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New lifeboat named after former volunteer goes on service at Sunderland RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

A new D class inshore lifeboat officially went on service on Wednesday 5 July at Sunderland RNLI.

Sunderland RNLI

Mrs Anne Cantle with the new lifeboat and members of Sunderland RNLI crew

The volunteer crew took delivery of Thee Andy Cantle D-879 with Mrs Anne Cantle in Sunderland to see the lifeboat, which is named after her late son, take to the water for the first time.

Andrew, who lived in Rawcliffe, York with partner, Beth Webster, was tragically killed on 10 February 2011, twelve years ago, when the commuter plane he was co-piloting crashed at Cork Airport in thick fog.

A memorial fund setup in his memory raised funds to pay for the new inshore lifeboat named in his memory.

Andrew Cantle (aged 27) first became involved with Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat station in 2000 when he decided to serve with the charity as part of the Community Service element of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

After completing the award in 2001 he decided to stay with the charity and serve as volunteer lifeboat crew where he served until 2008, when he moved to York to take up his career as an airline pilot. During this time, he took part in 65 emergency missions which resulted in the rescue of 66 people.

Mrs Cantle was welcomed by the crew and watched as Thee Andy Cantle was unloaded at the lifeboat station before being launched for the first time.

Ann Cantle, Andrew’s mam said: ‘I am so proud to see Andrew back where he belongs, helping to save lives at sea as part of Sunderland RNLI Lifeboat Station. He loved his time on the crew and it is an absolute honour to see an inshore lifeboat carrying his name supporting the team of RNLI volunteers at Sunderland in their fantastic work. I would also like to thank everyone who donated to his memorial fund, making today possible.'

Helmsmen Paul Nicholson and Mark Cleminson, who served alongside Andrew on the lifeboat crew were amongst the volunteers at the lifeboat station to accept the new lifeboat and get her ready for her sea trials.

Paul Nicholson, Helmsman at Sunderland RNLI said: ‘This is a very emotional day for everyone connected to the RNLI at Sunderland as we know how much being part of the station meant to Andrew and his family. This is a very proud day for our crew and the station team, and we are delighted to see thee Andy Cantle take to the water for the first time in Sunderland. We are looking forward to being the custodians of this new lifeboat which will allow our volunteers to go on to rescue and save many more lives in the years to come.’

The D class inshore lifeboat has been the workhorse of the RNLI for over 50 years. First introduced into the RNLI fleet in 1963, the design of the inflatable D class lifeboat continues to evolve to meet changes in demand and technology.

She is highly manoeuvrable and usually operates closer to shore than the charity’s all-weather lifeboats. She comes into her own for searches and rescues in the surf, shallow water and confined locations - often close to cliffs, among rocks and even inside caves.

The new lifeboat will be officially named at a special ceremony at Sunderland on a future date still to be arranged.

RNLI Media contacts

For more information please contact Paul Nicholson, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer: [email protected]

RNLI Picture captions

For the photographs please credit: Sunderland RNLI.

Sunderland RNLI

Andrew Cantle

Sunderland RNLI

The name plate on the new lifeboat

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.