Chris Mason, 57, a car mechanic from Northumberland, received a warm welcome from the crew at RNLI Rye Harbour on Friday, June 10. He had had a full-on day visiting the lifeboat stations along the south coast and was relieved to stop at his last station of the day, Rye Harbour, and have a chat and a welcome cup of tea.
Chris said that the inspiration for his lifeboat station visits had been watching Saving lives at Sea which made him want to raise funds for the amazing volunteers who gave so freely of their time to help those in distress on the water. It all started by accident as Chris was in Scotland on holiday taking photographs, one of his great passions, and the weather closed in on him making picture-taking impossible. He was very near to a RNLI lifeboat station and decided to go and thank them personally for all that they do. The idea came to him to do the same for all the stations around the coast and to raise funds at the same time.
Chris can only pursue this challenge at the weekend or when he takes holiday but he is prepared to make it work even if he has to sleep in his car. He loves driving, he loves the coast, he loves photography and the RNLI. In Chris’s words, “What isn’t there to like? I get to do everything I love all in one go. Result!”
One of the high moments of his tour so far has been visiting Ireland where he had great fun meeting with the mechanics at the stations and swopping stories of lifeboats and engines and all things mechanical. He said they were so welcoming and enjoyed every minute.
When Chris started his journey, he was driving his trusty Vauxhall Astra, which he described as “old and clapped out”. This was certainly going to test his mechanical prowess on a daily basis but he was determined to give it a go. His Astra had needed a rest and some TLC so his brother was kindly acting as his driver for his visit to the south coast and to Rye Harbour.
As we waved them off on their way to Southend-on-Sea for the next full day of lifeboat stations and crews to thank, we wished him every success.
You can follow Chris’s tour on his Facebook page – Chris’s quest – Life boat station tour.
Image Credits: Kt bruce , Chris Mason .