December 9 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
The number of lifeboat launches in Norfolk and Suffolk this summer decreased slightly compared to last year’s holiday period, new figures have revealed.
The statistics released by the RNLI charity showed there were 80 call-outs for lifeboats from Hunstanton, Wells, Sheringham, Cromer, Happisburgh, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Southwold stations between June and August - a reduction from the summer before when they were scrambled 111 times.
But despite the slight drop, RNLI spokesman Philly Byrde said this summer was the busiest summer for lifeboat crews and lifeguards in Britain and Ireland in 24 years with 4,300 lifeboat launches.
The decrease in figures for Suffolk and Norfolk could be because of increased safety messages and steps being taken to prevent emergencies from happening.
Miss Byrde said: “We do try and educate people so they make the right decisions and enjoy the sea safely. It is absolutely vital lifeguards and lifeboats work together. The service is just as important as it was ever was.”
She added one reason why RNLI volunteers had experienced a busy summer could be more people taking holidays in Britain because of the recession.
Notable rescues this summer included the Hunstanton RNLI’s dramatic rescue of two young girls who were close to drowning after being caught out by the tide on Brancaster beach and left clinging to a marker buoy.
Another was the Cromer lifeguards who rescued two girls who were caught in a strong current while swimming. They were dragged dangerously close to the pier.
There are 12 beaches patrolled by lifeguards and nine lifeboat stations in Norfolk and Suffolk.
Andrew Ashton, RNLI regional operations manager, said: “Yet again 2013 has been busy for our volunteer lifeboat crew members and lifeguards. We had some really lovely sunny days this summer – temperatures in the 30s in some places - so it’s hardly surprising we were called out to so many incidents.”