RNLI crews preparing for a busy summer as last year’s rescue figures and launches are announced

Heroic Yorkshire Coast rescuers were called out more than 1,000 times last year, despite the country being in lockdown for several months.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 9:07 am
Volunteers and artists Sand in the Your Eye create a giant drawing on Scarborough Beach to highlight the RNLI’s work. Photo courtesy of the RNLI.

The RNLI says the region that includes Scarborough, Filey, Whitby and Bridlington saw lifeboats launched 1,094 times in 2020 – and save 36 lives.

For the same area, lifeguards responded to 1,117 incidents and saved five lives.

Across the UK and Ireland the RNLI’s lifeboat crews and lifeguards saved a total of 349 lives – equating to almost one a day.

Last summer alone, RNLI lifeboat crews saved 140 lives – an increase of 32 per cent from the previous year – after coronavirus travel restrictions led to people flocking to the coast.

And there were 42 lifeboat launches per day over the summer period across the UK and Ireland – almost double the number launched throughout the rest of the year.

With lockdown restrictions easing once again and huge numbers of people planning seaside staycations, the RNLI are anticipating that summer 2021 could be their busiest yet.

This week saw a group of RNLI volunteers help artists Sand in Your Eye to create a giant sand drawing on Scarborough Beach,inspired by a Shannon Class lifeboat – the newest class of RNLI lifeboat used by the charity to save lives at sea.

The lifeboat’s bow features the number 349, to highlight the number of lives that were saved by the charity’s brave lifeguards and lifeboat crews last year.

Adam Sheader, volunteer crew member for RNLI Scarborough, said: “It’s amazing to see the number of people we rescued last year across the UK and Ireland represented by this installation – it makes me very proud to be a volunteer crew member.

“For almost 200 years, we have answered Mayday calls across the UK and Ireland, and my fellow crew members have often risked their lives to help rescue others.

“Heading down to the coast or out on the water during the summer is a great way to have fun and stay active.

“But, if you are not careful, it’s a lot easier to get into trouble in the water than you might think.”

As part of the RNLI Mayday fundraising event the Mayday Mile, the volunteer crew at Flamborough is aiming to collectively cover 205 miles this month.

A spokesman said: “Throughout the month the crew will add miles with their individual challenges.

“Progress can be followed on our Facebook pages Flamborough RNLI and Flamborough Lifeboat Station. Donations will be gratefully received, either directly or through our JustGiving page.”

Go to tinyurl.com/rs4peucr to donate to Flamborough RNLI.

Two teenagers are also putting their best feet forward to raise funds for Bridlington RNLI.

Abigail Holmes and Evie Pattison, both 14, are looking to walk 100 miles and raise £200 as part of the RNLI’s Mayday Mile.

Go to tinyurl.com/jtawkazm to donate to the girls’ JustGiving page.