From Galway to the North Pole – festive fundraiser to save lives at sea

Galway Daily news North Pole challenge raises €5k festive gift for Galway RNLI

There have been many expeditions to our planet’s North Pole that have gone down in history for their grit and determination in harsh circumstances. And while the Marine Institute’s epic voyage won’t actually be leaving Ireland, it’s still a great cause to get behind.

Staff at the Marine Institute in Oranmore are taking on a festive fundraising challenge in aid of the RNLI, aiming to run, walk, or swim the entire 4,068km distance from Renville to the North Pole.

“The ocean is at the heart of the work that we do in the Marine Institute. Many of our colleagues and those that we work with spend much of their time at sea,” explains Dr Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute

“Knowing that the emergency services are there should we need them is a huge comfort for all who use the ocean whether for work or for pleasure.”

The RNLI depends on voluntary donations to fund its lifesaving services at lifeboat stations across Ireland. It costs €1,650 to train a volunteer lifeboat crewmember for a year and €1,764 to kit them out in their lifesaving gear.

This has been a particularly difficult year for charities that require support from the public, as COVID-19 restrictions have made many fundraising activities impossible.

So far this year, the RNLI has been responsible for for 78 rescues and lives saved in 2020 in Galway alone.

“For these reasons, as an organisation the Marine Institute decided that together we could do our bit to support the RNLI and have a bit of festive fun while we are at it,” Paul Connolly said.

The North Pole team challenge will run until Friday, December 18, with a target of raising €2,500 and people can register online to take part here.

Speaking on behalf of Galway RNLI, Mike Swan, Lifeboat Operations Manager said that they are extremely grateful to the Marine Institute for their Christmas fundraiser.

“This has been a challenging year for the RNLI as the demand for our service remains high and we have been operating during restrictions with PPE for the volunteer lifeboat crews.

“Those crews bring loved ones home every day and this year we have continued to do that along with all our lifeboat colleagues around the coast.

“Thank you to the Marine Institute for this wonderful fundraiser which will support the RNLI’s work in saving lives at sea.”

image credit: Andrew Downes Xposure