Public praised for grand achievement

Lifeboat volunteers today thanked generous shoppers who dug deep for their annual collection.

Fund-raisers were out in force in Sunderland for the RNLI's flag day event.

The main collection took place in June when lifeboat crews and lifeboat guild members were out in the city centre with collection buckets.

The drive raised more than 1,000 for the charity.

Paul Nicholson, senior helmsman at Sunderland RNLI lifeboat station, paid tribute to all those who helped with the collection and made donations.

"Collections like this are extremely important to us because we rely entirely on voluntary contributions and legacies for income," he said.

"We are very grateful to the public for their continued generosity."

St George's Church, in Stockton Road, hosted a service in honour of RNLI lifeboat crews both past and present.

The Echo is trying to raise 10,000 to put seven RNLI volunteers through 12 months' operational training.

If you would like to donate, send cheques to Sunderland Echo Launch a Lifesaver appeal, c/o James Johnston, Sunderland Echo, Echo House, Pennywell, Sunderland SR4 9ER.

Fund-raisers can publicise events in aid of the RNLI by emailing details to