Busy summer for Isle of Wight lifeboats

By a County Press reporter

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

 

THE RNLI was involved in dozens of rescues and operations off the Isle of Wight this summer, new figures have shown.

Although RNLI lifeboats launched a similar number of times overall in June, July and August compared with the same period last year, there was a significant increase in Cowes.

Cowes RNLI lifeboat launched 43 times, compared with 28 times the previous year, but in Bembridge the number of shouts fell to 14, compared with 28 the previous year according to an RNLI spokesman.

At Yarmouth the crew launched on 20 rescue missions, four fewer than the previous year.

The RNLI said the three stations responded to a wide range of incidents including assisting the captain of an oil tanker who had broken his ankle, various vessels running aground, a capsised kayak, a holed dinghy and various people in distress at sea.

RNLI divisional inspector Andrew Ashton, said: "The small fall in the number of rescues is insignificant, but it is interesting to note that launches by Bembridge halved while Cowes almost doubled.

"There is no obvious reason for this — it could even just be that more water users were out on the Solent rather than off the south east coast of the Island.

'What the figures 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."

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