Lifeboat guests see second epic comeback

LIFESAVERS were guest of honours at the Newcastle Vipers’ clash on Sunday at Whitley Bay Ice Rink.

Crew from Cullercoats RNLI Lifeboat were at Sunday’s ‘Bash at the Bay’ to watch the Vipers take on the Nottingham Panthers.

And along with other fans at the rink, they saw a depleted Vipers side come back from 4-1 down to win 6-5.

Speaking before the game, Brian Reeds, press officer at the lifeboat station, said: “We were pleased to be joining the Vipers for the evening and we thank them for the invitation.

“Our crew is trained locally and at Lifeboat College in Poole. The training is first class and our equipment is also of a very high standard.

“All of this is paid for by voluntary donations – we don’t receive a penny from official sources – and all of our crews are volunteers.

“Our current lifeboat, The Hylton Burdon, is named for a local Wallsend man who donated the price of the boat provided it was stationed on the north east coast.

“I don’t think you could get much closer to Wallsend and still be an inshore lifeboat.

“The Atlantic 85 class has a crew of four and has kit on board such as radar and GPS direction-finding radio.

“She has a top speed of 35 knots – 40mph in old money – and the crew tell me she’s a lovely boat to handle.”

And while at the rink, crew were also collecting donations on behalf of the RNLI.

There has been a lifeboat station at Cullercoats since 1852 and in that time the crews have presented with seven awards for gallantry.