Fewer Call-outs For Essex Lifeboats

475 people had to be rescued by lifeboats after they got into difficulty off the coast of Essex last year.

Figures from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) show that there were 426 call-outs in 2010.

Most stations in the county had a quieter year than 2009 - with the exception of Walton and Frinton - where call-outs almost doubled to 42.

Harwich and Southend were the busiest here with 233 call-outs and 237 saved.

Across the country, the RNLI says they plucked more than 8,000 people from the sea, and helped nearly 19,000 on the UK's beaches.

Poole in Dorset was the busiest coastal lifeboat station last year, with rescue vessels launched 148 times, saving 155 people.

The charity's base on the River Thames saw 491 launches in 2010, with 113 Londoners being rescued in the process.

High profile lifeguard incidents during the year included the rescue of 11 people caught in a rip tide at Woolacombe, Devon, in May.

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 .''

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