Busy 2014 for Whitby’s lifeboat crew

Whitby's lifeboat crew
Whitby's lifeboat crew

More people were rescued by Whitby’s lifeboat in 2014 than anywhere else in the north of England, statistics released by the RNLI reveal.

The town’s crew, which helped to save 76 people, was also the joint third busiest of the 33 lifeboat stations in the north, launching on 55 occasions.

Richard Dowson, station mechanic at Whitby, said: “These statistics certainly show that all the work and training that we put in are worthwhile.

“I think I speak for the whole of our crew when I say that rescuing people is the reason why we all do this job.

“We enjoy being kept busy. There is always that huge adrenaline rush for the crew when the lifeboat launches.”

In 2013, Whitby’s lifeboat launched 53 times and rescued 79 people, while during the previous year there were 46 launches and 81 individuals assisted.

“For some reason, we tend to hover around the 50 call-out mark every year here in Whitby,” Mr Dowson added.

“Last year didn’t feel any busier or quieter than any other year I can remember. There weren’t really that many memorable or dramatic jobs, it was mainly a case of recovering break downs.

“The ones that tend to stick in the memory are usually the more unpleasant call-outs.

“We did have to attend the boat on which the two fishermen sadly lost their lives last January, but that was only on the opposite side of the harbour.”

The 2014 rescue statistics show the 33 RNLI lifeboat stations in the north rescued 930 people during 1,025 rescue launches, while RNLI lifeguards dealt with 1,905 incidents and helped 2,360 people.

In Whitby, as was the case across the north, machinery failure was the most common reason for vessels requiring assistance.

Tony Clare, RNLI Coastal Incident Reduction Manager, said: ‘The RNLI’s rescue statistics emphasise the need for everyone to respect the water and follow simple 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.”