A SAILOR whose family have close connections with Hayling has been immortalised at the island’s lifeboat station.
Thomas Sumner, who lived in Wraysbury, Berkshire, left a £10,000 gift in his will to the RNLI.
His family decided the cash should go to Hayling RNLI as the island holds fond memories.
The crew at Sandy Point has now paid tribute to Mr Sumner’s legacy by erecting a plaque in his honour.
Mr Sumner’s daughter Julia said: ‘My husband had been going to Hayling on holidays and for visits since he was a child, and we have a boat there too.
‘My sister also lives there so the family discussed dad’s legacy and we decided it would be fitting to use the money to support that station specifically, seeing as the place is so close to our family’s heart.’
Mr Sumner, who was in the Royal Navy in his younger days and went on to run a successful manufacturing and shopfitting business, died in August 2010 at the age of 82.
Half of the £10,000 donation has been designated for the protective yellow crew kit that lifeboat volunteers wear when going to sea, and the remainder will go towards the general costs of running the lifeboat station and maintaining the lifeboats.
Jonathan Bradbury, lifeboat operation manager at Hayling RNLI, said: ‘It never fails to surprise and move us as volunteers when people like Thomas decide to leave a gift in their will.
‘It is all the more surprising when you learn Thomas didn’t have a personal connection as such to our station.
‘I am delighted his family have chosen us to benefit from his donation and that money will help us save lives.’