Borough lifeboat team is busiest in the region

Tynemouth RNLI Severn class all weather lifeboat 'Spirit of Northumberland' off the North East coast in January 2015. Picture by Adrian Don/RNLI.
Tynemouth RNLI Severn class all weather lifeboat 'Spirit of Northumberland' off the North East coast in January 2015. Picture by Adrian Don/RNLI.
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Rescue teams at Tynemouth were among the busiest in the region during 2014, latest figures have revealed.

Lifeboat crews at Tynemouth RNLI were the busiest in the north east, and second busiest in the north, last year as they were called out 65 times, rescuing 64 people.

Staff at the lifesaving organisation are urging people to ‘Respect the Water’ and make sure if they go out on a boat or recreational craft that they have the necessary safety gear and equipment.

Tony Clare, RNLI coastal incident reduction manager, said: “The RNLI’s rescue statistics emphasise the need for everyone to respect the water and follow safety advice before heading to the coast.

“Some very basic precautions can keep people safe on and by the sea which, by its very nature, is unpredictable and can catch out even experienced water users.

“Checking a boat’s engine and fuel before setting out to sea could prevent the cause of our most common rescue, machinery failure.

“Making sure you know the tide times before going for a walk along the coast can be the difference between an enjoyable day out and getting cut off by the tide.

“Avoid areas where you could get swept off your feet in stormy weather and, if you are visiting the beach in the summer and want to swim, be sure to visit a lifeguarded beach.”

Elsewhere, the second busiest lifeguard team in the north was at Cullercoats, with 128 incidents aiding 203 people, with Tynemouth close behind at 117 incidents aiding 149 people.

George Rawlinson, RNLI operations director, said: “RNLI volunteer lifeboat and shore crew and lifeguards have shown the commitment and courage we have come to rely on. We must also thank our supporters and fundraisers who ensure our charity can continue to keep launching our lifeboats and patrolling coast’s busiest beaches.”

Overall, Tynemouth RNLI lifeboats have now launched on service 2,000 times and the station’s volunteer crews have saved 884 lives since the RNLI established the station in 1862.

The RNLI launched its Respect The Water campaign last year to raise awareness of drowning and water safety with the aim of reducing the number of people who lose their lives at the coast.

For more information go to www.rnli.org.uk/safety