Tribute to life-saver

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RNLI crew members have paid their last respects to a fellow volunteer who dedicated years to saving lives at sea.

Mourners packed into Sunderland Crematorium this week to honour Mervyn Templeton, who oversaw hundreds of lifeboat launches on Wearside.

The popular 59-year-old, who died last month at Sunderland Royal Hospital after a long illness, had held the position of Deputy Launching Authority (DLA) since 2004.

In that time, volunteers based at the charity’s Sunderland station have launched on 574 occasions, saving 11 lives and rescuing 539 people.

In the role of DLA, Mervyn, from Seaham, deputised for the lifeboat operations Manager, receiving Coastguard emergency calls and authorising the launch of craft.

He was also responsible for assessing sea and weather conditions and maintaining crew safety.

Alongside his work with the RNLI, he spent 13 years at Adventure Sunderland, a water sports centre in Marine Walk, Roker, which provides a range of outdoor activities.

As manager and instructor, he taught and examined various maritime and outdoor qualifications at the site, which is operated by the Marine Activities Centre, licensed by the Adventurous Activities Licensing Service and is a recognised training facility for the Royal Yachting Association and British Canoe Union.

Ian Rowan, helmsman at Sunderland RNLI and marina manager at Sunderland, aid: “Mervyn will be a huge miss to everyone who worked alongside him at both Sunderland RNLI and Adventure Sunderland,” he said.

“In both roles he promoted safety at sea, and was always ready to help people at sea whether that be teaching one of his courses or dropping what he was doing to respond to his RNLI pager to authorise and help physically the launch one of the charities inshore lifeboats.”