The outstanding generosity of Isle of Man Steam Packet Company passengers has been recognised by a Manx charity.
Commemorative plaques were unveiled on board the fast craft Manannan and the Ben-my-Chree to acknowledge the support of those who have donated to the Rob Vine Fund, incorporating the Hogg Motorsport Association.
Over the last 23 years, more than £255,000 has been collected on Steam Packet Company vessels during sailings each TT fortnight.
The Fund was established in memory of Rob Vine, who died after a crash at the Black Dub in the 1985 Senior TT.
It is a voluntary charity which provides pre-hospital medical and rescue care, equipment and training for doctors, paramedics and others at most motorsport events held in the Isle of Man.
This includes the provision of basic first aid and advanced life support equipment around the TT Mountain Course and the supply of medical and rescue equipment carried on helicopter ambulances – known as AirMeds - used during the TT, Festival of Motorcycling and Southern 100.
Last year, a record-breaking £19,465 was donated on sailings, more than £3,000 above the previous highest total since the first annual Steam Packet collection in the mid-1990s
Dr David Stevens MBE, Secretary and Director of the Rob Vine Fund, and other volunteers, joined crew and staff on board for the unveiling of the brass plaques.
He said: ‘Each year, I am overwhelmed by the incredible generosity of TT fans who show such fantastic support for the Fund.
‘The plaques are small mementos to thank the staff and patrons of the Steam Packet who have, over a 23-year period, collected more than a quarter of a million pounds.
‘Every penny goes towards helping the Fund continue its important work ensuring vital medical and rescue equipment is available and medic training continues. For the kindness of those who donate, and the crew and staff who coordinate annual collections, we are forever grateful.’
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward added: ‘There is a real sense of community among road racing fans and every year they dig deep to make a personal contribution to support the essential work the Rob Vine Fund makes to the sport.
‘Just before our collections begin during TT 2018, we were thrilled when Dr Stevens and his team approached us and asked to unveil a plaque.
‘I would like to personally thank every member of staff and crew involved in coordinating and carrying out the collections and contributing to such an amazing achievement; they should all feel very proud. Here’s to another successful TT for the charity.
To find out more, visit www.robvinefund.im.
Pictured: Dr David Stevens MBE and other representatives of the Rob Vine Fund and the Hogg Motorsport Association unveil a plaque with Steam Packet Company crew and staff.