New Hartlepool MP praises 'precious' RNLI service during visit to lifeboat station

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill (right) on the all-weather lifeboat with Hartlepool RNLI'Deputy Launching Authority Chris Hornsey, crewmember Darren Killick and Deputy'Launching Authority Ray Walker.
Hartlepool MP Mike Hill (right) on the all-weather lifeboat with Hartlepool RNLI'Deputy Launching Authority Chris Hornsey, crewmember Darren Killick and Deputy'Launching Authority Ray Walker.

New Hartlepool MP Mike Hill praised the 'precious' RNLI service during visit to the town's lifeboat station.

Mr Hill paid met some of the volunteer crew members and officials who are on call twentyfour-seven to help save lives at sea.

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill with volunteer assistant 2nd Coxswain Matt Blanchard at the Hartlepool RNLI lifeboat station.

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill with volunteer assistant 2nd Coxswain Matt Blanchard at the Hartlepool RNLI lifeboat station.

It was the first time the Labour politician, who succeeded Iain Wright after the June election, had visited the boathouse and the lifeboats.

The station, in Ferry Road, has provided its life-saving serive for more than 200 years and operates three lifeboats – an all-weather Trent class, a B class Atlantic 75, and a B class Atlantic 85.

The crews have been presented with 23 awards for gallantry, including a gold medal.

Mr Hill said: "It’s been absolutely fascinating to see the amount of equipment, the number of volunteers and even learning how difficult it can be for a volunteer to get to the station through the traffic during a shout.

"It’s also been amazing to see the dedication of the volunteer crew members and the kit the RNLI supply them with is second to none.

"I’ve also learnt how many people have been rescued this year which is a tremendous amount and just shows how busy the station is and very precious to the town.

"But you have to come here to realise the amount of work that is put in by the volunteers here.

"The level of skills and training and having the right equipment, it all just shows how safe our seas are with the RNLI in this area.

"I have nothing but praise for the men and women who crew these boats."

Assistant 2nd coxswain Matt Blanchard, who showed Mr Hill around said: "Mike showed a great deal of interest during his visit where he learnt some facts and figures about the station’s volunteers, our training and some of the call-outs we have been involved with so far this year, he was also shown some of the equipment we use when out at sea on a shout."