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Fundraising evening in memory of RNLI Cullercoats crewman a great success

Lifeboats News Release

A recent fundraising evening for Cullercoats Lifeboat raised a magnificent £2,935 for the charity that saves lives at sea. The event was the idea of the partner of Cullercoats shore crew member Craig Gunn who tragically died last year.

Paula presenting cheque to crew and Operations Manager

RNLI/Michael Scott

Paula presenting the cheque from fundraiser

Paula McArthur of New Hartley first thought of organising the event in October last year as a thank you to everyone at Cullercoats RNLI who helped in supporting both herself and Craig’s Mam, Joyce, through a very difficult period.

The event, held on 20th May at Cullercoats Crescent Club, was near to the exact day when Craig died suddenly of a brain haemorrhage. Aged only 56, Craig was an experienced shore crew member at Cullercoats Lifeboat station and was the main tractor driver when launching and recovering the lifeboat either on service or exercise as well as being responsible for the fuel and oil stocks at the station.

An evening of music, raffles, games and an auction helped raise the funds. The band, Twilight Zone, gave a fantastic performance and many local and regional businesses donated gifts and services that were auctioned as well as the prizes for the raffle.

The final amount raised has just been finalised and Paula said: ‘I am delighted with the amount we managed to raise, especially as I'd originally only set a target of £1000. My sincere thanks go to everyone that helped to make the event such a success. The support Joyce and I have received from everyone at the Station in this last year has been very much appreciated.’

Peter Clark, Senior Helmsman at Cullercoats RNLI said: ‘Craig had given his time and experience to the lifeboat station for over 5 years and was not only a key volunteer with his tractor driving skills, but a friendly and hard working person. He is sadly missed by everyone here, he was a big personality. Big thanks must go to Paula who has worked extremely hard in difficult circumstances to raise this magnificent amount.’

RNLI Media Contacts: For more information please telephone Michael Scott, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 07906 632598 or Alison Levett, RNLI Public Relations Manger North 07786 668912 or or contact RNLI Public Relations 01202 336789​​​​

RNLI/Michael Scott

Craig - Sadly missed

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland