Boys tragic sea death leads mum to champion charity’s work

Mark Langton, who died when he was just 13.
Mark Langton, who died when he was just 13.

The mum of a teenager who died in a sea tragedy is continuing to ensure lives will be saved in his name.

Southmoor pupil Mark Langton, 13, was swept into the water while dodging waves on Hendon Promenade during the Easter school holidays in April 2006.

RNLI donations in memory of Mark Langton. From left crewman Kieron Barraclough, operations manger James Jamieson, mother of Mark Berverly Steel, Nora Whitfield and hemlsman Paul Nicholson

RNLI donations in memory of Mark Langton. From left crewman Kieron Barraclough, operations manger James Jamieson, mother of Mark Berverly Steel, Nora Whitfield and hemlsman Paul Nicholson

Police officers jumped in to pull Mark free, but despite the efforts of the emergency services, including the RNLI, he could not be saved.

He would have celebrated his 25th birthday on Saturday.

In the wake of his death, his mum Beverley Steel has raised money for the RNLI, with more than £16,000 gifted so far.

Beverley, 45, from Farringdon, has now presented £1,900 to its team at its base in Roker.

I personally get through it thanks to the help of all those who help fundraise.

Beverley Steel

She has been supported by friends Margaret Moan as well as Nora Whitfield, of Ryhope Workingmen’s Club, who has held fundraising night.

Beverley, also mum to Kirsty, 27, and gran to Tillie, nine, said: “The RNLI is something we support because of what happened to Mark, but also very much because it is a charity which doesn’t get any Government funding. It’s the fifth emergency service and its work is really important.

“Still, after 11 years, it’s something everybody supports and it’s all systems go.

“The community are still doing their best and it’s all in memory of Mark. They did what they could to try and help Mark, and they need financial support and help to tell kids about water safety.

Mark Langton, who died when he was just 13.

Mark Langton, who died when he was just 13.

“I personally get through it thanks to the help of all those who help fundraise.”

Paul Nicholson, Sunderland RNLI’s helmsman, said: “Donations like these are imperative to us as a charity to continue to do the work that we do.

“It is especially touching when donations like this are made and it is also a way to remember Mark and help us get out those messages that can save lives.”