I AM writing to report the outcome of our collection at Chineham Shopping Centre on October 14 and 15 when £417.03 was raised for the Lifeboat Service.

Unfortunately, the Sunday was marred by loud, and sometimes offensive, abuse regarding the matter of our rescuing illegal immigrants from the Channel.

In order to avoid future unpleasant situations for our collectors two major points have to be made. Firstly, regardless of the opinions of our crews, we are tasked by the Coastguard/ Government to rescue these people and also comply with international maritime law, and secondly, there are only five or six lifeboat stations involved whereas there are 232 other stations around Britain and Ireland which are there to rescue the general public.

I hope this will lead to more understanding of the issue, and that anyone deciding to end support for the RNLI will hope that they will never need us to save them.

My sincere thanks to all those customers who did stop to donate, and talk to us about the service and also the BBC series Saving Lives at Sea (BBC 2 Thursday evenings at 8pm).

Martin Boddy



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