Fundraiser to buy the RNLI a hovercraft named after Nigel Farage raises tens of thousands of pounds

The GoFundMe page has a target of £100,000

An RNLI hovercraft (Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
An RNLI hovercraft (Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

A fundraiser to buy the Royal National Lifeboat Institution a new life-saving hovercraft called The Flying Farage has raised tens of thousands of pounds in just a couple of days.

The GoFundMe page has raised more than £34,000 from more than 2,000 donors since it was set up two days ago.

The organiser, Simon Harris, states on the fundraising page: “I feel that this would be incredibly appropriate due to Mr Farage taking such an active interest in the RNLI’s activities right now. If there is any money left over, we will purchase a pint of real ale to smash against the front of the boat in a naming ceremony.”

The page has a fundraising target of £100,000.

Harris also states that all the money would be paid directly to the charity and the decision to proceed with a new vessel called The Flying Farage will be left entirely at the discretion of the RNLI.

GB News presenter Farage had accused the charity of being “a taxi service for illegal immigration”.

But the charity hit back at its critics, including the seven-time failed parliamentary candidate, whose words appeared to be partly responsible for a 2,000 per cent increase in donations in just 24 hours after a video of its volunteers rescuing migrants in the English Channel went viral.

In reponse to the fundraiser, an RNLI spokesperson said: "We are incredibly grateful for the donations we receive to enable us to continue saving lives at sea and the outpouring of support we've received recently has been overwhelming.

"It is so important that we have the right lifesaving assets in the right locations to meet the demands of that stretch of coastline. We must always ensure the kind donations we receive are spent wisely to ensure we can save lives as effectively as possible."

The charity highlighted a number of other assets it needed to help keep its services running aside from lifeboats and hovercraft, including volunteer kit, training and fuel for its lifeboats.

The spokesperson added: "Our supporters fuel our rescues and this money will go towards helping us with our mission to save every one particularly along the south-east coastline. Their kindness means so much to us, without them we could not save lives at sea, every one is a lifesaver."

At the end of last month a volunteer crew member was allegedly verbally abused by two members of the public at the charity’s Tower Lifeboat station, under Waterloo Bridge on the north side of the River Thames.

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