LIFEBOAT volunteers will hold a fund-raising event tonight in memory of a former member who died in an aircrash.
Sunderland Yacht Club is hosting the charity night in memory of pilot Andrew Cantle, who was killed two years ago tomorrow.
Andrew, who grew up in Moorside, Sunderland, died on February 10, 2011, when the Manx2.com commuter plane he was co-piloting crashed at Cork Airport in Ireland after entering thick fog.
The Manx2.com flight from Belfast was making its third attempt to land when it crashed.
Andrew, who was 27 when he died, first became involved with Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat station in 2000, when he decided to serve with the charity as part of the Community Service element of his Duke of Edinburgh Award.
The fund-raising night comes as it was revealed that a final report into the crash – which killed five other people – will be published in the next few months.
Ireland’s Air Accident Investigation Unit says that the report is being finalised and will be issued once Spanish and European aviation authorities respond to its findings.
Tonight’s event is expected to attract 120 people, and will include family and friends as well as past and present RNLI volunteers who served with Andrew during his eight years of service.
All cash raised will be donated into the Andrew Cantle Memorial Fund.
Sunderland Yacht club member Jimmy Carter is compering the event, which will include music from band Stagecoach.
Paul Nicholson, senior helmsman of Sunderland RNLI, said: “We are all extremely grateful to Sunderland Yacht Club, Stagecoach and the many individuals and businesses who have agreed to support this event.
“With the night being held the night before the second anniversary of Andy’s tragic death, it will be very emotional indeed for those attending.
“But in the bottom of our hearts we all know that it is a very fitting way to remember him, as it will be the sort of function he loved to attend.”