Busiest year for Gorleston lifeboat

THE Gorleston-based volunteer lifeboat crew has had its busiest year for a decade, rescuing 51 people in 73 launches.Nationally, a rising tide of stay-at-home holidays and pleasure boating saw the nation's RNLI lifeboats being launched more than 9,000 times in a year for the first time.

THE Gorleston-based volunteer lifeboat crew has had its busiest year for a decade, rescuing 51 people in 73 launches.

Nationally, a rising tide of stay-at-home holidays and pleasure boating saw the nation's RNLI lifeboats being launched more than 9,000 times in a year for the first time.

In the charity's east region, covering Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Kent, eight out of 24 lifeboat stations - including Great Yarmouth & Gorleston and Happisburgh - had their busiest year for a decade.

Divisional RNLI inspector Andrew Ashton, said: “These figures prove once again what an invaluable service the RNLI is providing to any-one in difficulty around the coast.”

The busiest RNLI lifeboat station overall in 2009 was Tower, on the River Thames, launching 380 times and rescuing 148 people. The busiest coastal station was Poole in Dorset, where crews launched 200 times and rescued 242 people.

RNLI lifeguards also had their busiest year since they started in 2001, responding to 13,588 incidents and helping 15,954 people.

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The Norfolk teams, at Gorleston, Yarmouth, Hemsby, Cromer, Mundesley, Sea Palling and Sheringham, attended 669 incidents and helped 679 people.