Inver river duck race will raise vital funds for lifeboat equipment

Ballygally Castle supporting the RNLI 'Mayday' campaign
Ballygally Castle supporting the RNLI 'Mayday' campaign

The RNLI is calling on the people of East Antrim to support their brave volunteer lifeboat crews as Mayday, the charity’s national annual fundraising campaign, is launched.

Running for the whole month of May, the RNLI’s Mayday campaign is calling on people to ‘do their bit, fund our kit’ with the lifesaving charity hoping to raise £750,000 across the UK and Ireland to fund the crucial kit volunteer crews rely on, like lifejackets, helmets and the RNLI’s iconic yellow wellies.

Larne RNLI is running a family favourite, the Duck Derby, on Saturday, May 13 at 12noon at the Inver Bridge.

Hundreds of ducks will be launched down the river.

The top prize is an overnight stay in Ballygally Castle Hotel which has kindly been donated by Hastings Hotels.

Thanks to the generous support from local businesses other prizes include a facial at Eleganze Hair and Beauty, an Inver Garden Centre voucher, Forever Living products, a prize from McFarlanes and fun prizes for children!

You can sponsor a duck for £1 on race day itself .

Another Mayday fundraising event is ‘The Great Northern Retros Run’, leaving Larne on Saturday, May 27.

The convoy will be travelling via Malin Head to Culdaff for camping and a BBQ.

This is the second year running that the Northern Retros organise this event to raise money for the RNLI.

Allan Dorman, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Larne RNLI, said: “Our volunteer crew members are willing to drop everything to go and save lives at sea when their pagers are activated.

“Our lifeboat crew kit is absolutely vital when we’re out in all weathers saving lives.

The continued support from the public and local businesses in Larne helps to ensure our crews are prepared for the harshest conditions.”

With 4,800 volunteer lifeboat crew members providing a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts, money raised through Mayday will help kit out RNLI crews.

It costs £1,593 to provide an all-weather lifeboat crew member and £1,881 for an inshore lifeboat crew member with all of the vital kit they need during a rescue.

Anyone who wants to get involved should visit for more information on local fundraising events or register for a free Mayday pack.