Torbay dad and son lead RNLI Christmas appeal

Torbay RNLI deputy cox James Hoare and his dad Jeff Hoare. Photo: RNLI/Nigel Millard

Torbay RNLI deputy cox James Hoare and his dad Jeff Hoare. Photo: RNLI/Nigel Millard - Credit: RNLI/Nigel Millard

Torbay RNLI Deputy Coxswain James Hoare and his dad Jeff are fronting the charity’s Christmas appeal in the South West this year.

The lifesaving charity had to spend £1.2 million this year to ensure its volunteer lifeboat crews and beach lifeguards had the vital PPE, such as face masks and gloves, to keep them and the public safe.

This was money the charity hadn’t planned to spend, at a time when RNLI shops were forced to close and fundraising events cancelled.

James explained: “We’ve had a very challenging summer, rescuing those in difficulty in the midst of a pandemic and with foreign holidays being cancelled, we received more visitors to our coastline.

“Throughout 2020 the crew at Torbay and around the south west have been ready to answer the pager and rescue those in difficulty.

“As a charity, the RNLI relies on the support of the public to continue saving lives and that support is needed now more than ever.”

The RNLI’s Christmas Appeal hopes to raise over £2 million.

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Additional PPE and adapting to coronavirus restrictions has been challenging for the volunteer crew members and lifeguards across the South West.

For 2020, the RNLI purchased 6.7 million units of coronavirus PPE including almost 700,000 face masks, 2.4 million gloves and just under 5,000 litres of hand sanitiser.

The families of casualties who were rescued by the RNLI in the south west say they are lucky to be able to celebrate Christmas together thanks to the charity’s lifesavers.

They have joined forces to urge the south west to support the RNLI’s Christmas appeal.

They include Ben Williamson who was rescued by the St Agnes RNLI lifeboat crew in August this year after he was swept out to sea in a strong rip current.

Ben and his family, who are from Manchester, were on holiday in Perranporth, when he got into trouble.

Also supporting the campaign is Matthew Davey who was out windsurfing on the River Exe when he fell off his board and was caught by the strong tidal current which was pulling him out to sea.

To make a donation to the RNLI’s Christmas Appeal visit: RNLI.org/Xmas