Leeds woman thanks sea rescuers

Grateful Stephanie Simpson has first hand experience of the fine work routinely done by the UK's lifeboat volunteers.

Stephanie had to be rescued by an RNLI crew after her boat broke down during a sea trip from Lowestoft to Hull.

The 25-year-old is now busy raising money for the lifeboat service to show her appreciation for its efforts on her behalf.

And she wants others to follow her lead by organising fundraising events on Friday, January 28 – the date of this year's RNLI SOS Day.

Stephanie, from Sherburn in Elmet, near Leeds, said: "It wasn't until the rescue that I found out the RNLI is a charity and the lifeboat crews are volunteers. I've already started fundraising and SOS Day is a great opportunity for more people to get involved and have some fun."

Stephanie's sea rescue drama happened last October during a trip with her fiance and his uncle on the latter's 30ft-long Bayliner boat. They were making good headway when they ran out of petrol, leaving them drifting in The Wash off the Norfolk and Lincolnshire coast.

The trio had an anxious 20-minute wait in choppy conditions before an RNLI crew from Skegness came to their aid, towing them back to shore.

Stephanie said: "It was just atrocious, we were taking on water when the lifeboat arrived. The crew were fantastic, just outstanding - they were so kind and calm and made us feel such a lot better. I'm convinced that without them our story would have had a very different ending."

The RNLI's annual SOS Day fundraising extravaganza has generated 2.3m for the charity since 2005. Visit www.rnli.org.uk/sos for more details.

Accountants Hentons merge with York-based Forster Scott & Co