This in from Wightlink, in their own words. Ed
Wightlink staff, both on and off the water, were shocked to hear vandals attacked Ryde Inshore Rescue’s two lifeboats earlier in the month, causing thousands of pounds of damage and putting them out of action at the busiest time of the year.
Captain Tom Vincent has ‘pressganged’ fellow crew members and shore staff to take turns in teams paddling a spare rescue boat across the Solent on Saturday (2nd August) from Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde Pier Head. All the money raised will go to Ryde Inshore Rescue to help repair the damaged lifeboats.
“As fellow mariners, we understand the importance of safety and we were horrified to hear that mindless vandals had put lives at risk by their thoughtless actions.
“Wightlink staff were quick to volunteer to take part in our challenge but they’ll need to put in some time in the gym to paddle more than five miles across the Solent.”
Where and when
The intrepid crew will set off from Portsmouth Harbour at 16:00 and plan to arrive at Ryde Pier Head between 18:00 and 19:00.
All necessary permissions have been obtained from Wightlink, the Queen’s Harbour Master in the Portsmouth naval base and other regulatory authorities for the sponsored paddle.
To donate to the Wightlink staff challenge, see http://www.justgiving.com/wightlink-staff or text donate; WRIR50 plus the amount you want to give, eg WRIR50£10 to 70070.
Image: Deck officer Phil Whicker, Crewman Martin Phillips, Steward Stacey Hows, Captain Tom Vincent