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Sunderland RNLI Donation to remember teenager on anniversary of tragic accident

Lifeboats News Release

Friends and family of a Sunderland teenager who was killed in a tragic drowning accident at Hendon Promenade eleven years ago have once again decided to mark his anniversary by visiting Sunderland’s RNLI Station to make a £1,000 donation.

Sunderland RNLI volunteers with family and friends of teenager Mark Langton

RNLI/Paul Nicholson

Sunderland RNLI volunteers with family and friends of teenager Mark Langton

Friends and family of teenager Mark Langton have continually supported Sunderland RNLI since he drowned in a tragic accident eleven years ago at Hendon Promenade on April 10 2006.

Mark was washed out to sea from the promenade by rough breaking seas while he played with friends. A major rescue mission involving volunteers from Sunderland RNLI was co-ordinated by UK Coastguard but despite the best efforts of all of the rescue teams involved Mark was later pronounced dead at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Over the last 11 years family and friends of Mark have worked tirelessly to fundraise over £14,000 towards the operational running costs of Sunderland’s two inshore lifeboats.

During the time the family have been supporting Sunderland RNLI in memory of Mark; its two lifeboats at Sunderland have launched 954 times, rescuing almost a thousand people.

This year’s anniversary co-insides with the first day of the Easter school holidays as it did 11 years ago and the RNLI is keen to remind anyone going to the coast during the holidays of the dangers.

Ben Mitchell Community Safety Partner with the RNLI said ‘I have the greatest respect for Marks family who have shared their tragic story to warn others of the dangers on our coast. British and Irish waters are dangerously unpredictable and even when the weather is good seas around the coast rarely reach above 15°, most people who the drown on the coast never set out to go in the water. If you are visiting the coast please go with other people, check the conditions and tides and if anyone does get in to trouble call 999 and ask for the Coastguard’.

Ever since the tragic events friends and family of Mark have arranged various fundraising events to support the volunteers at Sunderland RNLI.

This year was no different with countless events and donations including as ever the exploits of “Marky Boy” an RNLI teddy bear that travels away when people go on holiday, to parties, or even to weddings; with each person who takes him making a donation towards the fund.

Margaret Moan, spokesman for the fundraising group said “Without the support of lots of people we would not be able to remember Mark in such a great way. We would particularly like to thank Pauline and Steve and their customers from Hendon Grange as well as Commercial Road Motors for their kind donations.

Paul Nicholson, Helmsman at Sunderland RNLI, said: ‘Once again we are overwhelmed by the efforts and generosity made in Marks memory. The funds are greatly appreciated and go towards the essential work our volunteers do on the Sunderland’s coastline. As well as receiving the donation; the volunteers wanted to present Margaret, Darren, and Bev with a specially engraved glass vase to mark their fantastic fundraising efforts in Marks memory.’

As a registered charity the RNLI relies on voluntary donations and legacies from the public for its income.

END

Notes to editors

• Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station is the oldest continually operational lifeboat in the United Kingdom. It was originally opened in 1800 before being adopted by the RNLI in 1865.

• Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station operates its own website www.rnlisunderland.org where supporters can keep up to date with station specific activities.

• Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station has a profile on Twitter (SunderlandRNLI) and Facebook (RNLI Sunderland) where supporters can keep up to date with station specific activities and news.

• Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station operates two inshore type lifeboats: An Atlantic 85 8.3m inflatable capable of 35 knots and a D Class (IB-1) 4.5m inflatable capable of 25 knots.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone:

Paul Nicholson, Sunderland RNLI Press Officer on 07957 494 077 or email - pauldnich@yahoo.co.uk or

Alex Richards, Sunderland RNLI Press Officer on 07540 530 395 or email - alex.richards@stc.ac.uk

As an alternative please contact Alison Levett, Media Relations Manager North on 07786 668 912 or alevett@rnli.org.uk or RNLI Headquarters Public Relations on 01202 336000.

Sunderland RNLI Operations Manager with fundraisers Margaret Moan, Bev Steel, and Darren Crookes

RNLI/Paul Nicholson

Sunderland RNLI Operations Manager with fundraisers Margaret Moan, Bev Steel, and Darren Crookes
RNLI awards for fundraisers Margaret Moan, Bev Steel, and Darren Crookes

RNLI/Paul Nicholson

RNLI awards for fundraisers Margaret Moan, Bev Steel, and Darren Crookes

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

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