HM Coastguards report 'busy year' for incidents
PUBLISHED: 08:11 13 January 2019
Coastguards in the region have described 2018 as a "particularly busy year" after teams responded to more than 1,600 incidents.
HM Coastguards across East Anglia attended 1,645 emergencies last year on 18 stretches of coastline including Hunstanton, Cromer, Winterton, Lowestoft and Gorleston.
Throughout the year, rescue teams from these areas assisted in large-scale search and rescue situations, helping people in distress and handling unexploded weapons or ammunition on beaches.
While the teams were unable to compare 2018 figures to records from previous years, they reported a noticeable increase on the year before.
The HM Coastguard rescue team in Lowestoft recorded the highest number of calls, describing it as “an exceptionally busy year”.
They said on social media: “We have been called out to 174 incidents in 2018.
“The whole area has been busier than ever.”
In 2017, the team had 138 incidents to attend, 39 less than the following year.
Michael Hickey, senior coastal operations officer for the region, said: “Our busiest team by a slim margin was the Lowestoft team, having 174 incidents in which they responded to.”
Gorleston had the second highest number of incidents, with rescue teams attending 162 throughout the year, with a peak of 30 in August alone.
Across the region, the busiest period for the coastguard rescue teams was in July and August, with teams attending 554 incidents collectively.
The senior coastal operations officer said despite a naturally quieter time of the year, “2019 is already off to a busy start”.
During the quieter months, while less people take part in activities on the coast, Mr Hickey said the area management team learn new and updated skills.
During this time, the teams are introduced to new equipment to enhance capabilities for the year ahead.
“We are always on the lookout for the coastguard rescue officers of the future and have a bi-annual recruitment programme for the teams which have vacancies,” he said.
“If you are interested in volunteering for your local coastguard rescue team you will need to have good daytime availability along with evenings and weekends.”