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ACR Solstice Row raises £2,575 for the RNLI!

To all of you who supported our 24-Hour Solstice Row we want to say a HUGE THANK YOU! You helped us to smash our £600 target and we were thrilled to be able to make such a great contribution to our local RNLI Station in Amble.

Representatives from Alnmouth Community Rowing were invited to visit the Station to officially handover the funds and enjoy a special presentation by Amble RNLI Chairman, John Young.

Sited on Amble Harbour, with stunning views up the River Coquet to Warkworth Castle and out across deceptively calm waters into the North Sea, it’s a location steeped in history but equipped with the latest state of the art sea and rescue equipment, as we were to discover.

John Young led an excellent presentation, and with Chief Mechanic John Simm, explained the history of the RNLI and Amble Station’s role today. The facts are staggering:

  • The RNLI is a self-funded charity with no state support that relies solely on the generosity of those who kindly donate.
  • In 2022 the RNLI required £177.3M to run 238 stations throughout the UK and Southern Ireland.
  • In the same year the RNLI raised c.£139M across the British Isles
  • Last year there were 9,312 call outs to help 23,204 people.
  • The crews are all volunteers except for a full-time mechanic employed at each station and a few key stations requiring permanent crew.
  • 4,710 volunteers around the country.
  • You don’t have to be able to swim to be a volunteer, and early 19th Century crews were made up of local fisherman who couldn’t.
  • There are more than 400 women volunteer crew members.
  • RNLI crews have initial training at the specialist centre in Poole and then on-going coaching to keep their skills and knowledge current as technology changes.

RNLI Amble boats

The Amble Station houses an ‘In-Shore’ rib, which accommodates three crew members (on their knees), with a top speed of 25 knots and is the ‘work-horse’ of the RNLI.

Mark Phillips explained that on call-out the rib is launched from the station at harbour level, about 3 metres above sea-level, via a crane into the harbour.  The crew has been on the water in three minutes, top speed to date!

John Simm showed us around their larger, all-weather Shannon class. Seriously impressive, powered by two 650 horse-power engines which propel water jets delivering a range of 250 nautical miles.

With a crew of six the Shannon can attend rescues around 100 miles out to sea and can carry up to 43 people. We have come a long way since Grace Darling rowed out to the ship-wrecked SS Forfarshire in 1838!

ACR members were delighted to hand over £2,575 which will provide the means to fully equip a crew member with life-saving equipment. Thank you to Amble RNLI’s John Young, John Simm, Mark Phillips, John Duncan, Christine Fraser and June Rine and Kenneth Henderson from the Amble Coastguards for hosting our visit.

The RNLI is 200 years old in 2024 and we will be planning a special fund-raising event next year!