Lifeboats launch 1,711 times for sailing boats


More than 1,700 sailing boats were rescued by the RNLI around the UK and Ireland in 2011.

In total 8,713 lifeboats were launched last year, with more than half to pleasure boats. Of those 2,173 were to powerboats, 1,711 to sailing boats and 750 to manual craft, such as kayaks, surfers and tenders without outboards.

But nearly three quarters of people rescued were from pleasure boats with 1,971 rescued from sailing boats.

Mechanical failure was the most common cause of rescue, contributing to 1,740 of all launches.

RNLI operations director, Michael Vlasto, said: ‘2010 will be remembered for a series of harrowing disasters overseas, but around our coastline our lifeboat volunteers and lifeguards have once again demonstrated their priceless commitment to saving lives at sea.

‘But that is only part of the story, every one of the rescues carried out by the RNLI in 2010 was only made possible due to the incredible generosity of the public even in these difficult times.

‘I would like to say “thank you” to all those who support us. It’s a team effort and, as a charity, we couldn’t do it without them. I can only ask the public to continue to keep backing us, because every penny counts.’

The busiest coastal lifeboat station in 2010 was Poole, where volunteers launched 148 times, rescuing 155 people, but Tower station in London launched nearly 500 times.

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