International artist funds boat for NI rescue charity

The anonymous donation has helped buy a sea rescue boat to help fleeing Syrians

AN internationally renowned artist has made an anonymous donation of £35,000 to help a Northern Ireland-based refugee support group buy a sea rescue boat to help fleeing Syrians.

The cash sum was donated the money to Refugee Rescue, which is working to save the lives of people desperately trying to get to the Greek island of Lesbos from wartorn Syria.

Musician and activist Joby Fox, who set up the permanent rescue team of volunteers two months ago, said they had taken possession of an Atlantic 75 originally made for the RNLI by Cowes Lifeboat Station on the Isle of Wight.

He said the donor, who wants to remain anonymous, had heard of the work through fellow artist, Jude Bennett, co-founder of Refugee Rescue.

"It is great news that our volunteers will soon be redeployed on their fourth mission to Lesbos with their own sea rescue boat," Mr Fox said.

"Our collaboration with local boat teams has been working well, only now we have our own boat.

"I'd like to thank all of you who have donated and helped us save lives in this awful humanitarian crisis, and a special thanks to this guy who does not want to be named. He is a real hero and a decent human being."

Refugee Rescue has been operating daily on the island of Lesbos since October 2015. in collaboration with Greek boats, providing skilled sea rescue volunteers from Ireland.

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