Campaign launched for a life-saving defibrillator at Hartlepool Marina
Two Hartlepool organisations have teamed up to launch a fundraising appeal to buy a piece of life-saving equipment at Hartlepool Marina.
It follows the tragic death of Robert Welch, 67, who died after chocking while eating fish and chips at Navigation Point on the marina last month.
Hartlepool Round Table and the group Defibs4Hartlepool are trying to raise £1,700 to buy a defibrillator for the marina.
They have launched an online fundraising page with the crowdfunding site Virgin Money Giving.
Defibs4Hartlepool approached the round table after calls to acquire a defibrillator following Mr Welch’s death.
Although it was said that a defibrillator would not have saved Mr Welch, a first aider who helped him while paramedics arrived found there was not a device in the area.
Mark Rycraft, who is chairman of Hartlepool Round Table and also a co-founder of Defibs4Hartlepool, said: “It seemed the right thing to do and the committee of Hartlepool Round Table overwhelmingly voted to support Defibs4Hartlepool.
“The round table decided we would set up a campaign to raise money for a defibrillator at the marina.
“It is for the benefit of the community and gives us the opportunity to raise awareness and funds for the cause.
“Every community outlet should have a defibrillator at hand, an area that is frequented by people should have one in that vicinity.
“They are life-saving devices.”
Joe Darragh, boss at Mandale, which owns land and units at Navigation Point, has said he would welcome a defibrillator at the spot.
And Hartlepool Marina has also said it would be happy to house a defibrillator in its lock office where staff are trained to use one.
Defibs4Hartlepool is made up of four Hartlepool men who raise funds to provide defibrillators mainly in primary schools and sports clubs to improve survival chances in the event of a cardiac arrest.
Mr Welch, from Hartlepool, was airlifted to James Cook hospital in Middlesbrough after he chocked at Navigation Point on May 16.
The father of two sadly later died.
Pauline McLoughlin, a trained first aider who was visiting the marina from Thirsk, went to his aid but said she was surprised the marina did not have a defibrillator.
To donate to the marina campaign visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charity-web/charity/displayCharityCampaignPage.action?charityCampaignUrl=Defibforhartlepoolmarina
Defibs4Hartlepool also have a separate page at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/defibs4hartlepool