Lifeboat stations across the north-east have been handed a £25,000 donation by the mother of an oil worker, killed in a helicopter disaster seven years ago.
Audrey Wood lost her son Stuart in 2009 when the Super Puma he was travelling in ditched 11 nautical miles from Peterhead.
The 27-year-old oil worker was one of 16 people who died in the April 1 incident.
Since that day, Mrs Wood and Stuart’s older sister Kerry have worked tirelessly to raise funds for the RNLI charity.
Now, the pair have presented the organisation with a cheque for £25,000, bringing the remarkable total raised by the Wood family to more than £125,000.
Last night, Mrs Wood – who lives in Newmachar – said: “I never envisaged raising money like this. It’s making people aware that these very brave men are volunteers.
“I think a lot of people would expect them to arrive at an incident at sea and maybe forget these men might have just been sitting with their families having a meal.
“My introduction to them personally was seven years ago when I lost my son in the helicopter crash.
“I know it was an unsuccessful search, but it was the compassion and sincerity of these guys. They just must be made of something different.
“When they go out on a job, their whole heart is in it.”
The money was raised at this year’s annual Glamour, Glitz and Bubbles lunch in March. More than 250 ladies gathered for a meal and dancing in the company of some north-east volunteers
As well as raising money, Mrs Wood is battling to raise awareness of the often dangerous work done by brave lifeboat volunteers, and the event began with an “emotional” speech by James Geary who was involved in the search for Mr Wood and his colleagues.
She added: “They’re out in all weathers and even on Christmas day. I take my hat off to them – they’re amazing people.”
Last night a spokesman for the RNLI praised Mrs Wood as a “dedicated supporter” of their cause. The spokesman said: “The RNLI is a charity that relies on voluntary donations and legacies from the public for its income.”
Money raised over the years has been given to local RNLI branches and funds from the lunch on March 19 will go to the Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Macduff, Buckie and Aberdeen RNLI stations.