The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has announced Wednesday that they will be the official charity partner of The Boat Race 2019. The teams are in the midst of training for the rival match against Cambridge along the 6.8 kilometre stretch of the River Thames in south-west London. Thousands of people come to watch the annual event that, this year, will take place on Sunday 7th April.
The RNLI has been previously involved with The Boat Race by supplying its “E-Class lifeboat” for water safety and rescue for not just the crew members but also the spectators. It has furthered its water rescue services in 2016 by supplying an additional nine Arancia-class lifeboats with lifeguards manning the boat. This new partnership aims to raise funds for “essential crew training” at Chiswick Lifeboat Station, as well as awareness of their “Respect the Water” drowning prevention campaign.
Gareth Morrison, Head of Community Engagement at the RNLI said “We are honored to be The Boat Race’s Official Charity for 2019 and look forward to building on our existing 17-year relationship to keep water users and spectators safe on Race day. It gives us a great platform to reach new audiences with our ‘Respect the Water’ messaging, and to raise awareness of the RNLI on the Thames, whilst also generating vital funds.”
The RNLI, as a charity, is made up of public donations and thousands of volunteers, 4,600 lifeboat crew members and 3,000 shore crew. Since the Chiswick service started in 2002, the Chiswick Lifeboat has rescued over 1,730 people and intervened in 3,500 incidents.
David Searle, Executive Director of The Boat Race Company Limited said: “We are looking forward to working with the RNLI as our Official Charity Partner in 2019. The support they’ve offered to The Boat Race over the years has been fantastic and this is now our chance to give something back.”