SOS Radio Week – when is it?

SOS Radio Week takes place during the month of May every year to coincide with the Royal National Lifeboat Institute’s (RNLI’s) own Mayday fund-raising event.

It starts at 00:00 on the 1st May and ends at 23:59 on the 31st May.

Official SOS Radio Week stations will be on the air at various times during the event.

Why does SOS Radio Week last a month?

That’s a very good question.

Back in 2007 the RNLI used to have an event called SOS Day and it was on a Friday, but activities around the country used to last all weekend to raise money under its banner.

Because many amateur radio stations wanted to run special events from actual lifeboat stations, access to some of those stations would be governed by tides, so we decided to make our week-long event cover the weekend before SOS Day and the weekend immediately following.

The RNLI moved their special fund-raising day for a while to later in the year, but we kept our event at its traditional slot in the calendar, at the end of January.

However, the average age of amateur radio operators in the country is a little on the high side and many were finding that the inclement weather during the winter wasn’t to their liking for a special event station that was to be held in a draughty boathouse.

In the meantime the RNLI introduced their current annual fund-raising; Mayday. But instead of lasting a day, their Mayday event lasts a whole month. Thinking to ourselves that, what’s good for the is good for SOS Radio Week.

So we moved our event to the whole month of May too and we retained our name. Well if the RNLI can make one day last 31, SOS Radio Week can last a month too.