Being the only coastal national park in the UK, packed with water-loving tourists year-round, it was natural for us at St Davids Escapes to choose the RNLI as our charity, and as we move out of another busy summer season we thought we would emphasise why the Royal National Lifeboat Institute is deserving of our support.
It’s easy to take them for granted. We’re on holiday, we’ve been out in a boat before, we don’t need a life jacket, we’re strong swimmers. No matter how capable we think we are in the water, Mother Nature has her own way of doing things. Anyone who has watched the popular BBC 2 series “Saving Lives at Sea” will know this!
This is why, since 1867, there has been an active lifeboat station at St Justinians. It sits just 2 miles north of St Davids and next to the most tricky area of coast around Ramsey Sound. The lifeboat offers support for the rugged and wild coastline of north-West Pembrokeshire, extending into St George’s Channel.
Nowadays, the older lifeboat station stands as a reminder of the 100 years of service it gave. Its red corrugated roof watching like a lifeguard over the waves. The newer Tamar class station and slipway sit just above the old station. It opened in 2016, allowing for safer conditions for crew and trainees.
The RNLI states that our national lifeboats rescue on average 23 people per day from our stormy seas. The RNLI also provides flood rescue services and beach lifeguards, as well as full training and equipment. But this equipment – indeed this service – comes with a price tag.
How did it all start?
Sir William Hillary founded the RNLI in 1824, having first pleaded passionately with the British Admiralty for help in avoiding the loss of life due to shipwrecks. Undeterred by the lack of interest by the Admiralty, Sir William founded what is now the largest charity that saves lives at sea around the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.
This means that the RNLI is funded solely by legacies and charitable donations. In 2016, it received 177.3 million pounds of donations from the British public. What an incredible amount! It goes to show how valued and needed this institution really is. We’re betting Sir William would have been pretty pleased about that!
St Davids RNLI
Here on the St Davids peninsula, our lifeboat crews have racked up an astonishing 14 medals for gallantry over the years. Medals or not, each member of our volunteer crew are heroes. To pay tribute to their hard work, dedication, and bravery, we name them our official charity. Each time someone makes a booking with St Davids Escapes, they are given the option to add a donation to the RNLI to their payment. This goes to the RNLI in full.
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