Deeply dippy fundraiser for Redcar RNLI

A marine biologist has come up with a novel alternative to the traditional Boxing Day Dip to raise funds for the RNLI lifeboat station near the town she grew up in.

Rather than dip her toes in the sea on Boxing Day though, on 23 December 2020 Heather Coston Williams plunged the depths of the National Marine Aquarium (NMA) in Plymouth, Devon, in her finest dress and surrounded by sharks, rays, fish and other marine creatures.

Heather said: ‘I grew up in Guisborough, just a few miles inland from Redcar and Saltburn on the North Yorkshire coast. I learned to dive aged 14 with my dad at the Cleveland Divers club. We would explore the rocks and wrecks off Redcar.

I live in the Tamar Valley on the border between Devon and Cornwall now and I work at the NMA as a biologist/diver. I decided to dive into the Eddystone Reef to try and raise some money for Redcar RNLI.

‘I’ve seen the volunteers at Redcar RNLI in action in the “Saving Lives At Sea” TV series and when I saw on social media that the usual Boxing Day Dip at Redcar was cancelled because of Covid-19, I thought they’d miss out on those all-important donations.’

Dave Cocks, spokesman for Redcar RNLI, said: ‘The Boxing Day Dip at Redcar has been on the go for over 50 years. It used to be organised by the Lion’s Club and more recently it is organised by the Redcar Round Table.

‘Like a lot of other events the dip had to be cancelled this year so when we heard about Heather’s brilliant alternative we were delighted.’

Heather can be sponsored by going to the Redcar RNLI Facebook page at and clicking the Donate button at the top of the page.