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Full House for Bembridge RNLI's 'Yellow Welly Week' All-Weather Lifeboat launch

Lifeboats News Release

Bembridge RNLI is holding its 'Yellow Welly Week' this week with daily activities for adults and children to find out more about how the RNLI operates and to raise money for the new crew kit that is being procured.

Visitors looking at RNLB Alfred Albert Williams

RNLI/Ken Orchard

The Visitors Gallery filling up to watch
On Tuesday afternoon (29 May 2018), we welcomed 5 year William, who with his parents had walked from Sandown to Bembridge is support of Bembridge RNLI. Not only is he to be congratulated on successfully completing the walk, particularly in his 'yellow wellies', but also for the fact that he has raised over £1,000 in sponsorship money. Just amazing and further donations can be made at On reaching Bembridge on Tuesday afternoon his treat was to be shown round both RNLB Alfred Albert Williams (Tamar All-Weather Lifeboat 16-17) and RNLB Norman Harvey (D-Class ILB D-778) by the Station's Press Officer, Mike Samuelson who said:

'William is quite amazing and we are indebted to him for his fund raising initiatives. His knowledge of the RNLI is extraordinary for a 5 year old and as for his knowledge about what the Lifeguard flags and safety signs mean, well it is extraordinary. He is a very special little boy.'

William and his parents subsequently returned to the Offshore Boathouse where they joined a packed house for the evening training launch of RNLB Alfred Albert Williams. After launching she linked up with one of Hovertravel's cross-Solent hovercraft, 'Solent Flyer', which was used for the training and demonstration exercise and included some very successful towing training just off the boathouse. On completion she was recovered and the crew then joined visitors and guild members in the Inshore Boathouse for a 'sausage sizzle'.

As a coincidence one of the visitors to the Station that day was Julie Rainey - our South East Regional Media Manager who e-mailed the following day

'I thought you might be joking about how busy it was going to be but when we pulled up in the (overflow) car park, kids were literally sprinting from their cars towards the station. It felt like a big Wembley gig when the boat finally launched! I know you were telling us about legendary Bembridge water but, frankly, if I could bottle the station’s enthusiasm, wow! Honestly a brilliant visit and evenings like that give us a real boost when we’re wading through the in-tray. Thanks to you and your team for reminding us why we do it.'

RNLI media contacts

Mike Samuelson, Bembridge RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, on 07785 593254 or

Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer London/East/South East) on 0207 6207416, 07786 668825

For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

RNLB Alfred Albert Williams setting up the training tow with Solent Flyer

RNLI/Ken Orchard

RNLB Alfred Albert Williams setting up the training tow
RNLB Alfred Albert Williams and Solent Flyer practicing a training tow

RNLI/Ken Orchard

RNLB Alfred Albert Williams practicing a training tow
William with some of the crew

RNLI/Ken Orchard

William with some of the crew
Visitors & Guild members in the Inshore Boathouse

RNLI/Ken Orchard

The 'sausage sizzle' after the launch

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