretches of water in the UK with a vast array of activity from passenger ferries to the Isle of Wight, naval ships, international freight liners and some of the largest cruise liners in the world. As well as this, the Solent is known as a recreational playground with thousands of people yachting, sailing, kayaking and enjoying water sports of all type. The vast array of activity and a large number of people means that our RNLI Solent Lifeboat Stations are some of the busiest in the UK.
Running a lifeboat station requires a substantial investment. Without the best crew training and kit crews would be unable to respond to calls for help without putting their own lives at risk. They face gale force winds, driving rain, rough seas, even snow and ice and find themselves dealing with a wide range of emergency incidents so they deserve to have the best training and protective kit available. In 2016 the Calshot lifeboat spent 1627 hours at sea – an average of over 31 hours per week. The Portsmouth lifeboat was at sea even longer – 1807 hours, nearly 35 hours each week. It costs £1600 to train a crew member each year. Last year the fully trained crews of the RNLI Solent stations helped save 51 lives off the coast of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Above is a short video of Brian & Alice’s 14,800’ tumble at 120mph and then please do click through here if we have inspired you enough to make a donation – RNLI Fordingbridge Skydive
We would like to thank everyone for opening and reading this article along with everyone who has already donated and those Brian and Alice have encouraged to make a donation today.