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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution - Saves Lives at Sea



Kinghorn RNLI Lifeboat Station has completed its busiest summer on record, launching 30 times during June, July and August.

Preliminary rescue figures* for summer 2010, issued today (22 September) by the RNLI, show that, during June, July and August, there were 430 launches of lifeboats from Scotland’s fleet of 53 lifeboats based at 45 stations. This is almost identical to the same period last year when there were 431 launches.

Kinghorn lifeboat launched 30 times over this period, making it the second busiest lifeboat in Scotland after Queensferry lifeboat. This follows 26 call outs for Kinghorn lifeboat during the same period in 2009.

The volunteers at Kinghorn have spent over 30 hours at sea during these rescues, and this does not include the many hours of training undertaken and the time spent after a call out washing and fuelling the boat and preparing it for its next callout.

Kinghorn lifeboat covers an area westwards to Inchcolm and Granton, and between Largo and Gullane in the east. This includes much of the Fife and Edinburgh and East Lothian coastlines.

Some notable rescues over the summer period include the rescue of kayakers stranded on Inchkeith Island, sinking vessels, inflatable dinghys and persons in the water.

Lifeboat Operations Manager at Kinghorn, Paul Wibberley commented, “We have had another extremely busy year, with the volunteer crew and shore crew putting in a huge effort to respond to all call outs.”

“We have undertaken a diverse range of shouts, with each one placing slightly different demands on the lifeboat and crew. Fortunately, with the excellent training package supplied by the RNLI, the volunteers are well placed to undertake this important role. Our new Atlantic 85 lifeboat, Tommy Niven, which arrived at Kinghorn last October, has also improved our capabilities.”

Nationally, the charity’s lifeboats were requested to launch by HM Coastguard 3,926 times throughout the UK and Ireland.

RNLI Operations Director, Michael Vlasto, said: ‘The summer is always busy as more and more people opt to relax at the coast each summer in the UK and Ireland. The figures show that our volunteers are called on much more during this time and the fact they respond every time the pager goes off shows just how committed they are to saving lives at sea.

‘Many of our lifeboat volunteers are also especially busy at this time with their day jobs as many of them work in the tourism industry, so we are especially grateful to them in summer – and to their employers who allow them to stop work at the ‘‘bleep of a pager’’ to help others, and given the current economic climate for businesses this is a great contribution to the charity.’

*RNLI lifeboat launch figures for summer 2010 are preliminary, with verification yet to take place.