Breaking the waves – sand drawing for the RNLI’s MayDay Mile

In Sand Drawings by JamieLeave a Comment

Nobody loves the British seaside more than Sand In Your Eye, it’s where we work and play and where all of our sand art, from beach sand sculptures to sand drawings take place. 

In 2020 as lockdown restrictions were eased record numbers flocked to the UK coast. This summer with everybody planning staycations it looks like it will be even busier! We’ve already been on the beach much more often than this time 12 months ago, making our sand drawings. 

© RNLI

Last year there were an amazing 3800 mayday calls made, the RNLI launched an average of 42 lifeboats per day during summer 2020 and saved a staggering 349 lives throughout the whole year, almost 1 a day! 140 of those were rescued from the 1st of June til the 31st of August when the British beaches were busiest with day trippers and holiday makers. The RNLI do an incredible job responding to distress calls and patrolling the beaches. They are staffed almost entirely by volunteers and rely upon donations from the public to keep us safe, in 2019 it cost £189.5 million to run the fleet.

To launch their Mayday Mile campaign, where members of the public are encouraged to raise money for the RNLI by travelling a mile in a multitude of ways (walking the dog, riding your bike, rollerskating, running) we popped up on the beach at Scarborough next to the lifeboat station to make a giant 100m anamorphic sand drawing of the Shannon class lifeboat stationed at Scarborough emblazoned with the figure 349 to signify each of those lives that would otherwise have been lost.

© RNLI

This isn’t the first time we have spent the day at the famous Victorian Yorkshire seaside resort. In 2015 we took part in the Yorkshire Fossil Festival with Scarborough Museums Trust, making beach sand sculptures of a Plesiosaur dinosaur and ammonites and in 2017 we made sand drawings for the Camping & Caravanning Club. A year later we were overlooking the bay at Scarborough Castle with English Heritage holding sand sculpture workshops

The RNLI are understandably very proud and protective of the image of their lifeboats so it was very important that we make a very detailed and accurate sand drawing. Jamie, Claire, Rich and Dunc toiled for hours raking the sand to make sure every line and contour of the boat was represented faithfully in the beach art. We even had some lifeboat crew help out – it must have been warm work raking the sand drawing in full kit!

The sand art attracted a lot of attention both on the day and in the press, including BBC website, Sky News and on the front page of the Yorkshire Post. People kept stopping our sand artists to ask them what they were doing – when they heard that it was a lifeboat, everybody was excited. The RNLI holds a special place in everybody’s heart and we are all very glad they are there for us in our time of need, should we have an accident out at sea, on the coast or even on the beach. If you would like to donate money or take part in the Mayday Mile, please follow these links.

Thanks to the RNLI Scarborough for all their help and to Beth at The PHA Group.

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