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lifeboatThree Isle of Wight lifeboat crews will be among around 67 nationwide joining forces on next month to raise awareness for Independent lifeboat stations that operate outside the jurisdiction of the RNLI.

Sandown and Shanklin Independent Lifeboat, Ryde Rescue and Freshwater Lifeboat are all independent stations, relying on donations and charity to continue the valuable work they carry out in waters around the Island.

Often the independent lifeboats, both on the Island and on the mainland, are confused with the work carried out by the RNLI so 21st February has been pencilled in to raise awareness of the ‘independents’. That is when they need YOUR support for their major fund-raising “Go Orange” Day.

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sandownshanklinlifeboat2The crews, all volunteers who give their time and effort for nothing, want Island businesses, schools and even individuals to come up with zany ideas to help keep them afloat. Most independent lifeboat crews are more than happy to visit local schools and youth groups and educate children on sea safety.  Many of these units open their doors and invite the groups to them to promote safety at sea through education.

In return they would love your help in making it a hugely successful “Go Orange” Day. Here are a few suggestions – but can you think of even better ones?

How about:

– Get your business or school to wear an orange piece of clothing for the day.
– Dye your hair orange.
– Sponsor someone to sit in a bath of “orange” baked beans for the day.
– Hold a coffee and cake morning.
– Wear an orange ribbon in support.
– Hold a party evening wearing a bright colour…such as orange!
– Arrange a collection in your local community for your local independent lifeboat.
– Hold a sponsored event; walk, silence, dance…anything that raises funds for these units.

Mark Birch, operations manager of Sandown & Shanklin Independent Lifeboat, is event co-ordinator for Go Orange Day. He said:

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“We want everyone to know that we are independent, and need funding to keep going. If you visit the coast for a day out or holiday you never know when you may have to call upon lifeboat volunteers, so to ensure that they are there please show your support.”

Anyone wanting to get involved with Go Orange Day or needing more details should contact Barry or Judy on 401791 or 07821 854882.

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