Collectively, crew from the three lifeboat stations around the Island launched on 112 rescue missions last year, to attend a wide range of incidents including commercial vessels in trouble, distressed fishermen, swimmers, and leisure marine users.
In a year of extreme weather, the volunteer crews rescued a total of 139 people. This included saving the life of 1 person – In RNLI terms, a “life saved” is a specific criteria which states that without the intervention of the RNLI, these people would have most likely died.
Peter Dawes, Regional Operations Manager for the RNLI, said:
“None of this would be possible without the huge commitment of the volunteers who crew our lifeboats, and of the extended family of supporters who facilitate that.
“From spouses and children, right through to considerate employers who allow their staff to leave at a moment’s notice to launch lifeboats, they all deserve a huge thank you from the RNLI.”
Among the notable rescues and RNLI news around the coast of the Isle of Wight were:
– Bembridge lifeboat crew rescued a man who had suffered a stroke and was stranded on an old military fort in the Solent.The coxswain had to be creative and used a rather unorthodox method using ropes, a hook and a plastic stretcher.
– Volunteers at Cowes were involved in a search for an inebriated man who had plunged into the River Medina in the middle of the night. He attempted to swim the river having missed the last chain ferry for the night. Read the story here
– Two men whose fishing vessel capsized and sank in the Solent in a matter of seconds were rescued by Yarmouth RNLI. One was still in his sleeping bag when the disaster happened – both were found in a liferaft some hours later. Read the story here
Reflecting on a busy year, Peter added:
“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.”