From Galway to the North Pole - Festive Challenge to Save Lives at Sea

From Galway to the North Pole - Marine Institute Launch Festive Challenge to Save Lives at Sea. Photo Andrew Downes, XPOSUREStaff at the Marine Institute are embarking on a festive fundraising challenge in aid of the RNLI. They are attempting to walk, run, row, cycle, and swim the 4068km distance from their Headquarters in Renville, Galway to the North Pole in a team challenge recognising the work of the RNLI Lifeboats Ireland and they are inviting everyone to join in and support.

According to Dr. Paul Connolly, CEO of the Marine Institute, "The ocean is at the heart of the work that we do in the Marine Institute. Many of our colleagues and those that we work with spend much of their time at sea. Knowing that the emergency services are there should we need them is a huge comfort for all who use the ocean whether for work or for pleasure. This year has been difficult for many and especially hard also for charities such as RNLI Lifeboats Ireland. For these reasons, as an organisation the Marine Institute decided that together we could do our bit to support the RNLI and have a bit of festive fun while we are at it".

It costs the RNLI €1,650 to train a volunteer lifeboat crewmember for a year and €1,764 to kit them out in their lifesaving gear. Since its establishment in 1824, the RNLI have saved over 143,000 lives. Every year, RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards help and rescue thousands of people. Countless more lives are saved through their youth education and water safety work.

Speaking on behalf of Galway RNLI, Mike Swan, Lifeboat Operations Manager said: 'We are so grateful to the Marine Institute for their Christmas fundraiser. This has been a challenging year for the RNLI as the demand for our service remains high and we have been operating during restrictions with PPE for the volunteer lifeboat crews. Those crews bring loved ones home every day and this year we have continued to do that along with all our lifeboat colleagues around the coast. Thank you to the Marine Institute for this wonderful fundraiser which will support the RNLI's work in saving lives at sea."From Galway to the North Pole - Marine Institute Launch Festive Challenge to Save Lives at Sea. Photo Andrew Downes, XPOSURE

You can join the Marine Institute North Pole Challenge, which runs until Friday 18th December, here:

"We are asking the public to consider adding their kilometres to our fundraiser and making their steps or swims count. Together we can make this an easy downhill and raise much needed funds for RNLI Lifeboats," added Dr Connolly.

Commit some kilometres or choose to donate and together we can walk, run, row, swim or cycle the 4.068km from Galway to the Northpole. Don't forget to post your challenge photos on social media and tag @MarineInst on Twitter or @marineinstituteireland on Facebook and use the hashtag #NorthPoleChallenge