Rugby legend Lawrence Dallaglio joins RNLI fundraiser

Images above: Lawrence Dallaglio, Chiswick RNLI

Rugby star to walk length of River Thames through Chiswick

Rugby World Cup winner Lawrence Dallaglio will set off on an 18 mile fundraising walk along the River Thames this Friday (1 July), in support of the RNLI and their corporate partner, Aquapac.

This year marks 20 years of the RNLI having a lifesaving presence on the Thames since it set up lifeboat stations at Tower, Chiswick, Teddington and Gravesend. They were opened in 2002 as a result of the enquiry on the Marchioness Disaster in 1989 which claimed the lives of 51 people including Lawrence’s sister, Francesca.

In 2004, Lawrence officially named the RNLI’s lifeboat ‘Legacy’ in memory of the victims of the Marchioness disaster, which served at both Tower RNLI and Chiswick RNLI lifeboat stations.

In the past two decades the charity’s four lifeboat stations on the Thames have launched a total of 16,605 times, aided over 5,000 people and saved over 600 lives.

Lawrence will walk form from Wood’s Quay Westminster to Teddington. He said:

“I’m wholeheartedly supporting my mother, Eileen’s, legacy today as she was instrumental in campaigning for change on the Thames and the creation of a rescue service. Eileen would have been very proud of the continued efforts of the RNLI and its incredible teams. She always used to say to me “leave people in a better place than when you arrived”.

“Along with other emergency services and organisations, the RNLI for the last 20 years have been saving lives in London. Supporting this event to help them continue this work is something close to my heart.

“We are here to acknowledge, 33 years later, Thames river boat design, water safety and rescue are in a far, far better place than they were the day of the disaster due to my mother’s inspiring campaigning.”

To support this fundraising event, click here.

Image above: Chiswick Lifeboat

Funds ‘vital’ for RNLI to continue lifesaving service

The challenge aims to raise funds for the RNLI, to help the charity continue its vital lifesaving service, and deliver important water safety advice to help the public stay safe. The RNLI and Aquapac are fundraising and raising awareness about water safety and are working together to prevent drowning throughout 2022.

Wayne Bellamy, Chiswick RNLI Station Manager, said:

‘We are delighted to have the support of Lawrence and our partners Aquapac for this fundraising challenge. As a charity, we rely on donations to deliver our lifesaving service so every penny raised through this challenge will support us to continue this work.

‘Our aim is to save everyone so that nobody has to suffer losing a loved one through drowning.’

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