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It all started in 1961

What is The Matlock Raft Event?

What started as a group of enthusiastic divers seeking winter excitement has evolved into an event that captures hearts year after year. The very first event in 1961 certainly made a big splash. Divers from Yorkshire and Derbyshire came together, crafting over 100 rafts to navigate down the icy Derwent River. Fast forward, and this event is a cherished tradition that's been making waves for more than 60 years, now known as The Matlock Raft Event.

Picture the Scene

A crisp Boxing Day morning, Matlock, Derbyshire.

Starting at 10:00am, the rafts set sail on the chilly waters. From Matlock, they navigate the river's twists and turns, conquer the challenging Matlock Bath weir, and finish strong at Cromford Meadows. It's a sight that warms hearts even on the coldest of festive days.

The event comes to life, as rafts from all corners of the country come together to join the fun. And it's not just about the rafts – beyond the thrills, it's about the cause. We're all about raising funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), those everyday heroes who watch out for us on the water. Organised by the passionate folks at DASAC (Derbyshire Association of Sub Aqua Clubs), the event has raised around £2,900 annually, totalling an impressive sum of over £154,000! In fact, in 2015, the RNLI honoured the event with a special plaque to commemorate the remarkable support over the years.

The funds we gather each year have allowed us to help to provide not one, but two lifeboats, helping to ensure people can safely enjoy Britain's beautiful coastlines - a truly amazing achievement. And that's not all – when we raise enough funds, we also offer our support to the Hyperbaric chamber, a vital aid for divers.

After our fantastic 2022 event, we proudly extended a helping hand to several local pre-schools and food banks, contributing a total of £400. With your help, we aim to continue to ensure that every aspect of our community is supported.

Let's Give Back Together

Mark your calendar: we invite you to be a part of our remarkable journey. Join us in giving back to those who dedicate their lives to keeping our waters safe. Every small effort counts, and together, we can make a significant impact.

Thank You for Being a Pillar of Support

To all of you, our participants, spectators, and sponsors, we offer a sincere and heartfelt thank you. Your support not only empowers our community but also shines a light on the selfless service of those who stand guard on our coastlines.

With heartfelt gratitude and holiday tidings,

The Organisers of the Matlock Raft Event

Saving lives at sea with your support


For nearly two centuries, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has stood as a beacon of courage and safety, committed to its mission of saving lives at sea. Founded in 1824, the RNLI has tirelessly worked to ensure that those who venture into the waters return home safe.

With the support of individuals like you, the RNLI stands strong, always ready to jump into action and save lives, no matter the hour.

The RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crews are the unsung heroes, on duty 24/7 across the UK and Ireland. They're the ones who fearlessly brave the waves to ensure everyone returns to shore, whatever the circumstance.

The RNLI has a record of saving over 142,700 lives, and that's just the beginning. It's not just about rescues; it's about being a driving force for change. We work to raise awareness about coastal dangers and promote water safety education, empowering individuals to make informed decisions when enjoying the sea.

Join the journey to create a world where everyone can safely experience the joys of the sea, and become part of our legacy of lifesavers.

Learn more about the RNLI

© Copyright 2023 - Dasac’s Matlock Raft Event - In the aid of the the Royal National Lifeboats Institute (RNLI)

Website designed and coded with ♥ by Ian Ryde and Sam Hepburn.