The Royal Mail has recognised the marine search and rescue work of the RNLI’s lifeboat crew in a special ‘Mayday – Rescue at Sea’ Royal Mail stamp issue which has gone on sale this month.
The new ‘Mayday – Rescue at Sea’ special issue stamps commemorate the centenary of the adoption of S-O-S as the worldwide Morse code distress signal at sea, which came into force on 1 July 1908. To mark the 100th anniversary, Royal Mail worked with printers to re-create the famous sequence of ‘dots’ and ‘dashes’ along the top and bottom edges of the stamps.
Over 30 million stamps in the six-stamp Mayday – Rescue at Sea issue will be produced.
Four of the set of six stamps feature RNLI lifeboats, the other two feature the work of HM Coastguard helicopters.
The RNLI is an independent charity and relies on public donations: it which works operationally with the government-funded HM Coastguard to save lives at sea.
The RNLI will not benefit financially from the sale of the Royal Mail stamps and so commissioned some special first day covers and a stamp sheet from Buckingham Covers, who supply limited edition products for stamp collectors. The RNLI will receive £4 from each sale. The charity hopes to raise £20,000 from their sale for the planned RNLI Memorial in Poole.
RNLI Fundraising & Communications Director, David Brann said: "It is an honour for the work of our volunteer lifeboat crews to be recognised in this way and it is hoped that the Mayday – Rescue at Sea stamps will help to raise awareness of and funds for the RNLI."
Royal Mail Mayday – Rescue at Sea stamps are on sale in Post Offices from 13 March 2008. Special edition RNLI first day covers are on sale from Buckingham Covers.
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