Eastbourne was the busiest lifeboat station in the South East in 2015 – launching 99 times during the year and rescuing 123 people.
The latest figures, released by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) today (January 27) show that the charity’s eight lifeboat stations in Sussex launched boats 398 times in 2015 to attend a wide range of incidents including commercial vessels in trouble, adrift fishermen, struggling swimmers and leisure boaters in difficulty.
Volunteers across Sussex rescued 429 people, with 13 of those classed as lives saved – a specific RNLI criteria where a person would have died if not for the RNLI lifeboat arriving on scene.
Guy Addington, RNLI community incident reduction manager in the South East, said, “Once again our volunteer lifeboat crews have had a busy 12 months working hard to serve their local communities. They willingly down tools and drop everything to respond to an emergency call for help day or night, come rain or shine.
“Over the past year the RNLI has also been working hard to prevent people from getting into danger using a number of interventions including lifejacket clinics, or our Respect the Water campaign. We understand that things can go wrong from time to time, so some preventative maintenance and annual checks prior to the boating season should allow for worry free sea time.
“I would like to thank all of our volunteers for their tireless hard work and dedication throughout the past 12 months. Without all of our supporters, fundraisers, crews and education teams our lifesaving service would not operate.”
2015 saw the RNLI run its national Respect the Water campaign, which aims to reduce the number of coastal drownings.
Notable RNLI rescues in Sussex last year included: Eastbourne lifeboat crew were involved in a multi-agency rescue when a cargo ship began to sink out to sea and a hot tub was found drifting in the sea after Newhaven RNLI were called to a sinking houseboat.
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