Sixteen RNLI lifeboat trainers heaved a lorry and lifeboat to raise funds for the charity
It was all in a day’s work for 16 lifeboat trainers who pulled a 37-tonne Mersey
class lifeboat on a lorry for 100m using ropes.
Crowds gathered to watch the spectacle in Dorset, which was part of nationwide fundraising activities, to mark the RNLI’s biggest fundraising day – SOS Day.
The Show of Strength began outside the RNLI stores in Poole and, spurred on by the cheers of the spectators, finished minutes later at the RNLI College entrance – 100m up the road
Lifeboat training manager Glen Mallen, whose team undertook the challenge, said: ‘It was fine to start with.
‘The initial pull was relatively easy but about three quarters of the way down we started to feel it.
‘It’s only 100m but when you’re pulling it, it’s hard to keep going to the end.’
Mr Mallen said they didn’t do any training beforehand, he added: ‘There were 16 of us pulling it and one safety coordinator.
‘It was fantastic, this is the best place ever to work for.
‘This proves it – to let us do something like this to raise the profile and get involved.
‘It makes you remember how it’s funded and what we do – save lives and support volunteers.’
The event was particularly poignant for Chris Walker, as the Show of Strength marked his last day with the Poole RNLI team.
The 32-year-old from Oakdale, Poole is off to Tower RNLI Lifeboat station on the Thames.
He said: ‘It’s emotional to say the least. This has been absolutely awesome for a last day – pulling a lifeboat and raising money for the charity.
‘It’s second to none.
‘Having been a full-time instructor here for seven years, I’m now going to be a full-time helmsman on a lifeboat.’
He described the pull as ‘harder than it looked’ and added: ‘initially there was a bit of a slope but then the ground levelled out and it was tough.’
Mr Walker was presented with a signed helmet, a photograph of the Poole RNLI College from the harbour and a photo of himself in lifeboat action off the Isle of Wight.
Day is a day of community fundraising for the RNLI, with events based around
the SOS acronym taking place around the UK and Ireland.