VOLUNTEERS with the RNLI tackled a gruelling 24-hour non-stop rowing event inside a Littlehampton superstore raising almost £2,800 for the charity.
The crew, all from the lifeboat station, in Fisherman’s Quay, managed to row an impressive 376 miles during the relay, inside Tesco, in Broadpiece – even if they did fall asleep on the shop’s floor at points during their “oar-some” challenge.
It set off on Friday (January 25), as part of the RNLI’s SOS national fund-raising day, and finished shortly after noon, the following day, with Littlehampton’s mayor, Emma Neno, officially congratulating all those who took part.
Gavin Simmons, Liam Clarke, Tom Bezzants, Warren Marden and Ian Foden made up the core contingent of the team, each rowing at different points throughout the event.
They took on 10 minute shifts on the two rowing machines, which were provided by Inspire Leisure, while being spurred on by friends, family and even staff at Tesco – who also took turns on the machines.
Gavin, who organised the row, said that many of the team were surprised at just how challenging the task was.
“I didn’t realise that staying awake and motivated for 24 hours would be so hard,” he said.
“But the support and generous donations from the public really spurred us all on.
“I’d like to say a massive thank you to those who took part in the row and helped in setting it up.”
He added: “I was surprised and very impressed with the distance we rowed.”
A total of £2,799.57 was raised through collection buckets at Tesco and the town centre plus the team’s JustGiving page and an event held in the White Hart pub, in Surrey Street. However, this figure is predicted to top £3,000, once all the sponsorship money is collect.
Nick White, operations manager said: “A huge amount of effort went into raising money for SOS day, with a splendid result.”