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Dover Castle goes yellow for RNLI's Mayday 2018 campaign launch

Lifeboats News Release

On the evening of Monday 30 April 2018, Dover Castle will be a brightly-lit yellow beacon above the historic town.


The unusual illumination highlights the launch of the RNLI’s annual Mayday fundraising campaign. Fundraising activity will take place all through the month with the south east’s ‘welly relay’ arriving in the town on 19 May.

This year, the RNLI hopes to raise £750,000 through Mayday, which will be used to fund essential kit for the charity’s selfless volunteer lifeboat crews.

James Clapham, coxswain of the Dover all-weather lifeboat says, ‘We are delighted that Dover Castle and English Heritage are lending their support to our campaign this by lighting up to match our iconic yellow wellies and kit. Helping to raise awareness and funds for the RNLI’s kit is vital to the work we do: in this winter’s bad weather, it would have made launching very tough for the crew without effective protection from the elements.

'We’re ready to go to sea at a moment’s notice every hour of every day, and the fundraising and great support we receive from the local community makes it possible for us to continue saving lives.'

Money raised through Mayday will help RNLI lifeboat crews to face the harshest conditions at sea with the best kit possible. It currently costs £1,598 to provide one all-weather lifeboat crew member with all of the kit needed when responding to the call for help.

A recently-announced partnership with global brand Helly Hansen will see all-weather lifeboat crews supplied with new kit later this year, providing better endurance levels and greater freedom of movement for the charity’s crew members.

RNLI fundraisers across the country will also be joining Dover Castle in going yellow for Mayday. Anyone who wishes to get involved can visit to register for a free Mayday fundraising pack or donate to the campaign online. You can also show support on social media, joining the conversation using the hashtag #MaydayEveryDay, or buy a yellow crew member pin badge.

Notes to editors

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact Julie Rainey, RNLI South East Media Engagement Manager on 07827 358256. Alternatively, call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789 or email

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland