Busy summer for RNLI

Girvan Lifeboat crew in action.
Girvan Lifeboat crew in action.

More than five call-outs a day in Scotland kept the RNLI busy this summer, with Carrick and the Clyde lifeboats playing a part in the figures.

The better weather is being attributed to an 18 percent rise in call-outs over last year’s figures, with many more people taking to the seas to cool down.

Girvan saw a rise of two call-outs to seven over last year, Portpatrick dealt with three more than 2012, with nine launches but Stranraer remained at five.

However Campbeltown lifeboat was called out only seven times as against 14 in 2012 and Largs had 12 call-outs as opposed to 18.

The total number of launches for June, July and August was 476 across Scotland’s 47 stations, just short of the record-breaking summer of 2008 when there were 480 launches.

The busiest station in Scotland was Broughty Ferry with 43 launches for its two boats, compared with 23 the previous year. Tobermory on Mull was the busiest all-weather lifeboat station with one lifeboat with 22 shouts, a rise of six on 2012. Queensferry was the busiest inshore lifeboat station, up from 21 to 26 shouts.

Notable increases included the number of launches for the two boats at Arbroath, up from seven to 27.

RNLI lifeguards operated in Scotland for the first time, at Coldingham on the east coast, and they dealt with five incidents, 44 minor first aid treatments, and four missing people.

Andy Clift, Scotland’s Regional Operations Manager, said: “A good summer on the weather front has turned into a busy one for our lifeboats in Scotland, with more people coming to enjoy the coast and sea.

“We would like to remind the public that some of the incidents undertaken by lifeboats could be avoided if they followed simple beach safety messages, adhered to warning signs, and checked tide tables.

“We cannot fault the professionalism and commitment of our volunteer crews who turn out at a moment’s notice 24/7 to help other people in distress, and this is particularly notable when we have long shouts in Scotland lasting several hours.

“One such shout was the distressing tragedy when the helicopter ditched near Shetland, and our crews from Aith and Lerwick spent many hours helping other organisations to search for survivors, and recover wreckage.’

“I would also like to thank our dedicated supporters and fundraisers. Without their kind generosity and hard work we would not be able to equip and train our lifesavers or help so many people in trouble at sea.’

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 100 lifeguards.