Dover RNLI & Calais SNSM maintain strong links
Last Saturday (May 19) Dover Coxswain James Clapham and six members of the volunteer crew were invited to Calais by our French counterparts The Société Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer (SNSM), to be part of the Maritime Festival situated in the heart of the commercial port, at the Carnot basin.
Whilst still on active duty, the Dover RNLI team travelled to support the SNSM in their display with a helicopter from French Navy 35F (Aéronavale) based in Le Touquet airport.
The French crew have an all-weather Lifeboat SNS077 called the Notre Dame du Risban, with measurements of 1,760m, 25 metric tons. At the helm is Coxswain Alain Leuliet, aided by twenty volunteer crew members.
The Calais SNSM president Bernard Barron said: 'It was a pleasure to see our friends from Dover again, as share the same goal and are both committed to looking after those who need our help in the Channel.'
The Maritime festival hosted a varied fleet of large, historical replica sailboats, old work boats, and classic sailboats. There were several historical replicas: a Spanish galleon (50 m long), an 18th century Russian frigate and a 19th century schooner. Supported by associations from the entire regional coastline, with demonstrations of naval modelling, seamanship, shipbuilding, and fish smoking; in addition to regional writers and historians, painters, water colourists and photographers inspired by the maritime world.
Dover Coxswain James Clapham said: 'It was a privilege to be invited to Calais by our friends at the SNSM. There have been occasions in the past where we have carried out joint rescues with our French counterparts, or had to communicate across the channel, so these type of events are crucial for building links and talking about how we can work more closely together to save lives at sea.’
RNLI Media contacts
Ann-Marie Harrop Dover RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Ann-Marie_Harrop@rnli.org.uk
Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East), 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 email@example.com
For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789
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 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.
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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland