RNLI rescues 8 per cent up year on year

Search and rescue statistics published by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) show that 2005 was its busiest year on record. RNLI lifeboats launched 8,273 times compared to 7,656 the previous year – an 8 per cent increase nationally.

More significantly, launches in the south west of England and Wales more than doubled this trend and have increased 16% and 15% respectively.

Michael Vlasto, RNLI Operations Director comments:

‘Considering that 68 per cent of the people we rescued last year were rescued from pleasure craft1, it’s no surprise that the busiest coastal RNLI lifeboat station is once again Poole, in the south, with 147 launches listed. The volunteer crews there rescued 145 people in distress.

Approximately 451,000 boats (over 2.5 m) are kept in the UK and 90,000 UK-owned boats are kept abroad. The number of foreign owned boats kept in the UK is estimated at 16,000. A British Marine Federation survey amongst 6,000 people in the general population established that the true UK participation figure is approximately 3.5 million people, aged 16 and over.