RNLI rescue statistics released

RNLI lifeboats rescued 7, 834 people in 2007, making it one of the busiest years on record for the institution.

Figures released today reveal that over half of lifeboat launches were to recreational users – of which, as in previous years, the majority were due to mechanical failure. Worryingly, there was also an increase in the number of man overboard incidents for leisure craft – up 25% from 2006.

Commenting on the rise in RNLI rescues to man overboard incidents, RNLI Sea Safety Manager, Peter Chennell says:

‘It’s worrying to see such a large increase in man overboard incidents. It is hoped the boating public have started to take on board the RNLI’s lifejacket awareness campaign message, useless unless worn. We’re aiming to encourage more of the boating community to automatically put their lifejackets on when they go to sea and decide when to take them off, because experience tells us that in an emergency there is not always time to make sure your lifejacket is securely and correctly fitted.”