‘Kitting out lifeboat crews is an ongoing task and not cheap’

DELIGHT From left, Co-op store manager Pete Raynor, RNLI crew member Paul Nelhams, and RNLI operations manager at Hayling Jonathan Bradbury
DELIGHT From left, Co-op store manager Pete Raynor, RNLI crew member Paul Nelhams, and RNLI operations manager at Hayling Jonathan Bradbury
Devida Bushrod (front) with (l-r) Maddy Bushrod (13),  Devida's husband Jason, Mark Loudon (nine), mum Sarah Loudon, Ruth Loudon (10), and Angela Kerfoot. Picture Ian Hargreaves  (171556-1)

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HAYLING Island RNLI Lifeboat Station is immensely grateful to the Southern Co-operative for naming them in this year’s Community Support Card Scheme, which has donated £10,000 to enable the station to continue its work in saving lives at sea.

In September last year the Hayling Island Co-op store launched the scheme whereby shoppers carry a green plastic card which is swiped at the tills when they have completed their shopping.

Each time, dependent upon the amount spent, a sum of money is added by the store to the gradually increasing ‘pot of gold.’

A target was set of £30,000 to be shared between three charities on Hayling: the RNLI, the First Responders and Chichester Harbour Conservancy.

Although by early summer the sum raised was some way off the target, the fine weather encouraged a high number of visitors and locals to shop and use the cards and by late August the target was reached.

Providing the level of equipment needed to keep lifeboat crew safe and to enable them to carry out the work they do saving lives at sea is an ongoing task and it’s not cheap.

The nature of the work means that crews are out in some of the worst weather and in challenging conditions which puts a strain on equipment as well as people.

The RNLI as a charity relies totally on donations and the cheque is a significant contribution to funding lifesaving equipment.

Crew members often spend time during both training and on active rescues waiting for further instructions and news of potential casualties and in a gale force wind in January this can make for a very cold experience.