Members of the sailing organisation Frères de la Cote presented RNLI Portsmouth lifeboat crew with a cheque for £500 at the Camber Docks, Old Portsmouth on Tuesday evening (2nd June).

Grand Frère of the Solent Table, Mr. Martin Critchley, presented the lifeboat crew with the cheque during a social gathering on board the motor-cruiser Mary Siobhan. Although the Frères are not a charitable organisation, they occasionally give generous support to the RNLI and other local rescue charities.

Mr. Critchley said, “All members of our group are involved with boats of some description and we think the RNLI Portsmouth lifeboat station, based at Eastney, is a very worthy cause. Everyone involved with sailing is glad the RNLI are there, and the volunteer lifeboat crew were very pleased to receive the money for their charity.”

Ray Wheeler, secretary, explained, “The Frères is an international organisation that was first established by Chilean sailors in 1951. It has proved so popular that groups have now been established in thirty countries around the world, and membership is currently estimated at over 3,000.

The ‘Brothers of the Coast’ is a fun and social organisation that is committed to friendship, integrity and service in nautical and social affairs; but talking about religion, politics or business is strictly prohibited.”

“We are based, tongue in cheek, on the nobler principles of the brotherhood of buccaneers, and during these more enlightened times the only boats we board are in friendship and as invited guests.”

RNLI helmsman, Simon Matthews, said, “As a lifesaving charity that relies on the good will and generosity of the public, the Frères hospitality and their generous donation were greatly appreciated. The money will go towards essential equipment for the lifeboat station.”

Notes to editors

Photograph caption Grand Frère of the Solent Frères de la Cote presents a cheque for £500 to members of RNLI Portsmouth lifeboat crew l-r Simon Matthews, Tobi O’Neill and Gareth Davies on board the Portsmouth relief lifeboat Atlantic 75 London Anniversary 175.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone John Feltham, RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 023 9273 5803 or Tim Ash, Divisional Media Relations Manager (South East and London) on 01825 747727 or 07785 296252, email or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789.

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