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Littlestone volunteers spend 24 hours at sea in a life raft to raise vital funds

This year’s Littlestone Lifeboat Station’s Emergency Services Day raised almost £7,000, thanks in no small part to crew members Wayne Black and Josh Spiers who endured 24 hours at sea as part of a life raft challenge to raise money for the RNLI.

The station’s annual fund raising day, which included lifeboat displays at sea, also saw Littlestone joined by three of its flanking stations from Dungeness, Dover and Rye Harbour as well as the Ramsgate Pilot boat.

With large crowds attending and huge support from the local emergency services and stall holders, the Emergency Services weekend was a thorough success.

At 1.00pm on Saturday 31st August our lifeboat Fred Clarke launched to set down the life raft, anchored it a mile offshore in front of Littlestone station and our two crew boarded.

Wayne and Josh went through choppy waters and wind initially, then rain and calmer seas throughout the night. They suffered feeling sea sick and cold even though they were dressed in their full lifeboat crew kit – which most who found themselves in a life raft would not have.

Wayne Black boat crew said: ‘To be perfectly honest after the first two hours in quite rough seas and feeling sea sick I was doubtful I was going to last, we both felt ill. We kept having to bail out the life raft as it kept filling with water in the choppy sea, but we got through the choppy weather and the seas calmed and spirits lifted with live feeds and playing I spy of all things.

The crew completed this difficult challenge and were ‘rescued’ at 1.05pm on September 1 in front of hundreds of onlookers visiting the Emergency Services Day on the beach. Once returned to the safety of the shore the crew were welcomed with cheers and applause. They managed to raise a total of £3254 between them.

The Emergency Services day continued with kit demonstrations, BBQ, stalls and the New Romney Sea Cadets band.

The total being raised on the day was £3524 and adding the 24 hours at sea sponsors gave a grand total of £6778

A huge thanks to all supporting services, stall holders and most of all to the general public who so generously made this event a roaring success.

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