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Independent lifeboat crews on the Isle of Wight are launching a new Lifeboat Lotto to raise desperately needed cash to keep their vital rescue service afloat. 
The Island Independent Lifeboat Lotto will be a welcome fundraising lifeline for the volunteers and a way for donors to enjoy the chance of winning a cash prize of up to £5000.
Few people realise that a quarter of all UK Lifeboats are independents who don’t receive any funding from the RNLI or any other grant aid.
In the Solent, Britain’s busiest maritime area, independent crews carry out nearly twice as many rescue missions as those claimed by the RNLI.
Island crews based at Ryde, Sandown and Freshwater provide and finance their essential service themselves and that means they need to raise up to £40,000 a year just to meet basic operational running costs.
The Ryde fundraiser, Michaela White said: “It is astonishing how few people know that so much of our coastal search and rescue is in the hands of independent lifeboats, which are not part of the RNLI and are dependent on public donations.
“We are one of 60 groups operating around the UK. We are on call 24 hours a day and are staffed entirely by volunteers. These unsung heroes are unpaid and if the call-out comes in working hours, they frequently lose wages to rescue others.
“We especially need a new small rescue boat to fit underneath Ryde Pier at high tide.
“This is very restricted access if we ever need to rescue someone who is trapped underneath the pier. This new boat will cost us £6000 and we have to raise it all ourselves. 
“We rely totally on public support and the Island Independent Lifeboat Lotto will give generous islanders a new and easy way to make donations, as well the opportunity to win a £5000 jackpot.
“The bonus with this fund-raising lotto is that the next life we save could be theirs – or someone they love.”
Island Independent Lotto is easy – and fun. Entry is only £2 a week and there are no weekly entries to fill in, just pick  4 numbers between 1 and 31 and fill them on the application form.  You only need to do this once as your numbers are then registered in  the Island Independent Lifeboat Lotto computer and are entered into each weekly draw for as long as you pay.
Paying is easy too, no hands in pockets or purses, payment is made by either cheque for £52 which covers 6 months entries or by monthly or quarterly Standing Order. No cash changes hands -Nothing could be easier.
Island Independent Lifeboat Lotto is a local weekly lottery, it is not part of a national scheme, and all funds raised will go to the three Isle of Wight independent lifeboats.
Match 4 numbers and you will win the roll-over jackpot which starts at £500 and increases by £100 a week until a winner is found.  If no one matches the numbers drawn, a winner is guaranteed when the jackpot reaches £5000.  Match 3 numbers and win a £20 consolation prize.
There is no need to claim, all winners will be paid directly and winning numbers will be published each week on our website.
The first draw takes place on Wednesday 4th May 2011 and weekly thereafter.
The Island Independent Lifeboat Lotto team will be out and about, calling on households to ask for your support, they will be easily recognisable with high visibility jackets and full identification.
You can also sign up for the Lifeboat Lotto by collecting an application form from the Lifeboat Lottyo website, www.lifeboatlotto.co.uk following the “Find your local lifeboat” link, choose Island Independent Lifeboats and download the application form. Once completed, there is a Freepost address (no stamp required) to send the form in.
ends

PICTURE: Lifeboat Lotto helps to keep your independent lifeboat afloat. 
Note to editors
Lifeboat Lotto has been set up by a team of people with over 35 years experience in  fundraising by means of small lotteries in the sports and charity sector.
We take all the hard work out of running a Lottery for a good cause.  We can sort out all aspects of a lottery, from the legal requirements through marketing and administration. We start by having a belief and interest  in the  wonderful service that all connected with Lifeboats perform.

We aim to take some of the pressure off a Lifeboats constant need to fundraise and allow them to get on with the job of saving lives not worrying about how they are going to keep the boat afloat.
Contact:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  For further information contact: Steve Hoyle, Lottery Promoter, 07860 635495