RNLI urges coast users to be safe after lifeboats called out 1,000 times

A lifeboat crew in action
A lifeboat crew in action

Lifeboat crews are calling on people to take extra care this summer in a bid to cut the number of rescues.

Last year, Royal National Lifeboat Institution volunteers took part in more than 1,000 callouts - Sunderland being the busiest with 100 launches, with the Tynemouth crew being involved in 75 launches.

Volunteer lifeboat crews at the 33 lifeboat stations in the north of England launched 1,032 times last year, an increase of more than 8% on 2015 when there were 954 launches.

The charity’s lifeguards on 38 beaches in the region also saw an increase in the incidents that they attended with 2,398 in 2016 compared to 2,065 in 2015.

Darren Lewis, RNLI lifesaving manager said: “In 2016, our charity’s lifeboat crews and lifeguards in the north of England saved 64 lives. “The figures from last year show immense dedication by our volunteer lifesavers.

“But the increase in lifeboat launches and incidents dealt with by our lifeguards highlights the need for people to be extra vigilant in or around water.

“Our charity promotes safety messages all year round through interactive campaigns such as Respect the Water and Hit the Surf.

“Through these initiatives we have equipped thousands of people with invaluable lifesaving tips.

“With Easter coming, it’s the ideal time to remind people to have an enjoyable time at the coast, but they need to treat it with respect.

“A little preparation and knowing what to do if you do get into trouble can, mean the difference between life and death.”

Top safety tips

* Familiarising yourself with tide times.

* Always let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be return.

* The correct way to raise the alarm is by calling 999 and asking for the Coastguard.

* Always swim at a lifeguarded beach.