Jan 31

Busy-afternoon-for-Ramsgate-Lifeboat

Byline: Ramsgate RNLI's inshore lifeboat, Atlantic 75 "Bob Turnbull", was launched three times to two seperate incidents during the afternoon and early evening of Thursday, 30th. January.
Page Content: The first call was at 2:32pm when the ILB was launched to assist a 10m. angling boat with engine failure and 3 people on board half a mile off Ramsgate’s main sands. The ILB took the casualty under tow and brought it safely into its berth in Ramsgate Harbour.

At 3:52pm the ILB launched again at the request of Dover Coastguard, to a 5m. angling boat with 2 people on board, aground in the River Stour entrance off Ramsgate’s Pegwell Bay. On arrival at the scene the angling boat was found to be hard aground, with the tide still dropping. It was decided, because of this and the cold weather to take the 2 people off the angling boat, having anchored it, and take them to the RNLI lifeboat station and await the incoming tide.

At 8:18pm the ILB returned to the angling boat with its owner, one of the people rescued earlier. Once on scene, it was evident that the tide had come in sufficiently for the ILB to put the owner aboard and for him to make his own way back to Ramsgate Harbour with the ILB guiding. Once safely in the harbour the angling boat was put back on its trailer, with the help of the RNLI’s volunteer crew.

RNLI media contacts
• John Ray, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer (Ramsgate Lifeboat)
07759 480825 / john.g.ray@talk21.com
• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 / tim_ash@rnli.org.uk
• James Oxley, RNLI Press Officer (London/South East/East)
0207 6207425 / 07786 668825 / james_oxley@rnli.org.uk
• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 33678.

Jan 27

More-than-1000-people-rescued-by-Scottish-lifeboats-in-2013

Byline: RNLI lifeboats in Scotland were launching nearly three times a day during 2013 to attend emergencies, according to the charity’s official statistics released today. (Tuesday 28 January)
Page Content: The charity’s volunteers attended 996 ‘shouts’ during which they rescued 1007 people and saved 29 lives.

This is the first time since 2008 that there have been fewer than 1,000 shouts for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in Scotland. The busiest year was 2009 with 1,121 launches, and the record number of people rescued was in 2012 with 1,055.

The busiest station in Scotland was Broughty Ferry (near Dundee) where the charity’s two lifeboats were called out a total of 105 times – half of those incidents took place during darkness. Out of the 32 people rescued, five people’s lives were saved.

The second busiest was Arbroath, with 53 shouts, one more than Oban in third place. Queensferry was the busiest inshore lifeboat station with 49 shouts and the crew rescued 128 people.

RNLI volunteers at Tobermory spent 950 hours on shouts, by far the longest time recorded at any of Scotland’s 47 lifeboat stations. One of those incidents occupied a marathon 31 hours on June 14/15 when a cargo ship ran aground on the east coast of Mull in the Summer.

Tobermory station mechanic Jock Anderson was on board throughout the shout and afterwards he was praised by the RNLI’s Operations Director, George Rawlinson, for ‘his guidance on board the casualty vessel in protecting the crew of both vessels from the dangers of CO2 poisoning’.

Another notable shout was the assistance given by crews from Aith and Lerwick when a Super Puma helicopter crashed into the North Sea close to Shetland in August.

There has been a decrease in recent years of the number of fishing boats that require RNLI help, with 115 incidents last year, down from 122 in 2012. But more members of the public have required help along the coastline.

It’s not just people working on the water that the RNLI helps, there are many reasons people to be rescued including missing pets and people being stranded on a causeway island.

Andy Clift, the RNLI’s Regional Operations Manager for Scotland, said: ‘These figures illustrate the immense commitment exhibited by the RNLI’s volunteers throughout Scotland.

‘Day after day they are available to respond to emergencies along the coastline and out to sea and, night after night, they are also available with a large proportion of shouts taking place in darkness.

‘They also spend a considerable amount of time in carrying out exercises and training to ensure their skills are up to date.’

He added: ‘During stormy weather the RNLI urges the public to avoid areas, whether they be a harbour, pier, promenade or cliff top, where they could get swept off their feet.’

The RNLI in Scotland provided lifeguards for the first time during the summer. Coldingham, near Eyemouth, had RNLI lifeguards and the majority of their work was involved in minor first aid treatment. They assisted the public on 53 occasions.

Notes to Editors: The RNLI launched on 8,304 occasions around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coastline in 2013, and rescued 8,384 people.

RNLI media contacts:

Richard Smith, RNLI Public Relations Manager for Scotland, 01738 642956, 07786 668903, richard_smith2@rnli.org.uk

RNLI Press Office in Poole: 01202 336789.


Jan 27

RNLI-launches-lifeboats-over-8000-times-in-year-of-extreme-weather

Byline: In a year of extreme weather, RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews launched their lifeboats 8,304 times, rescuing 8,384 people and saving 325 lives.
Page Content:

Meanwhile, the charity’s dedicated lifeguards attended 19,594 incidents, rescuing 1,567 people and saving 100 lives.

During the coldest spring since 1962, the hottest summer for seven years and the windiest December since 1993* the RNLI launched a lifeboat, on average, 23 times a day.

The busiest lifeboat station was Tower on the River Thames which launched 492 times, while the busiest coastal station was Southend-on-Sea, which launched its lifeboats and rescue hovercraft 142 times. Half of all launches were to pleasure boats** (4,160 launches) while the most common cause for lifeboat call-outs was to boats with machinery failure (1,596 launches).

George Rawlinson, Operations Director for the RNLI said: ‘Whether it is hot and sunny or wet and windy, we want people to enjoy the sea and stay safe. It’s important to respect the water when visiting the coast and we’re asking people to follow some simple safety tips:

‘Always check tide times before taking to the water or walking along exposed coastlines. Avoid areas where you could get swept off your feet in stormy weather and, if you’re visiting the seaside, remember to go to a lifeguarded beach.’

Some of the most notable rescues of 2013 include:

  • Thirty people were rescued from the sinking tall ship Astrid by lifeboats from Kinsale and Courtmacsherry in July. The ship was driven onto rocks off the south coast of Ireland and started taking on water. Watch the rescue here.
  • As St Jude's storm hit the UK in October, Newhaven lifeboat was called out to search for a teenager who had been washed out to sea in the storm. Sadly he was not found. You can watch footage from the search here.
  • As the stormy weather continued into December, the RNLI’s Flood Rescue Team (FRT) prepared to help should they be needed. The Welsh FRT rescued 25 people trapped in their homes by rising flooding waters in North Wales in December.  Read more here.
  • Crew from Aith and Lerwick lifeboat stations in Shetland launched when a helicopter crashed into the North Sea in August. Tragically, four people died in the crash but 14 were rescued. Read more here.
  • RNLI lifeguards in Croyde rescued 44 people over the busy August bank holiday weekend. Over 100 people were rescued that weekend in Devon and Cornwall alone. Watch some of the rescues here.
  • Three young girls clinging to marker buoys in a bid to stay afloat after drifting out of their depth off the coast of Norfolk were rescued by the rescue hovercraft from Hunstanton lifeboat station. The crew pulled the girls out of the water and took them back to shore safely. All three were distressed but unharmed. You can watch the video here.

In an unusual twist, the start and end of 2013 involved dog rescues; one on New Year’s Day and another just before Christmas 12 months later. Fortunately for Beau the dog, volunteers from Swanage lifeboat were at the ready to rescue her when she ran off cliffs chasing a seagull. Towards the end of the year, Quila the Labrador was rescued by the volunteer crew at Happisburgh. The pup had gone for a swim and been washed out by the tide. Watch Beau’s rescuers in action here and Quila’s here.

Reflecting on a busy year, George adds: ‘It’s been another challenging year for the RNLI and the figures show the dedication of our volunteer crew, lifeguards and flood rescue teams. But they couldn’t do their lifesaving work without the support of their families and employers who release them from work or family commitments to save lives at sea.

‘As a charity, we also rely on the incredible generosity of the public and I would like to say a huge “thank you” to all those who support the RNLI, whether by giving up their time or by making a donation.’

Whatever challenges next year's weather brings, RNLI crews and lifeguards will remain dedicated to the cause of saving lives at sea regardless of what Mother Nature throws at them.

*MET office statistics

** Leisure boats include powerboats, yachts, kayaks, surfers, paddle boarders, body boarders, tenders (without outboards).

Notes to editors:
• For photos and videos, please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.
• Out of the 8,304 lifeboat launches:
o 270 were to commercial or MOD boats
o 517 were to fishing boats
o 667 were to manual leisure craft
o 1,690 were to people ashore
o 1,028 were to people in the water
o 1,920 were to power pleasure craft
o 15,73 were to sail pleasure craft
o 639 were to miscellaneous

Key figures:

Lifeboats
RNLI lifeboats launched 8,304 times
RNLI lifeboats rescued 8,384 people
RNLI lifeboats spent 3,069 hours on service in darkness
RNLI lifeboats launched 124 times into winds above force 7
RNLI volunteer crew spent 213,721 hours spent at sea on service/exercise
1,596 launches were to machinery failure - the single biggest cause of incidents
116 launches to animals (92 to dogs, 5 to sheep and 6 to whales)

Lifeguard:
RNLI lifeguards attended 19,594 incidents
RNLI lifeguards helped 23,505 people including saving 100 lives
17.7M estimated beach users
Perranporth was the busiest beach with 872 incidents

Flood Rescue:
1 deployment – Wales, December 2013
25 rescued

• For interviewees, photos and videos, please contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Kirsti Pawlowski, RNLI Public Relations Officer on 01202 663510 or kirsti_pawlowski@rnli.org.uk


Jan 26

Lifeboat-Christening-for-Baby-Sarah

Byline: TWO Tynemouth RNLI crew members carried on a long tradition of having their baby christened on board their lifeboat today.
Page Content:

When volunteer crew members Chris Reay and Emma Coleman's new baby Sarah arrived there was only one place to hold the ceremony - on board the station's Severn class all weather lifeboat Spirit of Northumberland.

In a moving service Reverend Peter Dodd christened Sarah Judith Reay in front of the couple's family, friends and fellow lifeboat crew members, braving strong winds and rain.

The tradition of christening 'lifeboat children' aboard RNLI lifeboats goes back over two hundred years and is said to bring luck to the child. The christening font normally found in a church ceremony is replaced by the upturned brass ship's bell from the lifeboat.

Dad Chris, 42, met Sarah's mum Emma, 29, a music teacher, when they both joined the RNLI as volunteer crewmembers three years ago.

Chris, who runs a catering business, said: 'The weather was a bit miserable but we didn't let it stop us carrying on the fine tradition of having Sarah's Christening on board the lifeboat.

'Maybe she'll become a volunteer with the RNLI herself.'

Ends

Key facts about Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station

Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station was founded in 1862 and has 30 volunteer crewmembers that come from all walks of life. The station operates two lifeboats: Severn class all weather lifeboat Spirit of Northumberland and IB1 class inshore lifeboat Mark Noble which launch a total of around 65 times each year.

Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station has its own website at www.tynemouth-lifeboat.org.  You can also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TynemouthRNLI or @tynemouthRNLI on Twitter.


Jan 25

Eastbourne-lifeboat-‘seals-another-rescue

Byline: Eastbourne inshore lifeboat was launched this morning (sat) following reports from members of the public that a seal was in difficulties off one of Eastbourne’s bathing beaches.
Page Content: The watch officer at Dover Coastguard received several calls from anxious members of the public when a seal was spotted some 50 metres offshore apparently in difficulties and possibly caught up in fishing nets. In consultation with the lifeboat launching authority it was decided to launch the ILB to investigate. Initially the volunteer lifeboat crew found nothing but after several sweeps of the area the seal broke surface to enquire what all the fuss was about. After a brief frolic with the crew it happily returned to its prime objective of catching a fish for its lunch. The lifeboat crew returned to station happy in the knowledge that the casualty was fit and well.  

Jan 21

Sinking-fishing-boat-sparks-major-rescue-mission-off-the-North-East-coast

Byline: A SINKING fishing boat sparked a major rescue mission off the North East coast late on Saturday (January 18th) afternoon.
Page Content: At just before 5pm the fishing vessel Kiroan contacted Humber Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre to say that they had heard the fishing vessel Rachel Jayne IV make a Mayday broadcast. The Rachel Jayne had said that she was taking on water and sinking 26 miles East North East of the Tynemouth Piers. The crew were also reported to be abandoning the vessel to their liferaft.

Humber Coastguard immediately tasked the RAF rescue helicopter based at RAF Boulmer and Tynemouth RNLI all weather lifeboat to the scene. They also broadcast a Mayday alert message to vessels in the area requesting them to head for the scene. A large number of fishing vessels and commercial ships responded and headed towards the sinking boat.

As the RNLI lifeboat arrived the four crew had just been winched from the liferaft to the RAF helicopter and flown to Wansbeck General Hospital where they received medical attention.

Adrian Don, spokesman for Tynemouth RNLI lifeboat station, said: ‘The Rachael Jayne IV apparently started sinking with very little warning.

‘The crew only had time to make one brief Mayday call before being forced to abandon their vessel for a liferaft.

‘The RAF Sea King helicopter from RAF Boulmer quickly located the liferaft and winched the fishermen to safety before taking them to hospital.

‘The RNLI lifeboat crew recovered the liferaft and considered the possibility of putting a pump onto the stricken vessel but were unable to do so and were forced to watch her sink about 30 minutes later.

‘We’re just pleased that the four fishermen were rescued and are safely ashore as this could easily have become a tragedy’

Jan 16

Newquay-RNLI-volunteer-involved-in-Sri-Lanka-honeymoon-surf-rescue

Byline: A volunteer crew member from Newquay lifeboat station has used his RNLI casualty care training to save a semi-conscious surfer with a serious eye injury whilst on honeymoon in Sri Lanka last month (December 2013).
Page Content: RNLI volunteer and keen surfer Duncan Wallace, 42, is a partner in Newquay Water Sports Centre which operates from the harbour and runs The Hillcrest surf lodge in the town. He has been on the crew at Newquay RNLI lifeboat station for seven years and like all the station’s volunteers, is used to responding to his pager 24 hours a day to help save lives at sea.  

Last month however, he was able to use his RNLI training to save a seriously injured surfer more than 5,000 miles from home, whilst on honeymoon at the south western tip of Sri Lanka with his wife Liz, nine weeks after their autumn wedding in Newquay. Duncan had already been for an early-morning surf three days before the end of their fortnight’s honeymoon in the country and had returned to the beach hut for breakfast with his wife when he heard a man shouting for help from the water.

Duncan said: ‘Looking from the shore, the man did not appear to be in too much trouble, but when I reached him in the white water amongst the reefs I saw that he had in fact suffered serious injuries after being struck by his surfboard. His left eye was hanging down on his cheek, out of its socket, and he was losing blood from a head wound’. The nose of the surfboard had struck the man’s head and left strands of fibreglass embedded in the wound.

The Israeli surfer who was in his early 20’s and only spoke a few words of English was lapsing in and out of consciousness as Duncan towed him into shallower water and hauled him up onto the beach, where he sought help from his wife Liz who brought Duncan’s first aid kit from their hut. Speaking back home in Newquay, Duncan said: ‘At the start of our honeymoon my wife had asked why I had taken up space in our luggage with a first aid kit, but I have always carried one on surf trips’           

Further help arrived from onlookers as Duncan applied dressings and bandaging to the man’s wounds to prevent further blood loss and protect his displaced eye. A plank of wood was used as an impromptu stretcher and the man was taken to the local hospital, 25 miles away, on the back of a tuk-tuk (motorised rickshaw) by a young Australian doctor who was on a training placement in the area. The man spent five days in hospital and doctors were able to save his vision.

Like all of the charity’s 4,600 volunteer crew members nationwide, Duncan devotes a lot of his own time to attend RNLI first aid training and refreshers, including a course at the lifeboat station last year which was carried out two nights per week over six weeks. Duncan said: ‘The RNLI’s casualty care training is first class and definitely made a difference on this occasion. And my wife agreed it had been a good job I’d brought my first aid kit with us on honeymoon!’                

RNLI notes to editors
Library picture: RNLI volunteer Duncan Wallace (far right) aboard Newquay’s D class inshore lifeboat. Credit: ZK Photography & Design.

RNLI Media contacts
For more information please contact Andy Hobkinson, volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer at Newquay lifeboat station on 07880 507464 or email andy@newquay-lifeboat.org.uk or Tamsin Thomas, RNLI Public Relations Manager south west, on 07786 668847 or email Tamsin_Thomas@rnli.org.uk or the Duty RNLI Press Officer on 01202 336789.

Jan 15

Two-Welsh-RNLI-lifeboats-return-to-station-after-major-search-off-Pembrokeshire

Byline: RNLI all-weather lifeboats from Fishguard and St Davids are this evening returning to their respective stations after being involved in a major sea search.
Page Content: Volunteer RNLI crews from both stations were called to action at around 7.30pm by Milford Haven Coastguard following concerns a plane may have ditched.

A rescue helicopter from RAF Chivenor was also involved in the search.

The Tamar class lifeboat from St Davids and its crew searched an area between Porthgain and Trevine, whilst the Fishguard RNLI lifeboat focussed two miles north of the village of Trevine. Conditions at the scene were moderate and visibility good.

