Fewer call-outs but RNLI year still busy

PUBLISHED: 01:01 07 February 2008 | UPDATED: 08:48 10 June 2010

STATISTICS released by the RNLI show Exmouth's lifeboat crew had fewer launches last year. The RNLI said the reduction was the result of its prevention work on the coast as well as improved weather conditions. Last year Exmouth's lifeboat crew were launch

STATISTICS released by the RNLI show Exmouth's lifeboat crew had fewer launches last year.The RNLI said the reduction was the result of its prevention work on the coast as well as improved weather conditions.Last year Exmouth's lifeboat crew were launched 106 times - compared to 126 launches in 2006.The all-weather boat Forward Birmingham was launched 28 times, the inshore lifeboat George Bearman 74 times and the boarding boat - used to reach the all-weather boat - four times. Throughout the South West lifeboat crews launched a total of 1,476 times.The report also shows RNLI lifeguards last year helped 9,505 people on beaches where they saved lives and rescued people from major and minor incidents.Steve Instance, RNLI Inspector in the South West, said the news comes ahead of the charity's Saving Lives at Sea SOS day tomorrow.The Exmouth Shanty Men on Friday have been booked to perform Sing Our Shanties at the Manor Hotel to raise funds for the lifesaving charity."We didn't really get a long period of decent boating and beach weather and that's reflected in our annual figures," said Mr Instance. "However, the statistics also show our prevention work is starting to pay off. RNLI lifeguards aided 9,505 people, but also performed 573,192 preventative actions, including safety warnings and advice on local hazards, which will have prevented many more incidents. "Our volunteer lifeboat crews and our RNLI sea, fishing and beach safety teams spent many hours talking about simple prevention measures with people, before they put to sea. We can't rest up though as there is more work to be done."Our lifeboat figures show we still get called to too many power boats and yachts with some kind of machinery failure, and we also launched to more than a hundred fishing vessels. RNLI lifeguards spent a large amount of their time assisting people using surf and body boards, as well as going to swimmers who found themselves in trouble. Of all beach incidents attended to by RNLI lifeguards where environmental factors played a part, rip currents were involved in almost half of them.

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