A MEMORIAL fund set up to honour a Wearside pilot killed in an air crash has raised thousands of pounds to help RNLI volunteers save lives at sea.
The Forever by the Sea fund was launched in memory of Andrew Cantle, from Moorside, Sunderland, who died in the accident in the Republic of Ireland earlier this year.
The 27-year-old co-pilot and Spanish pilot Jordi Lopez, 31, were making a third attempt to bring down the turboprop aircraft in thick fog when it crashed at Cork Airport
Both Mr Cantle and Mr Lopez were killed, along with four passengers on board the flight from Belfast.
Andrew was a former member of the RNLI, taking part in 65 emergency missions and rescuing 66 people during his eight years with the charity.
Now, the fund has topped £5,000, with lifeboat volunteers from Sunderland already completing vital training courses paid for by the fund.
Paul Nicholson, a senior helmsman at the Wearside station, said: “We are all extremely grateful to those who have decided to remember Andrew by making a donation to our charity.
“The training provided to our crews on casualty care is vital to them being able those in difficulty during a rescue mission.”
Completed programmes include casualty care training course, which meets all the necessary criteria approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and is recognised by the British Paramedic Association and the Anaesthetic, Trauma and Critical Care Association.
Volunteers are taught how to treat a range of injuries and illnesses, as well as how to use specialist first aid equipment carried on board inshore lifeboats.
These include spinal neck collars, oxygen therapy equipment, tourniquets and basket stretchers.
The four-week course also saw the group learn how to use specially-designed medical check cards, which include easy-to-follow flow charts to aid multiple casualty incidents
Paul added: “This particular training has proved even more special to the volunteers, knowing that it was funded by Andrews’s memorial fund.
“All he wanted to do was help and look after others, whether this was at work as a pilot or as a crewman onboard a RNLI lifeboat.
“This training will allow us to continue the great work he did while he was with the RNLI.”