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RNLI Chief Exec Hits Back At Farage’s “Migrant Taxi Service” Comment

Sun Aug 01 2021

Mark Dowie, RNLI Chief Executive, defends crews after ongoing abuse during rescues.

The RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institute) has been hitting back amid claims of them running a “migrant taxi service.”

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The people of these islands (the UK) fundamentally are decent people, and all decent people will see this as humanitarian work of the highest order

Mark Dowie – RNLI Chief Executive

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He felt compelled to say this after RNLI volunteers had had abuse thrown at them while undergoing important rescue work.

A while ago we spoke about rage donations and the changing landscape of charitable giving.

Well, after Mark Dowie’s defence of the RNLI volunteers, donations went up from their usual daily total of £7000 to £200,000 in just 24 hours.

This was a combination of one-off donations, new regular support and supporters increasing their regular donation amount. It remains to be seen if this charitable uptick will have been ‘engaged’ with past the now, but as the chief executive says; this is a polarising issue and the topic of immigration will always remain relevant.

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This was never a fundraising campaign – we simply wanted to tell the story of our crews and make it clear that our charity exists to save lives at sea

Jayne George - RNLI, Fundraising Director

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How Important Is The Work Of The RNLI?

They’re dedicated to saving every human life in the waters; and so far, more than 9,000 people have crossed the Channel on small boats this year alone.

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It makes me incredibly sad. It takes its toll emotionally witnessing sad and desperate scenes sometimes daily. It's particularly difficult when there are children on board. They are normally terrified, screaming and crying. To then return home and face the backlash from people in the community and on social media makes it all 100% harder. And I felt so sorry for them because where they were taken ashore it was one of the busiest days of the year. The beach was absolutely packed.

The abuse that was thrown at the people walking up the beach, the women and the children and there was some drunken yob throwing a beer can at them. You just can’t believe what you are seeing from human beings.

Anonymous RNLI Crew Member

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Amidst the comments and the rise in donations, inquiries for volunteering have also almost quadrupled.

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Sun Aug 01 2021

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