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Life raft challenge is fund-raiser.

Byline: Sophie Doughty Reporter

COOPED-UP together in a life raft, these friends got very close at sea to raise money for a lifesaving charity.

The team of offshore wind engineers carried out a 24-hour fundraising challenge which saw them spend a night aboard the tiny boat moored in the North Sea.

The 12 volunteers, who all work for Maersk Training in Newcastle, embarked on the tough mental and physical test to raise money for the RNLI.

But Sam Nicholson from the group, said he was looking forward to spending time on the raft with his pals.

The 27-year-old from Whitley Bay said: "I have never done anything like this before and I think it was quite a challenge.

"The lack of space was tough, but we all get on really well so it was good fun and we were looking forward to seeing the sunrise."

The volunteers who come from across the company, including managing director Stuart Cameron, entered the life raft at 5pm on Friday and remained inside until 5pm on Saturday.

Their aim is hope to raise PS2,000 for the charity. The life raft is anchored just off Tynemouth Longsands next to the Lifeguard Station, where Sam volunteers. The team had nothing to eat or drink apart from the rafts normal rations of water and dry biscuits and had to stay within the raft for the full 24 hours.

A live webcam streamed the event and the volunteers posted live tweets and Facebook posts throughout the challenge.

Tony Greener, maritime business development manager at Maersk Training, who also took part in the life raft challenge, said: "The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea, providing an on-call 24-hour lifeboat search and rescue service around the UK and Ireland, and a seasonal lifeguard service.

"Taking part in fundraising activities, such as the life raft challenge, means that the lifeboat crews can continue to reunite the 22 people they rescue each day with their families."

And Stuart Cameron, managing director of Maersk Training, added: "The RNLI is a charity that is very close to the heart for many people at Maersk Training.

"With 92% of the total income for the charity coming from donations and legacies, we are thrilled to be doing our bit to raise money and awareness for the amazing work the RNLI volunteers do."

David Stenhouse, lifeboat opera-tions manager at Tynemouth RNLI, added: "Support from maritime companies like Maersk Training is very much appreciated.

"Two of the volunteers are actually serving lifeboat crew members here so they will see the benefit at first hand as all funds raised help to provide vital crew training and equipment for our volunteers."

To donate, visit justgiving. |com/24HOURLIFERAFTCHALLENGE


Volunteers from Maersk Training who spent 24 hours in a survival raft off Tynemouth Longsands to raise funds <B for the RNLI Lewis Arnold

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 24, 2015
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