Crowdfunder raises £114,000 to offer RNLI a new ‘Flying Farage’ hovercraft

A crowd funding campaign has exceeded its £100,000 target to buy the RNLI a new hovercraft called ‘The Flying Farage’, as a gesture of support for the charity against criticism made by right-wing commentator Nigel Farage.

The RNLI had been ‘overwhelmed’ by support, after its life saving operations in the English Channel were criticised last month for being “a taxi service for illegal immigration”, by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

Among those to defend the charity is supporter Simon Harris. from Southend, who launched a crowd funding campaign last week to buy the RNLI a new hovercraft to be named after Farage.

Harris initially sought to raise £100,000, but that figure was topped this weekend with the new tally standing at £114,695.

Almost 1,500 people have donated to Harris’ crowdfunding campaign on the Go Fund Me platform.

As a result of a new goal of £150,000 has been set by Harris.

“To raise this in just seven days is just mad, and I’ve now adjusted the target to £150,000 - who knows how far this will go,” said Harris.

He is now in contact with the RNLI “about what happens next” but acknowledges that a hovercraft may not be practical in the English channel, as the crafts are usually used in mud flat areas. Instead “it may be far better to spend the cash on an in-shore vessel”, which cost around £90,000, he added.

He also acknowledges that naming it after the right-wing former politician may be “tricky”.

He added: “For starters, there is a risk that Nigel will just sit back and bask in the glory of his named vessel being out saving lives, and there’s also the fact that I’ve been told by serving volunteers in no uncertain terms that it’s just generally a terrible idea.

“However, there’s nothing to stop us being a little more subtle with the name, such as ‘The Flying Milkshake’ or anything else you can come up with to show that this sort of attack on the RNLI from the ‘hard right’ is just plain twatty.”

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