Votes needed to boost memorial fund for tragic pilot

Front, Keith Wilson, RNLI lifeboat mechanic; Ben Mitchell, RNLI lifeboat crew. Back: Nissan worker Liam Green; Joe Mitchell, RNLI lifeguard senior; Lyndsey Garrett, NHS podiatrist; Gavin Hughes, lifeboat crew; Bill Matfin, lifeboat crew.
Front, Keith Wilson, RNLI lifeboat mechanic; Ben Mitchell, RNLI lifeboat crew. Back: Nissan worker Liam Green; Joe Mitchell, RNLI lifeguard senior; Lyndsey Garrett, NHS podiatrist; Gavin Hughes, lifeboat crew; Bill Matfin, lifeboat crew.
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FRIENDS of an RNLI volunteer killed in a tragic air accident need votes to help fund a new lifeboat in his memory.

Co-pilot Andy Cantle was one of six who died when the Manx2.com flight from Belfast crashed in thick fog at Ireland’s Cork Airport, in February 2011.

Lifeboat crew member Gavin Hughes, 26, from Durham, said £40,000 was needed for a new D-class inshore craft, which will be named after Andy, who rescued 66 people during his eight years at the station.

Seven pals took part in the Three Peaks Challenge in memory of the 27-year-old, from Moorside, who joined Sunderland RNLI in 2000.

Now the challengers have been entered into a knockout competition to win a share of £10,000, organised by outdoor clothing firm, Mountain Warehouse.

Gavin said: “Our lifeboats do have a life span and Sunderland is the busiest station in the North East, with 100 jobs a year and two training sessions a week on top of that.”

Voting for the Three Peaks Challenge closes today at http://www.mountainwarehouse.com/charity/entries/andy-cantle-memorial-3-peaks-challenge-e1769.aspx.