Record year for lifeboat crews

MORE people than ever were rescued by Royal National Lifeboat Institution crews off the north east coast last year.

The north’s 33 RNLI stations sent out lifeboats more than 1,270 times, the second highest total in the charity’s history.

Tynemouth’s lifeboat station alone was called out 74 times and rescued 117 people.

The RNLI’s Cullercoats lifeboat was launched 42 times and rescued 59 people.

Andy Clift, the RNLI’s divisional inspector for the north, said: “Last year, we saw a 22 per cent increase in people rescued compared to 2010 and a three per cent rise from the previous high.

“In all, 1,237 people were helped in some way by our lifeboat crews in the north of England, and I am sure they and their friends and families will join me in thanking our volunteers for the dedication they demonstrate time and time again to saving lives at sea.

“Without the amazing generosity of the people who support our charity, either financially or by giving up time to help raise funds, the RNLI’s lifeboatmen and women would be unable to carry out their life-saving work.

“We receive less than two per cent of our income from government sources and so depend almost entirely on the generosity of the public.

“A big thank you must go to all of them for their continued support.”