RNLI lifeboat rescues reach 7,900

Lifeboats from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) rescued more than 7,900 people last year.
Bad weather and heavy rainfall saw RNLI lifeboats launched 8,321 times around the coast of the UK and Ireland, rescuing 7,912 people.
An RNLI lifeboat was launched an average of 23 times a day, with the charity’s volunteer crews spending a collective 67,352 hours at sea.
Tower Lifeboat Station on the Thames was the busiest with 499 launches, while Southend-on-Sea was the busiest coastal lifeboat station with 137 launches.
Meanwhile, the charity’s lifeguards responded to 14,519 incidents and helped 16,414 people on beaches in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
With the UK experiencing the second wettest year since records began, the RNLI’s Flood Rescue Team had its busiest year since its creation in 2001.
Rescue teams were deployed 12 times, including in St Asaph in North Wales, where they helped emergency crews rescue people from flooded homes. In December, RNLI volunteers saved the life of a woman who had been washed from her car at Umberleigh in Devon.
RNLI operations director Michael Vlasto said: “The figures show that our volunteers dedicate a huge amount of their time to saving lives at sea. To know that they are on call 24/7, every day of the year is reassuring for all of us who venture out to sea around the UK and Ireland.
“And it’s not just our crew who are committed to our charity, they wouldn’t be able to carry out their lifesaving work without 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.”