Statistics issued by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution showed lifeboats from 23 stations in the south east launched a total of 664 times between June and August 2013. This represents a very small drop of just 3.2 per cent from the 686 launches recorded in 2012.
The statistics amount to yet another incredibly busy summer of saving lives from the beach to the open sea for the RNLI’s hundreds of volunteer lifeboat crew members, including those stationed at Bembridge, Cowes and Yarmouth. On the Isle of Wight the number of lifeboat launches was 57 in 2013, down from last year’s figure of 80.
Andrew Ashton, RNLI Regional Operations Manager, said:
“Yet again 2013 has been busy for our volunteer lifeboat crew members and our 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.
“Despite the small decrease in lifeboat activity in Hampshire, Sussex and Kent, overall for the RNLI it has been the busiest summer for 24 years, with a total of 4,300 lifeboat launches.”
The busy summer season highlights once again the important work of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, which remains a charity and relies entirely on voluntary contributions to run its lifeboats. It is only through donations and support from the public that the charity was able to launch lifeboats or carry out lifeguard rescues.