RNLI lifeboats in north of England launch over 1,000 times in 2012

Tuesday 22 January 2013

Author: Alison Levett

Volunteer crews from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) launched their lifeboats more than 1,000 times and rescued 949 people in 2012.


Statistics issued today (Tuesday 22 January) show there were 1,024 rescue launches from the charity’s 33 lifeboat stations in the north of England last year.


RNLI lifeguards on 28 beaches in the north responded to 1,515 incidents, helped 1,774 people and advised 317,246 people about beach and water safety.*


The busiest lifeboat crew in the north of England in 2012 was Sunderland, who launched their two inshore lifeboats 100 times and rescued 100 people, followed by:


Blackpool – 92 launches rescuing 23 people

Tynemouth – 54 launches rescuing 78 people

Cleethorpes – 50 launches rescuing 51 people

Hartlepool – 47 launches rescuing 48 people


Across the UK and Ireland, 2012 saw RNLI lifeboats launch 8,321 times, rescuing 7,912 people. RNLI lifeguards responded to 14,519 incidents and helped 16,414 people on beaches in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. And the charity’s Flood Rescue Team had their busiest year on record, deploying 11 times to flooding in England, Wales and Ireland – including once on Teesside.


The 2012 statistics show that 46% of RNLI lifeboat rescues in the north of England were to recreational craft (476); 22% were to people ashore (221); 15% to people in the water (152) and 8% to fishing and other commercial vessels (84).


Overall, the statistics show a 19% decrease in lifeboat launches in the north of England compared to 2011, which was the second busiest year in RNLI history. With the Met Office reporting that 2012 was the second wettest year for the UK since records began, this drop in launches is probably due to fewer people heading to the coast and out onto the water in the poor summer weather.


Despite this, RNLI volunteer lifeboatmen and women in the north of England spent a collective 6,577 hours at sea on service in 2012, and a further 4,307 carrying out training exercises at sea – a mark of their commitment to their lifesaving role, said the charity’s Operations Director, Michael Vlasto.


He added: ‘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.’


Friday 25 January 2013 is RNLI SOS Day – the charity’s community fundraising day. For more information log on to www.rnli.org/sos    


Key RNLI figures in 2012

•           RNLI lifeboats launched 8,231 times

•           RNLI lifeboats rescued 7,912 people

•           RNLI lifeguards responded to 14,519 incidents

•           RNLI lifeguards assisted 16,414 people

•           The RNLI Flood Rescue Team deployed 11 times

•           4,073 (49%) lifeboat launches were to recreational craft

•           798 (10%) lifeboat launches were to commercial craft (fishing boats and other commercial vessels)

•           1,489 (18%) lifeboat launches were to boats with mechanical failure


Notes to editors

*RNLI lifeguards patrol the region’s beaches during the summer season, mainly running from June to September, with the exception of Crosby beach in Sefton which is patrolled 365 days a year.


Video and pictures

A selection of RNLI images can be searched here: http://bit.ly/10mcwMb  

Compilation video of RNLI rescue footage from 2012: http://bit.ly/XrYm5N  

Video of Sunderland RNLI crew in action: http://bit.ly/SVTudx  

Video of Blackpool RNLI crew in action: http://bit.ly/11ExOFi  


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