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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution - Saves Lives at Sea



RNLI lifeboats in Scotland were launching nearly three times a day during 2013 to attend emergencies, according to the charity’s official statistics released today. (Tuesday 28 January)

The charity’s volunteers attended 996 ‘shouts’ during which they rescued 1007 people and saved 29 lives. Kinghorn lifeboat station volunteers were called out 40 times.

This is the first time since 2008 that there have been fewer than 1,000 shouts for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in Scotland. The busiest year was 2009 with 1,121 launches, and the record number of people rescued was in 2012 with 1,055.

The busiest station in Scotland was Broughty Ferry (near Dundee) where the charity’s two lifeboats were called out a total of 105 times – half of those incidents took place during darkness. Out of the 32 people rescued, five people’s lives were saved.

Kinghorn was the seventh busiest station within the Scottish region. 20 callouts took place in the hours of darkness, and 32 people were rescued with three lives were saved.

The crew spent 713 hours at sea, with 147 hours on service and 566 on exercise.

Lifeboat Operations Manager at Kinghorn, Paul Wibberley commented, ‘once again we have had a busy year. Although we had only an increase of one callout on 2012, our volunteers have committed much more time to training last year, spending 566 hours. This was a 60% increase on the previous year, which is a huge commitment from volunteers.’

There has been a decrease in recent years of the number of fishing boats that require RNLI help, with 115 incidents last year, down from 122 in 2012. But more members of the public have required help along the coastline.

It’s not just people working on the water that the RNLI helps; there are many reasons people to be rescued including missing pets and people being stranded on a causeway island.

Andy Clift, the RNLI’s Regional Operations Manager for Scotland, said: ‘These figures illustrate the immense commitment exhibited by the RNLI’s volunteers throughout Scotland.

‘Day after day they are available to respond to emergencies along the coastline and out to sea and, night after night, they are also available with a large proportion of shouts taking place in darkness.

‘They also spend a considerable amount of time in carrying out exercises and training to ensure their skills are up to date.’

He added: ‘During stormy weather the RNLI urges the public to avoid areas, whether they be a harbour, pier, promenade or cliff top, where they could get swept off their feet.’

The RNLI in Scotland provided lifeguards for the first time during the summer. Coldingham, near Eyemouth, had RNLI lifeguards and the majority of their work was involved in minor first aid treatment. They assisted the public on 53 occasions.