The search was called off just after 9pm after Milford Haven Coastguard was satisfied all the aircraft within the area had been accounted for.

Ends
Media Contacts
For more information please contact Danielle Rush, Public Relations Manager (Wales and the West) on 01745 585162 or 07786 668829, email danielle_rush@rnli.org.uk or contact RNLI Public Relations on 01202 336789

Jan 13

Ramsgate-LIfeboat-recovers-barge

Byline: Ramsgate RNLI's first "shout" of 2014 was at 10.55pm on Sunday, 12th. January when the all weather lifeboat was launched to assist a 60ft. barge which was hard against the rocks of Ramsgate Harbour's north breakwater.
Page Content: The barge, with 3 people on board, had lost engine power in the rough sea and 25mph wind as it was entering the harbour and the lifeboat crew found it to be aground as well as being bow on to the breakwater rocks. They managed to get a heaving line over to the barge so that the barge’s crew could then pull the lifeboat’s main tow rope aboard. The tow rope was then fastened to the bow of the barge and once tight the barge was eventually towed off the sand and away from the breakwater and safely onto a mooring within the harbour.

RNLI media contacts
• John Ray, Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer (Ramsgate Lifeboat)
07759 480825 / john.g.ray@talk21.com
• Tim Ash, RNLI Public Relations Manager (London/East/South East)
0207 6207426 / 07785 296252 / tim_ash@rnli.org.uk
• James Oxley, RNLI Press Officer (London/South East/East)
0207 6207425 / 07786 668825 / james_oxley@rnli.org.uk
• For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 33678.

Jan 10

Media-Preview-day-for-the-RNLIs-WW1-Hope-in-the-Great-War-exhibition

Byline: The RNLI is to feature six inspirational lifeboat rescues within its national touring exhibition entitled Hope in the Great War, commemorating the centenary of WW1, previewing to the media from 1.30-4pm on Saturday 1 Feb.
Page Content:

The free-to-attend charity exhibition, funded by Arts Council England, will honour the bravery of RNLI volunteers who risked their lives to save others during WW1 by raising awareness of six relatively unknown heroic lifeboat rescues.

Open to the public from 4 February to 28 February 2014 at the RNLI’s Henry Blogg Museum in Norfolk, Hope in the Great War will start a 4-year tour of RNLI and other museums and of RNLI lifeboat stations. Hope in the Great War will highlight the extraordinary achievements of ordinary people who volunteered for the RNLI throughout the war years, conveying a sense of hope as many lives were saved at sea by the charity. The exhibition offers an ideal way for families and young children to learn about the work of RNLI volunteers during WW1 and will feature a play area for younger children.

The exhibition was made possible by an Arts Council England grant of £78,200 awarded to the RNLI in order to share more widely the role of the charity’s coastal community volunteers during WW1 to help mark the centenary.

The lifeboat services to feature within the exhibition include:

• Cromer RNLI lifeboat’s rescue of the Pyrin and Fernebo, which saw 33 people saved from the sea on 9 January 1917.
• The 1914 Whitby RNLI lifeboat rescue of the wrecked hospital ship HMHS Rohilla which saw 144 people saved from the sea.
• Fraserburgh RNLI lifeboat’s rescue of the steamer SS Glenravel which saw 14 people saved from the sea on 8 August 1915.
• RNLI Port Eynon lifeboat’s service to the Dunvegan that took place 1 January 1916.
• The saving of 20 lives from the tanker Ponus on 3 November 1916 by Falmouth RNLI lifeboat crew and service men.
• The rescue of 23 survivors from the SS Alondra which was wrecked on the Kedge Rock off Baltimore on 29 December 1916 by Baltimore volunteers together with two Royal Naval trawlers.

The RNLI has been working with local community groups to create inspirational artworks that interpret their own local lifesaving story. These items, including a giant jigsaw, a podcast and an animation, will be included in the exhibition and allow the fullest story of the rescues to be told nationally, in an interactive and engaging manner.

Exhibition tour dates for 2014:

4-28 February: RNLI Henry Blogg Museum, Cromer
5-20 April: RNLI Grace Darling Museum, Bamburgh
2-25 May: Lifeboat College, Poole
June: Carrrickfergus Museum, Northern Ireland
23 July - 31 August: Pannett Art Gallery, Whitby
September - October: Pontypool Museum, Wales