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RNLI Stamp launch

PUBLISHED: 15:41 18 March 2008 | UPDATED: 15:05 20 February 2013

Appledore stamp on Lifeboat. By Nigel Millard

Appledore stamp on Lifeboat. By Nigel Millard

The RNLI lifeboat crew volunteers at Appledore were called out to an emergency search today, just as they began the launch of a special stamp set being produced by the Royal Mail. Both the all weather and inshore lifeboats...

The RNLI lifeboat crew volunteers at Appledore were called out to an emergency search today, just as they began the launch of a special stamp set being produced by the Royal Mail. Both the all weather and inshore lifeboats were sent to Putsborough in Woolacombe Bay after reports of an unidentified object in the water. Shortly after being launched, they were recalled when an RAF helicopter crew reported the object as being discarded fishing nets.



It's the first time the RNLI has been featured on a UK stamp for more than 20 years. The special edition Mayday - Rescue at Sea stamp set goes on sale on 13 March and features the work of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution at four of the charity's lifeboat stations, including Appledore, as well as the role of HM Coastguard.



The new six stamp 'Mayday - Rescue at Sea' issue will run to over 30 million stamps. Four of the set feature RNLI lifeboats: at Appledore (46 pence stamp), St Ives in Cornwall (54p stamp), Tenby in Wales (78p stamp), and Barra in Scotland (1st class stamp).



Martin Cox, RNLI Coxswain at Appledore, says he's delighted that the station's Tyne class all weather lifeboat, George Gibson, is to feature on the 46p stamp:



'Last year we launched the George Gibson on 17 occasions to emergency call-outs, each time with a crew of volunteers. Conditions can be miserable, and often we're called out when everyone else has had the sense to stay ashore. This stamp is a way of reminding people about the work our charity does, and the incredible dedication and bravery of the many volunteers who keep our lifeboats afloat.'



Julietta Edgar, Head of Special Stamps, Royal Mail says the photography captures the real drama of life saving at sea:



'We felt it was vital to capture the incredibly testing conditions the men and women of the RNLI often work under for the stamps to have the best impact. The new set is a special tribute to the RNLI as a charity, and the Coastguard, that will be seen by countless people on letters and parcels around the world. We hope the Mayday - Rescue at Sea stamps will remind us of the immense courage and bravery of all who are involved in maritime search and rescue.'



The RNLI, with the help of Buckingham Covers - a specialist producer of first day covers - has created a unique set of first day covers featuring the Royal Mail Mayday - Rescue at Sea stamps. There will also be a limited edition special stamp sheet featuring ten RNLI lifeboats and a lifeguard rescue watercraft, from around the coast of the UK. The RNLI aims to raise up to 20,000 for the proposed RNLI Memorial Garden at the charity's headquarters in Poole.


2008 is also the centenary of the adoption of the SOS distress signal, and to mark this anniversary Royal Mail has worked with Walsall Security Printers to re-create the famous sequence of 'dots' and 'dashes' along the top and bottom edges of the stamps.

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