Donation made to Sunderland RNLI to remember tragic teenager

Lifeboats News Release

Friends and family of a Sunderland teenager who was killed in a tragic drowning accident at Hendon Promenade thirteen years ago have once again decided to mark his anniversary by visiting Sunderland’s RNLI station to make a £1000 donation.

Family and friends of Mark Langton with volunteers at Sunderland RNLI

RNLI/Andy McGill

Family and friends of Mark Langton with volunteers at Sunderland RNLI

Mark Langton’s friends and family have continually supported Sunderland RNLI since he drowned in a tragic accident thirteen years ago at Hendon Promenade on 10 April 2006.

Mark was washed out to sea from the promenade by rough breaking waves 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 thirteen years the family have supported Sunderland RNLI in memory of Mark and have raised over £16,000 towards the operational running costs of Sunderland’s two inshore lifeboats.

Over the last two years Sunderland’s two lifeboats have launched 141 times, saving 3 lives and rescuing 67 people.

The anniversary of Mark’s tragic death coincides with the Easter school holidays as it did thirteen years ago and the RNLI is keen to remind anyone going to the coast during the holidays of the dangers.

James Jamieson, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Sunderland RNLI said: 'The donations we continue to receive from Mark’s family and friends are very much appreciated and help us to continue the vital work our volunteers do. Mark’s tragic death reminds us all of the dangers of the sea and I would like to stress that if you are visiting the coast please go with other people, check the weather and tides and if anyone does get into trouble call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.'

Ever since the tragic event, friends and family of Mark have arranged various fundraising events to support the volunteers at Sunderland RNLI. They are also very grateful to the Hendon Grange pub which supports their cause and they host a weekly bingo evening every Thursday at the pub in aid of Sunderland RNLI. Everyone is welcome to go to this weekly event.

Paul Nicholson, Helmsman at Sunderland RNLI said: 'Once again we are extremely grateful for the efforts and generosity made in Mark’s memory. The funds are very much appreciated and go towards the essential work our volunteers do on Sunderland’s coastline.'

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

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 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 - [email protected] or

Andy McGill, Sunderland RNLI Press Officer (Deputy) on 07980 089 622 or email - [email protected]

As an alternative please contact RNLI Headquarters Public Relations on 01202 336000.

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 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.

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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 by email.