The official launch statistics issued today by the RNLI show Eastbourne lifeboats to be the second busiest coastal station throughout the UK and Ireland having been credited with 139 launches and rescuing 116 people.
Surprisingly the inshore lifeboat was called upon less than previous years with 66 callouts despite the glorious summer which tempted people onto the bathing beaches. One explanation why less people got into difficulties from the beaches has been put down to the fact that we had less offshore winds than usual during the year so less people were swept out to sea on inflatable bananas and the like. No particular trends have been identified although mechanical breakdowns remain one of the main reasons for lifeboat launches in our area.
The volunteer crew has continued to be called to a variety of incidents ranging from the tragic to the downright comical. We have responded to requests for help from injured fisherman, people cut off by the tide, downed windsurfers and have even been called to assist a seal thought to be in difficulties.
The crew, their families and their employers should all take credit for another year of dedication and commitment responding to the pagers day and night for 365 days.