A fundraising cyclist has visited Burnham-On-Sea RNLI lifeboat station during an emotional 200-mile cycle ride in memory of his son who was sadly lost to a freak wave while sea fishing.
Phil Bindon is fundraising for the RNLI after his son Mike was lost in January 2014 when he was washed off rocks near Padstow. Despite an extensive search his body was never found.
He is undertaking a four-day cycle ride from Weston to Padstow, passing through Burnham-On-Sea, to raise thousands of pounds for the lifeboats charity.
Phil says: “Back in 2014, my life changed in a split second. At 9.40am on January 22nd, 2014 my son Mike was taken from us off the coast of Cornwall.”
”At 23 years old, Mike was a passionate fisherman, and that day he was out with his best mate looking for a fishing spot to settle down for the day.”
”The last any of us heard from him was his final recent Facebook status that said: “Sex, drugs and rock and roll? Nah, fishing is the life for me!”
“A freak wave hit them both. His mate managed to hold on and call the emergency services, but Mike was swept out in seconds. The RNLI and air support were on the scene within 15 minutes. They never found him, and my life changed that day, forever.”
Phil adds: “Back to 2020, and I had a lightbulb moment. It was also the year when Mike would have turned 30. He would have laughed at his dad on a bicycle, so I wanted to raise awareness again, and help the RNLI, but this time I wanted to make it a celebration, something to enjoy and bring people together in the spirit of Mike having fun which he did like a giggle at times.”
“My challenge is to ride from Weston super Mare RNLI station to Padstow RNLI station, visiting every other station on the way to thank the crews for what they do. The challenge will involve riding 200 miles over tough terrain with a total elevation of 16,000ft which is not far off the height of Everest and will take four days to complete.”
Phil has also worked closely with the RNLI over the last seven years since the tragedy to help promote safety amongst rock anglers.
Phil, who is a site manager with a building firm called Edenstone Homes, hopes through his contacts to raise over £10,000. His JustGiving page has raised over £6,000 with an additional £1,500 being committed by Edenstone Homes which is providing sponsorship for their cycling shirts and accommodation on route.
Phil and his team hope to visit all ten lifeboat stations on route – departing from Weston-Super-Mare at 10am on Saturday 26th June and finishing at Padstow Lifeboat Station at around 5pm on Tuesday 29th June.
Over the weekend, Phil and his team plus other supporters, cycled into Burnham-On-Sea RNLI lifeboat station en route and met with Operations Manager Matt Davies plus crew.
Pictured: Phil with supporters pedal into Burnham-On-Sea over the weekend (Photos: Mike Lang)