A London lifeboat volunteer was staggered to discover a photo he posted on twitter has been retweeted almost 25,000 times around the world, as far afield as Lapland, Barbados and Korea.
RNLI crewman Matt Leat posted the photo over the weekend from his lifeboat station's twitter feed @towerrnli. It featured his crewmates aboard London lifeboat Brawn Challenge shrouded in midst at Tower Bridge on the River Thames in London.
The photo was accompanied by the message below.
The tweet spread like wildfire to millions of twitter users around the world, receiving retweets from famous faces including television presenters Jake Humphrey, Gaby Logan and Kirstie Allsopp.
Matt, who volunteers at London's Tower lifeboat station by Waterloo Bridge on the River Thames, said:
– Matt Leat
My iPhone hasn't been able to keep up with the twitter alerts due to the phenomenal response. When I posted the photo I thought it might get a couple of hundred retweets but I'm staggered at how popular it has proved in just a couple of days.
I think it's been successful because it's a great photo featuring an iconic London landmark that people recognise. But more importantly, retweeting the photo has been a way for people to show their support for the RNLI. We're a charity made up of volunteers who risk their lives to save others on a daily basis. People like to show their support for that and we're really grateful to them.
The photo has been retweeted over 25,000 times and favourited by around 2,000 people. Retweets have popped up as far afield as Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and New Zealand.
– Matt Leat
I didn't actually take the photo myself. It was taken by Glenn Julius, an RNLI volunteer based at Lymington lifeboat station, who was working in London for the day.
He's pleased with its popularity.
The RNLI isn't funded by Government, we rely on public donations to operate so anything that raises awareness of our charity is a good thing.