LIFEBOATS along the region's coastline are to receive a cash lifeline - thanks to the generosity of a retired naval officer.

Mike Seymour and his wife, who shared a love for the sea, have helped to ensure the water safety of others.

Mr Seymour, a retired Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy, died in May last year and his wife, Corrie, died last February.

Between them, they have left more than £375,000 to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

The couple, from Gayles, near Richmond, North Yorkshire, made only one request - that all the money had to be used for equipment or projects in the county.

The lifeboat stations of Staithes and Runswick, Whitby, Scarborough and Humberside will all be benefiting from the legacy.

The Seymours were keen supporters of the RNLI for more than 20 years and had strong connections with North Yorkshire and its coastline.

Mr Seymour had a long and distinguished career in the Royal Navy, including war-time action with the Atlantic convoys during which he survived a torpedo attack on his ship by a German submarine.

After his retirement, he enjoyed sailing and teaching navigational skills.

The couple were regular visitors to Staithes, where Mr Seymour would teach youngsters, mainly cadets, map and chart-reading skills.

He even rebuilt the conservatory at his home to make a boathouse and spent many hours sailing with his wife in their small yacht.

A presentation ceremony has been held at the Staithes and Runswick lifeboat station where a cheque was handed over to the chairman of the management committee, Neil Anderson.

Among those present were Mrs Seymour's sister, Irene Roberts, with friends from the Richmond area and from Wales.

Mr Anderson said: "Mike and Corrie would be delighted to know where the money will be used.

"We are very fortunate indeed to have friends such as these."