Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Don't Axe Life-Saver

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Don't Axe Life-Saver

Article excerpt

Byline: Mike Underwood

Ex-pilot's appeal overrescueboat

A FORMER lifeboat man fears lives will be endangered if the Teesmouth Lifeboat station is sunk.

Rod Thompson, the Tees Pilot, spent 30 years as a helmsman on the Redcar lifeboat before it was scrapped by the RNLI.

Now he is calling on RNLI bosses to think carefully before axing the Teesmouth station.

The organisation is due to discuss the issue at a meeting later this month, with a final decision expected in April.

Mr Thompson, 52, is the third generation of his family to have worked on the lifeboats and has saved more than 130 people in his career at sea.

"My concern is that there will not be adequate help available for people in trouble," he said. "As the Tees pilot, I work in all kinds of adverse weather conditions.

"We are out there 24 hours a day, 365 days a year bringing ships in and out of the Tees.

"So my concern personally is that if they take the Teesmouth lifeboat away then we are left with Hartlepool, which will be the nearest offshore boat - but that is four miles away. …

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