Increase In LIfeboat Rescues In Hampshire

19 September 2012, 07:15

The RNLI say they've seen an 11 percent increase in lifeboat launches this summer compared to 2011.

Collectively, the four lifeboat stations at Hayling Island, Portsmouth, Calshot and Lymington launched a total of 142 times in June, July and August. 

The biggest increase in launches was experienced by the crew at Hayling Island, who carried out 42 rescues in 2012, 12 more than the previous summer. Calshot were revealed to be the third busiest coastal lifeboat station in the RNLI during the summer – they launched on 46 occasions, 6 times more than 2011.

Portsmouth saw a rise of 3 launches, from 34 to 37, while Lymington RNLI were the only mainland station of the four to see a slight reduction in the number of launches; they fell by a third from 24 to 17.

It's thought the unpredictable weather during the summer months may have played a part in the increase in rescues.

Andrew Ashton, Divisional Inspector for the RNLI, said: "Although there is some slight adjustment in Hampshire, the changes aren’t that significant – we’re talking about a few launches here and there. What they do tell us is that the summer has been business as usual for our volunteer crews, who regularly drop everything when their pager goes off, to go to sea to help those in distress." 

Andrew continued: "Summer 2012 was a rather mixed bag. On the one hand we’re told that 2012 was the wettest summer for 100 years in parts of the UK. But then reports also say that June, July and August were, technically, warmer than 2011. Perhaps people were forced to assess the weather and take last minute decisions on whether to visit the coast or go afloat – whether or not that means they were less well prepared than is impossible to say, so the RNLI did what it could to promote safety messages and assist those who did get into trouble.

Once again our crews did the RNLI and the nation proud by being available 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

The full breakdown and annual comparison of lifeboat launches across Hampshire’s mainland coastal lifeboat stations is as follows:




RNLI Lifeboat Station

All weather lifeboat

Inshore lifeboat

Total no. of launches in 2012

All weather lifeboat

Inshore lifeboat

Total no. of launches in 2011

Hayling Island




























Across the RNLI, lifeboats launched a total 3,575 times, a slight drop on last year’s total of 3,633. The figures, which cover the period June 1 to August 31 2012 and include all the charity’s lifeboats across the UK and Republic of Ireland, are down two per cent compared to the 2011 figures, which is probably due to the rainy weather at the beginning of the summer. 

Michael Vlasto, RNLI Operations Director, said:

"This has been another busy year for the RNLI despite the poor weather at the start of the summer. It was also a memorable summer as our lifeboats and volunteer crew were involved in both the Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant and the London Olympics. 

Once again our volunteer crew men and women have shown that they are committed and brave individuals, on standby to save lives at sea come rain or shine.”

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