A LIFEBOAT volunteer came to the rescue of a sick seaman – weeks after being handed a charity donation from the man’s crewmates.
Ben Mitchell, who serves at both the Sunderland and Humber RNLI stations, paid a surprise double visit to the MPI Resolution in just over a month.
While she was moored on the River Wear, the crew of the six-legged jack-up ship, used in offshore installations, decided to donate their welfare fund to the life-saving charity, inviting members on board to receive a cheque for £1,000.
But weeks after the presentation, Ben, now at the Spurn Point station, found himself back on the vessel when he was called to help rush a poorly crew member to hospital.
“When we got on board the lifeboat and contacted the coastguard to receive our task, I was rather surprised to hear the name of the Resolution over the radio, having only seen her in the river at home two days before,” said Ben.
“The ship had set sail from Sunderland bound for Skegness and the crewman had woken in the early hours in severe pain.”
The crewman was landed at Grimsby, where he was handed over to the ambulance service.
“After consultation with the coastguard, it was decided the lifeboat would launch to collect the crewman and take him to Grimsby where he could be taken to hospital,” said Ben.
“The Humber lifeboat navigated approximately 20 miles North East of the station at Spurn Point where the distinctive outline of the vessel was seen by all crew before they came alongside and transferred the casualty.
“All the crew at Humber were extremely happy to be able to assist in getting the casualty where he needed to be, and it made it all the more special as the crew of the vessel had already decided to support the RNLI, for which the crew at Sunderland and Humber are extremely grateful.”
RNLI needs volunteers to help run Sunderland shop
THE RNLI has sent out an SOS for volunteers to help run its Wearside shop.
The charity, which operates outlets across the country to support its fundraising, is on the lookout for “enthusiastic and willing” helpers for its Sunderland store.
The shop, in Marine Walk, Roker, sees a surge in visitor numbers during the summer months, with families flocking to the seafront and coastal attractions.
“To keep the shop on Roker seafront open, the lifesaving charity is looking for enthusiastic people who may want to gain retail experience in areas such as customer service, stock display, replenishment, housekeeping and cash handling while at the same time helping to raise funds for the RNLI,” said RNLI retail manager Ali Thomson.
The RNLI has 132 shops around the coast of the UK and Republic of Ireland, selling souvenirs, cards and maritime-themed items.
l Anyone interested in volunteering at the shop should contact Olwyn Wilkinson, volunteer shop manager, on 520 2252, or Heather Malkin, RNLI volunteering adviser, on 07500 608222.