It looks like Farage’s attempts to discredit the RNLI have backfired

RNLI volunteers at sea
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Right-wing commentator Nigel Farage has attacked the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) for its work saving the lives of migrants at risk of drowning in the English Channel. In a statement responding to attacks from the right, anonymous RNLI volunteers shared their first-hand experiences of humanitarian rescue missions. This includes reports of abuse directed at ill, exhausted migrant families coming ashore.

People quickly took to social media to express their support for the charity and the work its volunteers do. It looks like attacks from Farage and other right-wing culture warriors may have prompted a rise in online donations to the voluntary offshore rescue service.

Attacks on the RNLI

In his latest attempt to stir up anti-immigrant sentiment, Farage attacked the RNLI, calling it a “migrant taxi service” that facilitates immigration to the UK. Right-wing commentator Darren Grimes chipped in with an abhorrent couple of tweets, suggesting that the RNLI should refuse to help migrants at risk of drowning to “end the expectation that anybody can get to Britain illegally”. These attacks come after home secretary Priti Patel proposed a new immigration bill which could potentially criminalise RNLI volunteers who help refugees and asylum seekers at sea.

Responding to the attacks, RNLI chief executive Mark Dowie issued a statement saying that the volunteer rescue service is “incredibly proud” of its lifeboat crews’ work at sea. Sharing their first-hand account of an English Channel rescue mission, an anonymous RNLI volunteer recounted being confronted by an “angry mob” shouting “F*ck off back to France” at the lifeboat crew and two migrant families with small children. Another crew member said that a “drunken yob” threw a beer can at a group of migrant women and children, while others hurled abuse. Hitting out at attacks from right-wing culture warriors such as Farage, the RNLI took to social media to post:

Standing with the RNLI

Reacting to the RNLI’s dignified response, Farage doubled down on his comments, telling GB News viewers that the RNLI has become “a taxi service for illegal trafficking gangs”. However, the RNLI was met with an outpouring of support from people on social media.

Calling out right-wing culture warriors for whipping up anti-immigrant sentiment, Coventry South MP Zarah Sultana tweeted:

Emphasising the important work the RNLI does at sea, Migrant Voice UK shared:

Calling out the racism inherent in attacks on the RNLI for rescuing migrants at sea, Max Morgan shared:

Expressing his dismay at the state of the nation, Jon Jones said:

Neil Mackay added:

First minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said:

Even Gary Lineker weighed in with this comment:

Thanks for the free publicity

Doubling down on his assault on the RNLI, Farage told GB News viewers that he was just “pointing out the truth”. But his attempts to discredit the charity appear to have been in vain. It looks like the offshore rescue service may have seen an uptick in online donations since Farage’s outburst. Encouraging people to donate to the charity, Dr Mike Galsworthy shared:

Laura Waters added:

RS Archer tweeted:

Right-wing attacks on the RNLI for saving lives at sea reflect just how inhumane their agenda really is. They have also highlighted that the RNLI needs our support. Anyone looking to donate to the offshore rescue service can do so via their website.

Featured image via Rob Pumphrey/Unsplash

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  • Show Comments
    1. As a long term supporter of the RNLI I cannot thank them enough for their efforts. A big thank you to the volunteers who give up their time to help those who get into distress in open water.

      This will be an unpopular opinion with the Canary but I can’t help but think their finite resources, including time and effort, could be better spent helping migrants who are in genuine need and not the small proportion who have broken the law or potentially not gone through the correct process and followed the immigration rules.

      1. Me too, and having helped the RNLI on a number if occasions (being a professional seafarer). seems BoJo, Patel and Farage aren’t aware of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to which we are nit just signatories but one of the maun drafters.
        The Master has an obligation to render assistance to those in distress at sea without regard to their nationality, status or the circumstances in which they are found. This is a longstanding maritime tradition as well as an obligation enshrined in international law.”
        But then seafarers tend to have morals, partly because they face danger all the time, as opposed to cowardly, cowering BoJo and his clowns.

      2. Perhaps if you were fleeing from British troops attacking your home you’d tell a different story……the vast majority are fleeing Western governments visiting death & destruction on them. We should welcome them with open arms instead the boiling oil they do get …..which is stolen from their well in the first place.

    2. As a hedge fund manager, Farage was complicit in hiding vast amounts of cash for the fabulously rich….Shut up Nige.
      During the 1930s’ the daily mail endorsed the nazi party as the future of civility, Nevermind the tax dodging family (Rothermere) owners with their non-domicile status and constant libel court cases…..
      Never-mind the migrants willing to risk a life to find a better life (Who wouldn’t)..
      I’d start culling the billionaires and monopolists…….Chop, chop….

    3. I heard Farage’s original comments & they have been taken out of context & twisted in the retelling.
      His context was, if the government instructs government agencies to stop migrants it should ensure properly funded and equipped agencies exist instead of using charitable organisations like the RNLI to do it on the cheap. He did NOT malign the RNLI.
      This affair is being whipped up by Farage haters & possibly immigrants too.
      Rancid social media is stirring the now boiling pot to it’s own unpleasant ends……..
      I do not admire Mr. Farage but I do love the truth.

    4. Next time Farage is out in his yacht and sinks it due to his own stupidity, I hope that when the lifeboat turns up they tell him to “prove you’re not an asylum seeker!” before they decide whether to rescue him or not; personally, I bet he couldn’t..

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