Video: Praise for RNLI lifeboat crews after increase in call-outs

PUBLISHED: 10:13 28 January 2014 | UPDATED: 10:24 28 January 2014

Annual Lowestoft Lifeboat open day, 2013. Southwold mock rescue swimmers. Pictures: MICK HOWES.

Annual Lowestoft Lifeboat open day, 2013. Southwold mock rescue swimmers. Pictures: MICK HOWES.


The region’s lifeboat crews received a 9% increase in call-outs last year, according to new figures.

Lifeboat rescues by lifeboat stations

Hunstanton - 30 launches with 30 rescues in 2013. In 2012, there were 35 launches and 19 rescues.

Wells - 27 launches with 26 rescues in 2013. In 2012, there were 21 launches and 15 rescues.

Sheringham - Eight launches with four rescues in 2013, compared with five launches and two rescues in 2012.

Cromer - 19 launches with 25 rescues in 2013, compared with 13 launches and seven rescues in 2012.

Happisburgh - 12 launches and 24 rescues in 2013, compared with 16 launches and four rescues in 2012.

Great Yarmouth and Gorleston - 34 launches and 32 rescues in 2013, compared with 40 launches and 37 rescues in 2012.

Lowestoft - 23 launches and 44 rescues in 2013, compared with 34 launches and 67 rescues in 2012.

Southwold - the lifeboat was launched 15 times in 2013 with 80 rescues, compared with 20 launches and nine rescues in 2012.

Officials from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) praised the dedication of East Anglia’s lifeboat volunteers after new figures revealed a rise in the number of rescues in 2013, compared with 2012.

Collectively, crew from the 15 RNLI lifeboat stations along the Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex coast launched on 571 missions last year, which resulted in 722 rescues. In 2012, there were 624 call-outs and 593 rescues. One example can be seen from a recent event in the link below:

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In a year of extreme weather, crews attended a wide range of incidents including commercial vessels in trouble, distressed fishermen, swimmers, and leisure marine users.

The number of rescues by the Southwold RNLI team jumped from nine in 2012 to 80 last year after dozens of swimmers got into difficultly during a swimming event.

• Infographic: RNLI National Stats

In addition, the lifeguard service, which operated on 12 beaches in Norfolk and Suffolk from May to September, went to the aid of 938 beachgoers. Lifeguards in Norfolk chatted with over 44,679 people across the summer about everything from tides to the dangers of inflatables.

Other notable rescues in 2013 included:

• The Hunstanton RNLI hovercraft rescued three young girls found clinging to marker buoys after being cut off by the tide. All three were distressed, but unharmed.

• RNLI beach lifeguards in Cromer saved the life of a boy who was caught in a rip current.

• Lowestoft RNLI and the RAF search and rescue helicopter operating from Wattisham assisted a diver who was suffering from ‘the bends’.

• Southwold RNLI assisted in the rescue of 85 swimmers taking part in an organised event who got into distress in strong tides.

Peter Dawes, regional operations manager for the RNLI, said it had been a busy year for the lifesaving charity.

“As long as people are in distress, the RNLI will be there to help. We provide a ring of safety from the beach right out to the open seas. But the first class training and the equipment needed to do the job cost money, and we are very fortunate to have such a dedicated support network among the general public. As a charity, the RNLI simply could not continue helping those in distress and saving lives without that support.”

“Whether it is hot and sunny or windy and rainy, the water always presents a number of risks for visitors to the coast. We would always recommend that people take care when going to the coast and follow some simple safety tips; always check tide times before taking to the water; avoid areas where you could get swept off your feet in stormy weather, and if you’re visiting the coast, be sure to visit a lifeguarded beach during the summer month.”

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