Teenage lifeboat volunteer to carry Olympic torch through Sunderland

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A TEENAGE lifeboat volunteer, who has dedicated years to improving sea safety, is preparing to carry the Olympic torch through Sunderland.

Luke McGill, an RNLI crewmember and instructor at Sunderland Yacht Club, has been nominated as a torchbearer for the flame’s visit to the city on June 16.

The 18-year-old, from Fulwell, said: “I’m very proud and privileged to be asked to represent the organisations which I volunteer for in this historic sporting event.

“While it is me, physically, carrying the torch in the relay, I am there to represent all of the volunteers who do such great work for the RNLI, yacht club, and the Royal Yachting Association.”

The St Aidan’s School sixth-form student was enrolled as a member of the yacht club on the day he was born and has been an active member since he was three, when he first took to the water.

For the past two years, his work has included acting as a Royal Yachting Association instructor, teaching dinghy sailing.

In 2010, Luke made history when he became the first person to win both the junior and youth class of the Honda RYA RIB National Championship, having previously won the junior class in 2006.

Since last year, Luke has also been a volunteer with Sunderland RNLI.

He initially enrolled as a shore-helper, but became a sea-going crewman just six months later and has now taken part in 23 rescue missions and saved the lives of two people.

Alan Dixon, deputy launching authority at Sunderland RNLI and commodore of Sunderland Yacht Club, said: “Sunderland Yacht Club are delighted that Luke has been honoured in this way.

“The honour comes as a result of Luke’s skills as a sailor and the enthusiasm and dedication he applies to all aspects of his life.

“Using these attributes, he is a valued member of Sunderland Yacht Club and talented and enthusiastic volunteer crewmember of Sunderland RNLI crew.

“The members of the club and the lifeboat station crew join me in wishing him well for the day’.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho