RNLI call outs rise

A rising tide of stay-at-home holidays and pleasure boating has seen the nation's RNLI lifeboats launch more than 9,000 times in a year for the first time in its 186-year history.

A rising tide of stay-at-home holidays and pleasure boating has seen the nation's RNLI lifeboats launch more than 9,000 times in a year for the first time in its 186-year history.

In Norfolk crews took to the water more than 200 times and rescued 139 people, while its lifeguards tackled 679 incidents at seven beaches.

Nationally the charity launched lifeboats 9,154 times in 2009 across the UK and Ireland.

In the East region eight out of 24 lifeboat stations had their busiest year for a decade. Gorleston was the busiest local station rescuing 51 people in 73 launches. The South Broads crew's 16 launches was double last year's.


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Crews had to cope with a huge rise in the numbers of pleasure boats and surfers in difficulty.

Divisional RNLI inspector Andrew Ashton, said the busy year was 'partly explained by the increase in the number of people deciding to take their holidays close to home.'

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The RNLI, which relies on public donations, fund raising and legacies for its income, is asking people to support its annual SOS Day on January 29. See www.rnli.org.uk/sos for details.

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