When news happens send us your pictures, video and views. Text BE to 80360 or contact us by email
"Tricky" summer weather causes rise in number of RNLI callouts
Poole remains one of the busiest lifeboat station in the south west and despite the poor summer weather the number of launches in the region increased slightly.
Figures just revealed by the Poole-based RNLI show that lifeboat crews went out 653 times, a rise on last year’s total of 627.
Despite the unseasonal summer, the charity’s volunteers in Dorset and south west counties were involved in a wide range of activities from the Jubilee celebrations on the River Thames and the Olympic sailing at Weymouth, to dramatic rescues.
Nationally, the figures, which cover the period June 1 to August 31 2012, are down two per cent compared to the 2011 figures, probably due to the rainy weather at the start of the summer, says the lifeboat charity.
The south west has seen a slight rise of 26 emergency call outs and the unseasonable weather has led to some difficult rescues.
The busiest stations in the south west were Poole and Falmouth, Cornwall, each with 45 call outs, followed by Plymouth with 39 emergency launches and St Helier, Jersey with 33.
“This has been an unusual summer with some tricky weather for our volunteer lifeboat crews to contend with,” said Tom Mansell, RNLI inspector in the south-west.
“Then of course there was the role played by many of our south west crew volunteers in supporting the Olympic and Paralympic sailing events in Weymouth. Between them they provided important safety cover.”
He said: “Once again our volunteer crews have shown that they are committed and brave individuals, on standby to save lives at sea come rain or shine even during the summer when they deserve their own time off to be with their families.
“I thank them for their dedication and I thank their families for their invaluable support too.”
The busiest summer for south west RNLI lifeboat crews in the last five years was in 2008 when they launched 725 times.
The number has fallen steadily since then.