Santa Boat Tow
25 November 2012
Volunteers from GAFIRS partnered up with Santa to prepare for Christmas, whilst raising funds for new lifeboat crew personal protective equipment.
Lifeboat crew, fundraisers and Santa Claus braved the chilly winter weather to tow their Inshore Lifeboat RIB (Gosport ILB) through Lee-on-Solent and Gosport, talking to members of the public, who kindly popped their spare change in the pot to help continue the lifesaving service.
The Mayor of Gosport Councillor Richard Dickson officially opened the event at 11am and walked the first mile with the team through Lee on Solent.
And the crew from Gosport Fire Station – which works closely with the GAFIRS – joined the team for the first hour.
Fundraising secretary Joyce Thomas said: "Father Christmas came along with us and the children we passed absolutely loved it. They were running up to us, asking to put money in the collection buckets. We stopped off at lots of places along the way and everywhere we went we received a warm welcome.
It was the first time we've ever done anything like this and we were not quite sure what to expect but it was great."
The route, which took four hours to cover, began at HM Solent Coastguard and went through many streets finishing back at the GAFIRS Lifeboat Station at Stokes Bay. They stopped in to say hello at several of the local pubs and to also say thank you to local supporters.