More than 90 people abseiled down Southwold lighthouse today to raise at least £17,000 for Southwold’s RNLI lifeboat station,

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One of the first of the 94 brave people to clamber up the lighthouse and then rapidly descend its exterior was actor Bernard Hill who starred in the hit films Titanic and Lord of the Rings and won public acclaim for his portrayal of Yosser Hughes in the BBC’s Boys from the Black Stuff.

Mr Hill was pleased he could show his support for the station’s 18 strong crew who give up their free time to attend about 18 incidents a year.

It was the second time that Mr Hill has propelled himself down the towering lighthouse as he took part in the first charity RNLI abseil in 2009, which saw 72 abseilers raise £21,000.

Describing today’s abseil he said: “I enjoyed it. There is a fantastic view up there.”

It costs the RNLI about £1,000 to equip each of the Southwold crew, which includes a businessman, student, boat builder, an airline pilot, taxi driver and teacher.

The crew, which are based at Ferry Road, operate the Atlantic 75 Leslie Tranmer, which can operate 25 miles out to sea.

Anyone who wants to support or join the RNLI as a volunteer should call 0845 045 6999 or visit www.rnli.org

See a full report with photographs on the abseil in tomorrow’s EDP.

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