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Trekkers return to Plymouth after walking the length of France for the RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Two intrepid travellers returned to Plymouth after trekking the length of France from Roscoff to San Sebastian in Spain to raise funds for the RNLI.

RNLI/John Baldry

Simon and Natalie Nurding with Plymouth RNLI volunteers at ferry port

Simon and Nat Nurding set off from their doorstep in Plymouth 8 April, catching the ferry across the channel to Roscoff in France. From Roscoff they walked the 555 miles down through France to reach San Sebastian in Spain. The pair who have raised nearly £1,500 for the RNLI, arrived back in Plymouth on the ferry from San Sebastian on 17 May and were met by volunteers from Plymouth RNLI.

Simon said;

‘Natalie and I are always up for a challenge, we love walking and we just wanted to have an adventure and raise some money at the same time. San Sebastian is twinned with Plymouth which was enough to give us a destination to aim for.

We had such an amazing experience. It feels somewhat more like a dream now that we are home and back to our normal routines but it was a great challenge. It was tough at times with physical pains like blisters and mosquito bites and we didn't account for the heat in some places or numerous sand dunes which was mentally challenging.

But every day we continued pressing forward, and every night we sat in the tent and could see how much further we had come on map.

We’re really happy to have managed to do something to raise money and awareness for the RNLI and grateful for the donations people have kindly made. We hope it will make a difference where it is needed.’

Les Butler, Plymouth RNLI mechanic who welcomed Simon and Natalie to the station says:

‘What Natalie and Simon have achieved is incredible, they should feel very proud of themselves. I am sure they have made some fantastic memories along the 555 journey and we are delighted that they chose to raise funds for the RNLI along the way. As a charity we rely on people taking on these amazing challenges and raising money to fund our training and kit. A big thank you to them, and to everyone who donated.’

Notes to Editors

  • Please find attached a picture of Simon and Natalie Nurding (middle) with (L to R) Cameron Hicks Plymouth volunteer lifeboat crew, Chris Westall Plymouth Lifeboat Operations Manager, Karen Butler Plymouth Community Safety Officer and Les Butler Plymouth RNLI mechanic credit RNLI/John Baldry
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The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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