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31st Jul 2021

RNLI see surge in donations after Nigel Farage’s migrant rescue criticism

Kieran Galpin

RNLI shows their heart and it pays off

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has been praised online for its work in keeping migrants safe out at sea. However, after a targeted attack from the former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, the RNLI actually saw a massive rise in donations.

“We’re proud of the lifesaving work our volunteers do in the Channel – we make no apology for it. Those we rescue are vulnerable people in danger & distress. Each of them is someone’s father, mother, son or daughter – every life is precious. This is why we launch,” they tweeted.

The new GB News presenter said: “taxi service for illegal trafficking gangs.”

The charity said in the same 24 hour period there had been a 270% increase in people viewing volunteering opportunities on its website.

Chief executive Mark Dowie said: “All decent people will see this as humanitarian work of the highest order” and “crews should not have to put up with some of the abuse they received.”

The organisation faced abuse online, largely from the right, after they said they are proud to help migrants to shore. But the RNLI has said the surge in donations is “simply incredible”.

“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,” they said in a statement on Thursday.

“Our mission is to save everyone. Our supporters’ kindness means so much to us, without them we could not save lives at sea, every one is a lifesaver.”

One 16-year-old boy, from Afghanistan, said: “I need to go to the UK. I am ready for anything to try and get there.”

“I will try until I die.”

Last week, a new record was set for migrants crossing the channel in one day. It beat the daily high of 416 set in September 2020, coming in at 430.  This comes as the Government are discussing plans to revitalise immigration laws. Home Secretary Priti Patel said the following about her new legislation:

“The Nationality and Borders Bill contains vital measures to fix the UK’s broken asylum system.

“Our new plan for immigration is fair but firm.

“We will welcome people through safe and legal routes whilst preventing abuse of the system, cracking down on illegal entry and the criminality associated with it.”

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