The RNLI is calling on the public to give it some welly and support Mayday, the charity’s upcoming fundraising campaign. Members of the public are being asked to buy and wear a yellow welly pin badge or keyring or to hold a welly-themed event to raise funds for their local lifeboat.
The yellow welly is an essential piece of the RNLI crew kit. Waterproof with steel-capped toes, the specially designed boots keep the volunteer crew’s feet warm and dry while also protecting them in dangerous conditions on deck. During gale force winds, rain, and ice, keeping a sure footing can mean the difference between life and death for these volunteers. A pair of yellow wellies for a volunteer costs €50; supporting the RNLI’s Mayday campaign and buying a yellow welly key-ring or pin badge will cost €2.
From May 1-3 volunteers will be out selling RNLI Mayday keyrings and pin badges on the streets of Athlone and in surrounding towns.
Lifeboat crew members who are on call 24/7, 365 days a year have spent an average of 137 hours at sea over Mayday weekends for the last 10 years. Most have a full-time job, but they carry a pager and, when it goes off, they rush to the lifeboat station and launch the lifeboat to rescue those in danger.
Last year Lough Ree RNLI launched its lifeboat 29 times and brought 64 people to safety.
Supporting Mayday, Jane Walsh, Lough Ree RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew member and helm said: “We are delighted to be associated with the RNLI’s Mayday campaign. I am one of 1,500 volunteer crew members in Ireland, each of us needing crew kit and regular training. We rely on the support and the generosity of the public to ensure the lifeboat crews based around Ireland can continue to save lives on the water.”
For more ideas on how to get involved visit www.rnli.org/MAYDAY People can also show support on social media by sharing fundraising and welly photos and using the hashtag #YellowWelly.