Whilst most were enjoying the prolonged sunshine and the hottest summer for seven years* on the beaches and around the coast, RNLI lifeboat crews and lifeguards were out helping those in trouble in British and Irish waters.
The busiest lifeboat station over the summer period (1 June to 31 August) was Tower on the River Thames which was called out 176 times. The busiest coastal station, and second busiest station overall, was Southend on Sea which launched 104 times. The most common cause for call out was water craft with machinery failure.
George Rawlinson, RNLI Operations Director said: ‘With more people flocking to the coast over the summer months RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards have been very busy keeping people safe. The commitment shown by our lifesavers never fails to impress me, and once again they have shown true dedication to saving lives at sea.’
Volunteer lifeboat crew have been involved in a number of dramatic rescues this summer.
Thirty people were rescued by Kinsale and Courtmacsherry lifeboat crews from the tall ship Astrid when she was blown onto rocks off the South Coast of Ireland and started taking on water in July. All those on board were rescued and taken to shore safe and well. Watch the rescue here: http://bit.ly/144pwCA
Crew from Aith and Lerwick lifeboat stations were asked to go out to the crash of the Super Puma helicopter into the North Sea in August where four people died and 14 were rescued. Read more here: http://bit.ly/19DO5Mk
As the August bank holiday sun shone in Cornwall, lifeguards on Mawgan Porth Beach were kept busy looking after around 1,500 people. Whilst two of the lifeguards were patrolling in the inshore rescue boat, they spotted a man waving for help. Exhausted and in shock, the man was pulled into the boat by the lifeguards and taken to shore and treated. Later that day the lifeguards returned to the sea to rescue a mother and daughter who were also exhausted and frightened. Click here for the video: http://bit.ly/16l5bB9
With MET office stats showing the warmest summer in seven years, it wasn’t just humans who found the water tempting. Lifeboat crews and lifeguards received calls to help dolphins, dogs and even ferrets this summer.
Newbiggin Lifeboat crew were called out to rescue two fearless ferrets who had decided to explore the coastline, only to get stuck. Their anxious owners called the coastguard who tasked the volunteers to launch on one of their more unusual shouts. Read more here: http://bit.ly/14x4T2d
Even a dolphin took a wrong turn this summer and had to be helped to deeper water by RNLI volunteers from Flint and Rhyl lifeboat stations after becoming stranded on sandbanks on the River Dee. The dolphin originally named ‘Dave’ but later proved to be ‘Davina’ was continually monitored by British Divers Marine Life Rescue and released away from shallow waters so she wouldn’t get disorientated again. Watch the video here:
George continued: ‘I would also like to thank our dedicated fundraisers and the public who support us. Without their kind generosity and tireless hard work we would not be able to equip and train our lifesavers or help so many people in trouble at sea.’
Notes to editors:
• Photos showshow the Courtmacsherry all-weather lifeboat, lifeguards in training and Perranporth lifeguards on patrol in the surf
• Video shows a compilation of RNLI rescues from around the coast
• If you would like to speak to or arrange any photo calls with any volunteers, rescuees or staff, please contact the RNLI Press Office
RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Kirsti Pawlowski, RNLI Public Relations Officer on 01202 663510 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the RNLI please visit www.rnli.org.uk. News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI Press Centre www.rnli.org.uk/press
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 200 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 139,000 lives.
Charity number CHY 2678 in the Republic of Ireland and registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736)