A group of fishermen will be swapping boats for bikes to raise money in memory of a tragic Hartlepool man.
Lee Renney, 22, lost his life in a boating tragedy last year when he fell into the sea about half a mile from the town’s Heugh Pier.
Now, a hardy group of sailors are planning to complete the coast to coast bike ride in memory of Lee and to raise vital funds for the North Shields Fishermen’s Mission, which supports fishermen and their families up and down the North East coast.
Lee, who lived in the town’s Powlett Road, was fishing with his brother, nephew and a woman aboard the Pauline Mary when the tragedy happened in September.
He had been setting lobster pots when his foot became tangled in a rope and he was pulled overboard.
Emergency services were alerted and the air ambulance and RNLI lifeboat were quickly on the scene, but sadly, despite being dragged back onto the boat, it was too late to save the young man.
To remember Lee Renney and raise vital fundsPeter Dade
A report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch published in May told how the skipper, Lee’s brother, had risked his own life by jumping into the water in an attempt to save him.
Peter Dade, superintendent at North Shields Fishermen’s Mission, is hoping as many people as possible will support the team of five cyclists in their challenge.
They team will travel from Whitehaven to Hartlepool, via Penrith, Alston and Bishop Auckland, over two days from August 11 to 13 and throughout the event they will be wearing T-shirts with a photo of Lee on the back.
Peter said: “All of this is twofold, to remember Lee Renney and to raise vital funds for the North Shields Fishermen’s Mission in its work of welfare and support to fishermen and their families in the North East.”
He said the team is set to finish at Fish Sands, Headland, Hartlepool at around lunchtime on August 13 and they are hoping for a big crowd of people to welcome them back.
The Fishermen’s Mission is the only fishermen’s charity that provides emergency support alongside practical, financial, spiritual and emotional care to all active or retired fishermen and their families.
To find out more about its work or to make a donation visit www.fishermensmission.org.uk.