latest updates as Oxford take on Cambridge

HHis drumming skills have seen him perform alongside Leona Lewis, opera singer Andrea Bocelli, Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger, Olly Murs, Ronan Keating, JLS, Katherine Jenkins, Pixie Lott and The Saturdays.

However, he will be swapping his chopsticks for a drysuit this weekend when he takes to the water with fellow RNLI team Chiswick to keep a quarter of a million people safe as they watch the two universities clash.

The 167th Gemini Boat Race takes place on Sunday April 3 at 3:23 p.m. from Putney Bridge and finishes four miles down the Thames at Chiswick.

Single Mark, from Ealing, North West London, said: “I’m incredibly lucky to have such amazing work as a drummer. I’ve toured alongside some very talented artists such as Ed Sheeran, Elton John, Tom Jones and Leona Lewis.

“I have to pinch myself sometimes considering what I do for a job – it’s great to play and see people enjoying the music – it just gives you an amazing buzz as you fully embrace the atmosphere whatever on stage or recording in the studio while you enjoy the moment.

“In contrast, during my time away from the drums, I have the chance to make a real difference in London as a volunteer for the RNLI helping to save lives along the Thames.

“It’s far from side-by-side with a pop star, however, when you reach out to pull someone out of the water when they need it, it gives you a different kind of buzz, a sense of satisfaction – a feeling that you have made a difference and saved someone’s life.”

The RNLI is the official charity partner of the 2022 Boat Race and celebrates 20 years on the Thames for its four lifeboat stations at Tower, Teddington, Chiswick and Gravesend.

The life-saving charity rescued more than 1,800 people during this time and saved 179 lives.

RNLI crew and lifeguards will be on hand again this weekend, in two lifeboats and nine inshore rescue boats along the Championship course, providing safety cover and offering guidance to those watching from the bank.

Mark is a volunteer crew in Chiswick and said: “We expect 250,000 spectators to watch from shore on boat race day.

“It is rare to have such large crowds on a river, and especially one as tidal as the Thames – so we ask those enjoying the day to be careful and respect the water while staying safe. ‘amusing.

“We’ve been saving lives on the Thames for 20 years now and it’s always great to be involved in events like the Boat Race.

“Our advice to those coming to enjoy the day is to be aware of your surroundings, as slips and falls can happen easily. If you do fall into the water unexpectedly, remember to float for life. .

“Keep calm and try not to panic, lean back extending your arms and legs to keep your airways out of the water and if you need to, gently move your arms and legs in a gentle motion to help you float.

“Once you get your breathing under control, consider swimming to a point of safety.

“If you see someone in difficulty dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard and if you can try to give a location as this will help the rescue services reach those in difficulty more quickly.”

Wayne Bellamy, Chiswick RNLI Station Manager, said: “We are proud to be the official charity partner of the Gemini Boat Race and to be part of the historic race between Oxford and Cambridge universities.

“The partnership aims to raise funds to support the Thames Lifeguard Service, with all proceeds going towards the running costs of the four RNLI stations along the river.

“Our community safety teams have also worked with venues and schools along the course to provide vital water safety training and encourage familiarity with the throw lines.”

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