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OPINION: A love letter to the RNLI

OPINION: A love letter to the RNLI

Friday 18 November 2022

OPINION: A love letter to the RNLI

Friday 18 November 2022

If one had to sum up what the RNLI means, would you compare it to a life saving emergency service, or a "people traffickers greatest asset"?

The former is how I see it. The latter is how a person on Twitter described it this week.

They are one person out of a surprisingly large number who have chosen to criticise the charity for its part in saving people trying to cross the English Channel between France and the UK.

You could call them trolls. I could be sacked if I published the words I would like to use to describe them. 

I knew the RNLI had faced some abuse for its work in the Channel, but I was shocked by what I read on Twitter earlier this week.

I was looking at tweets from some of the #chog about Wear a Guernsey Day. That was yesterday and was a very simple event, which promoted the knitwear while asking for donations to the RNLI. Nothing could seem more simple, or pleasantly parochial. Wear a guernsey, donate some money, help the RNLI save lives.

The RNLI had joined in the local chat - the national, official, blue-ticked RNLI Twitter account had told its followers what a guernsey is. It thanked people for donating money while wearing theirs, it reminded followers where the money goes. It gave examples of previous shouts that various RNLI crews have responded to. Some have ended in tragedy.

We all know the stories. We live on islands, surrounded by water - we need the RNLI.

I won't highlight the 'trolls' for their despicable comments, instead I thought I'd pen a love letter to the RNLI. Having never needed their services, I am limited on what I can say, but here goes:

Dear RNLI.

Thank you.

Thank you for everything you do. 

Thank you for risking your lives to save others.

Thank you for not discriminating against those who need help in the water.

Thank you for offering us a safety net while we take day trips to the other islands, go swimming, kayaking, and surfing. 

Thank you for the hours of training, the unpaid hours of work, the sleepless nights your families endure while you're out.

Thank you.


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