A MEMORIAL fund set up to honour a Wearside pilot killed in an air crash is helping lifeboat volunteers save lives at sea.
The Forever by the Sea fund was launched in memory of Andrew Cantle, from Moorside, who died in the accident in the Republic of Ireland earlier this year.
The 27-year-old co-pilot and Spanish pilot Jordi Lopez, 31, were making a third attempt to bring down the turboprop aircraft in thick fog when it crashed at Cork Airport
Both Mr Cantle and Mr Lopez were killed, along with four passengers travelling on board the flight from Belfast.
Andrew was a former member of the RNLI, taking part in 65 emergency missions and rescuing 66 people during his eight years with the charity.
Now, 11 lifeboat volunteers from Sunderland have successfully completed a casualty care training course, paid for by the fund.
Paul Nicholson, a senior helmsman at the Wearside station, said: “This training course will prove to be a fitting memorial to Andy, who was a great friend and colleague to us all.
“The skills learnt by the 11 volunteers at the station will allow them to provide first-class medical care to our casualties and ultimately save lives.”
The four-week course meets all the necessary criteria approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and is recognised by the British Paramedic Association and the Anaesthetic, Trauma and Critical Care Association.
Volunteers are taught how to treat a range of injuries and illnesses, as well as how to use specialist first aid equipment carried on board inshore lifeboats.
These include spinal neck collars, oxygen therapy equipment, tourniquets and basket stretchers.
The group also learned how to use specially-designed medical check cards, which include easy-to-follow flow charts to aid multiple casualty incidents
“All Andy wanted to do was help and look after others, whether this was at work as a pilot or as a crewman onboard a RNLI lifeboat,” said Paul. “This training will help us to continue helping the local people who need our help.”
Forever by the Sea funds can be set up to honour the life of someone special and raise money for the RNLI.
For more information, visit www.rnli.org.uk