Once again, Isle of Man Steam Packet Company passengers dug deep when making on board donations during the Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling, and helped to raise a record-breaking amount.

The annual collection, which is coordinated by crew members from Ben-my-Chree and Manannan on all sailings during the festival, raised £7,802.54 for the Manx Grand Prix Supporters’ Club – the largest amount ever.

The money helps fund the rescue helicopters, support injured riders and fund vital medical equipment during the road racing event.

Over the past 39 years, the MGPSC has donated more than £750,000 to the cause and in 2014 has been able to make a £45,000 donation towards the £100,000 cost of hiring in the two helicopters required for the festival.

A cheque for the record-breaking collection total was presented to MGPSC Chairman Andrew Kneale by Ben-my-Chree and Manannan crew.

He said: ‘We are once again grateful to all passengers for their generous donations and also to the crew members who helped organise the collections on each sailing as handed over recently by crew members of both Steam Packet Company vessels without their time and energy we would not have raised such a significant amount.’

Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward added: ‘The Manx Grand Prix Supporters’ Club donates almost half of the costs for this vital life-saving service each year, and help to make this important event happen.

‘We are proud of the part our staff play in not only getting visitors safely to and from the event, but also in helping to raise this record amount. I would also like to thank our very generous passengers for their donations.’

For more information about the MGP Supporters’ Club and the Helicopter Fund, visit:

Photograph: (from left) Isle of Man Steam Packet Sales Development Manager Brian Convery, crew members Paul Turton, Nicola Thompson, Sandra Fitzgerald and Captain Dermot O’Toole, Manx Grand Prix Supporters’ Club Chairman Andrew Kneale and Chief Officer Chris Kelly.