Windfall helps keep RNLI afloat

RNLI Senior Helmsman Paul Nicholson (left) and crewman Mark Cleminson (right) with Paul Morrow (inner left) and John Metcalf (inner right).
RNLI Senior Helmsman Paul Nicholson (left) and crewman Mark Cleminson (right) with Paul Morrow (inner left) and John Metcalf (inner right).
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LIFEBOAT volunteers have been handed a much-needed cash windfall.

Wearside Rotary Club has donated a total of £1,500 to Sunderland RNLI station, after a major fund-raising drive.

The money will be used to pay for essential equipment for the volunteers.

The club’s president John Metcalf handed over a cheque to grateful lifeboat operations manager Martin Andrew and senior helmsman Paul Nicholson, at its annual presidents’ evening.

“The Wearside Rotary Club decided to support the RNLI in recognition of the brave and selfless work undertaken by their volunteers who risk their lives at sea for the benefit of others,” said Mr Metcalf.

The club, which currently has 18 members, organises a mixture of social events and activities to help raise funds for a variety of good causes.

Since it was formed in 2003, it has raised more than £40,000 for charities including the RNLI, Great North Air Ambulance and St Benedict’s Hospice.

Mr Andrew said: “We are extremely grateful to the Wearside Rotary Club, for deciding to support us as one of their official charities.

“This donation alone will almost cover the cost of providing two lifeboat volunteers a full set of sea-going protective safety equipment for when they go to sea to help save people’s lives.”

He added: “It costs the RNLI just over £800 to provide a full set of protective equipment to each of the volunteer lifeboat crewman.

“This equipment, which includes a thermal suit, a dry suit, a life jacket, and a safety helmet, is vital to keep the crewman warm and dry during each and every rescue mission.”

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