On Wednesday 24th January BSAC Mid Herts Divers (MHD), based at Hatfield Swim Centre, welcomed Michael Scandrett and Ian Gardener of RNLI Welwyn Hatfield Branch. A recent MHD fish and chip night, supported by local fish and chip shop Skippers, has raised £100 which RNLI Welwyn Hatfield will direct to their coastal twin branch to support the appeal in Port Isaac for a new inshore lifeboat. Port Isaac will be familiar to many as the setting for the TV series Doc Martin.

MHD members enjoy scuba diving all around the beautiful UK coast and know how important the RNLI volunteers are for saving lives at sea. MHD would like to encourage all inland BSAC dive clubs to support their own local RNLI fund-raisers and share ideas for events. We have friends in Potters Bar BSAC and hope to arrange some joint fund-raising events in the near future.

The RNLI Welwyn Hatfield Branch is a small group of fund-raising volunteers covering roughly the borough area of Welwyn Hatfield but also include Potters Bar when they can. In all they raise between £7000 to £10000 per annum with every penny raised going to the RNLI and a proportion to Port Isaac to support their activities for equipment or crew training.

Port Isaac launched their appeal for £52000 to fund a new D Class Lifeboat on 1 November. A D class inshore lifeboat has served Port Isaac since 1967 but the present one, the Copeland Bell, has reached the end of its operational life and needs to be replaced. The new lifeboat will be of the very latest design and will be faster, fitted out with high-tech navigation equipment and an updated first aid kit. The appeal aims to raise the total amount needed to provide the lifeboat, its engine and all relevant equipment to help save lives at sea. Port Isaac are appreciative of all donations and value them all equally, whether large or small.

The RNLI operates over 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 200 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved 140,000 lives.