Family and friends of tragic teenager continue raising funds for Sunderland RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Friends and family of a Sunderland teenager who died in a tragic drowning accident at Hendon Promenade fifteen years ago have visited Sunderland’s Lifeboat Station during the week of what would have been his 29th birthday to make a £1000 donation.

RNLI/Andy McGill

The plaque presentation to friends and family of Mark Langton

Mark Langton’s friends and family have continually supported Sunderland RNLI since he drowned in a tragic accident fifteen 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 fifteen years the family have supported Sunderland RNLI in memory of Mark and have now raised over £20,000 towards the operational running costs of Sunderland’s two inshore lifeboats.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made fundraising very difficult but Margaret Moan, a close family friend, said that they still managed to organise games of bingo at Hendon Grange Pub, raffles and cake sales. Mark's mam, Bev, has also taken part in a charity Colour Run at Gosforth Race Course.

The family were presented with a commemorative plaque during their visit to Sunderland Lifeboat Station by Lifeboat Operations Manager James Jamieson. James said: 'Year upon year Mark Langton's family and friends have continued to support our volunteers by raising vital funds towards the running costs of the station. We are extremely grateful for their efforts especially during the recent difficult times caused by the pandemic.'

Mark’s tragic death reminds us all of the dangers of the sea and the RNLI 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.

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 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

Andy McGill, Sunderland RNLI Press Officer (Deputy) on 07980 089 622 or email - andy.mcgill83@gmail.com

As an alternative please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

RNLI/Andy McGill

The plaque

RNLI/Andy McGill

The plaque presentation to friends and family of Mark Langton

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.

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 by email.