Lifeboat crews all aboard for fundraising splash

Shoreham lifeboat coxswain Steve Smith, left, on a paddleboard accepting the fundraising loot from Paddle director Dave Samuels

Shoreham lifeboat coxswain Steve Smith, left, on a paddleboard accepting the fundraising loot from Paddle director Dave Samuels

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IT was all aboard for this year’s Paddle Round the Pier, which proved the biggest yet.

The annual fundraiser saw thousands of people from across the globe visit Hove Lawns for the two-day event, which enjoyed the best weather for years.

A total of £17,000 was donated to three nominated charities, Shoreham RNLI, Surf Action and Winston’s Wish.

Paddle Round the Pier director David Samuel visited Shoreham Lifeboat Station at the weekend and coxswain Steve Smith accepted the £6,066.66 cheque from him on a paddleboard.

Mr Samuel said: “It was our biggest Paddle Round the Pier event yet and the weather was scorching.

“We had a great attendance and everyone had a great time on the water and on the beach.

“The Shoreham lifeboat crews are always on standby to help any of our paddlers or sea goers and they are one of our three chosen charities to benefit from the event.”

The money raised this year took the total the event has raised for charity since it began in 1996 over the £200,000 mark.

Mr Samuel added: “In 2013, Paddle Round the Pier also invested over £5,000 in the junior lifeguard programme, enabling 360-plus schoolchildren from across Sussex the chance to learn about using the sea safely and to save a life.

“This, coupled with the Accessibility Beach events – allowing children and young people with disabilities supported access into the sea, means that ‘Paddle’ is now widely recognised as a real investor in the community.”