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Old 04 October 2005, 14:41   #1
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RNLI sees busiest summer ever

RNLI sees busiest summer ever

By IBI Magazine

Britain's Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) has revealed that its lifeboats were launched an estimated 3,681 times during the months of June, July and August this year, making it the busiest summer season ever. Preliminary figures suggest that the number of call-outs grew by around 10 per cent compared to the summer of 2003, which was one of the hottest summers on record. The busiest RNLI lifeboat station was Tower Pier on the River Thames, where 109 call-outs were recorded, followed by Southend-on-Sea in southeast England and Rhyl in Wales, with 62 launches each.

"RNLI lifeguards operate on 59 of the busiest beaches in the UK," says RNLI operations director Michael Vlasto. "These figures show just how important beach safety is, in fact we have asked government for clarification as to who is responsible for safety on our beaches. We do not feel that the answer to this question is currently clear in many areas of the UK, and it is an issue that we would like to see resolved so that we can continue the roll-out of our lifeguard service around the UK, and ultimately implement a national standard that all who use the beach can be assured of and confident in."

Founded in 1824 by Sir William Hillary, the RNLI is a registered charity that provides a 24-hour search-and-rescue service covering a 100Nm radius from the coasts of the UK and the Republic of Ireland. It operates lifeboats on the tidal reaches of the River Thames at Tower Pier, Chiswick, Teddington and Gravesend, and operates five inland lifeboats: two on Lough Erne in Northern Ireland, one on Lough Derg in the Republic of Ireland and two on the South Broads in Norfolk.

(4 October 2005)
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