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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution - Saves Lives at Sea

KINGHORN LIFEBOAT SECOND BUSIEST IN SCOTLAND

25/01/2011

Volunteer lifeboat crews in Scotland rescued more than 900 people during 2010, according to the RNLI’s official statistics published today. (25 January)

Kinghorn lifeboat station was the second busiest station in Scotland in 2010. The lifeboat launched on seventy occasions. During these services 92 people were rescued, and 25 of these callouts took place in the dark.

Nationally, the RNLI rescued 8,313 people around the coast of the UK and Ireland and launched 8,713 times. In Scotland there were 1012 launches, slightly down on last year*, which was the RNLI’s busiest year north of the border. The number of people rescued rose from 912 to 921.

The volunteers at Kinghorn spent nearly 77 hours at sea during the seventy call outs, however the crews spend much more time annually training and preparing for the next callout.

Kinghorn lifeboat covers much of the Fife and Lothian coast, including Portobello, Aberdour, Burntisland, Musselburgh and Leven.

One of the more unusual shouts was when Kinghorn lifeboat along with our flank station at Anstruther were called out to the River Forth in September to rescue 14 people dressed as Vikings on board a replica Viking longboat.

Kinghorn lifeboat and RNLI Queensferry crews teamed up in a police operation in June when the lifeboats were required to bring ashore more than 60 people attending an all-night music festival at Cramond Island.

Kinghorn lifeboat Operations Manager Paul Wibberley commented, “This has been another exceptional year for the volunteer crew at Kinghorn. We have had a diverse range of shouts ranging from medivacs of sick crewmembers from merchant vessels, to rescuing disabled pleasure boats and searching for missing persons.”

In Scotland, sailing boats accounted for the most number of casualties, with lifeboats being called out on 178 occasions, and 157 fishing vessels required assistance. There were 69 occasions when stranded or grounded boats needed assistance.

Wave Crookes, RNLI Divisional Inspector for Scotland, says, ‘We had a period of extreme wintry weather in Scotland and yet none of our lifeboat stations had a day off service because of the weather. That is thanks to the good will and determination of our crews around the coast who made sure that they and the lifeboats were able to go out whatever the weather.’

Michael Vlasto, RNLI Operations Director, says: ‘2010 will be remembered for a series of harrowing disasters overseas but around our coastline our lifeboat volunteers and lifeguards have once again demonstrated their priceless commitment to saving lives at sea.

‘But that is only part of the story, every one of the rescues carried out by the RNLI in 2010 was only made possible due to the incredible generosity of the public, even in these difficult times. I would like to say “thank you” to all those who support us. It’s a team effort and, as a charity, we couldn’t do it without them. And I can only ask the public to continue to keep backing us, because every penny counts.

‘We are absolutely determined to make the best possible use of the funds that the public entrust to us – and we regularly re-examine everything we do. This ensures that we give the best possible support to our volunteers at the sharp end and who ultimately may face the worst the sea can throw at them.

‘These new figures show just how much time our crews sacrifice to help those in trouble at sea – but in addition, they spend even more time training, which is a further measure of their dedication and commitment.’

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution, a charity that is independent of Government and reliant on donations, is urging the public to respond to its own call for help by supporting RNLI SOS Day this year on Friday, 28 January.

To find out more log on to www.rnli.org.uk/sos or call 0845 121 4999. Kinghorn Lifeboat Fundraising committee will be holding a Songs on Saturday event with the Tullis Russell Brass Band.