2013 One Of The Busiest Years Ever For RNLI Crews
8:50am 28th January 2014
(Updated 8:51am 28th January 2014)
Volunteer RNLI lifeboat crews across the south west, including Dorset, have had one of their busiest years ever, according to figures released this morning.
They spent an incredible 10,207 hours helping others in trouble at sea, the equivalent of 425 days. In addition to this massive commitment, they spent a further 23,368 hours (974 days) on weekly training exercises on the water.
In Dorset, Weymouth launched its lifeboat 82 times, assisting 89 people spending 673 hours at sea.
The Swanage vessel went to sea 57 times, helping 54 people during 338 hours at sea.
Lyme Regis launched 31 times to attend 34 people spending 165 hours at sea.
RNLI lifeguards on Weymouth beaches dealt with 331 incidents saving 2 lives, and the were 144 incidents at West Dorset beaches of West Bay and Lyme Regis.
Andy Hurley, RNLI Regional Operations Manager said;
"The figures released today, go some way to illustrating the incredible dedication shown by the charity's volunteers, without whom we could not carry out our core purpose to save lives at sea.
These volunteers are equipped and trained to respond to all kinds of incidents whatever the weather throws at them. However it is a massive commitment, not only for them, but for their families, loved ones and employers who must also become part of the wider RNLI family."
Whilst the volunteer crew responded to all manner of incidents in 2013, including fishing boats, people in the water and commercial vessels, it was sailing pleasure craft that accounted for the greater number of rescues (326).
People being cut off by the tide continues to result in a large number of the 'shouts' the volunteer RNLI crew respond to, with a small year on year increase which resulted in 99 launches to those stranded in 2013.
RNLI advice is to always check the tide times and weather forecast before you set off. Both are available from your local lifeboat station or harbour office. Get regular updates if you are planning to be out for any length of time and be prepared to change your plans or cancel the trip if the forecast is bad.