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VIDEO: Cornish Lifeguards Have Busiest Year Ever

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6:01am 28th January 2014

Pirate FM has learnt Cornish lifeguards had their busiest summer ever last year.

They saved 39 lives in more than 8,000 incidents, almost 2,000 more than in 2012.

Perranporth was the busiest beach - with almost 900 incidents alone.

Cornwall's lifeboats launched almost 500 times - with Falmouth's busiest.

Andy Hurley, RNLI Regional Operations Manager said: "The figures released today, go some way to illustrating the incredible dedication shown by the charity's volunteers, without whom we could not carry out our core purpose to save lives at sea.  

"These volunteers are equipped and trained to respond to all kinds of incidents whatever the weather throws at them. However it is a massive commitment, not only for them, but for their families, loved ones and employers who must also become part of the wider RNLI family."

Whilst the volunteer crew responded to all manner of incidents in 2013, including fishing boats, people in the water and commercial vessels, it was sailing pleasure craft that accounted for the greater number of rescues (326).

Problems encountered by powered pleasure craft resulted in the second highest number of rescues with 317 call outs. The biggest reason for RNLI call outs was mechanical failure, with 286 incidents, a slight increase on the previous four years. In August the volunteer crew at The Lizard assisted two people onboard a 10 metre yacht that was becalmed and had suffered gear box failure.

To try and prevent incidents from happening in the first place, and to help people have a safe and enjoyable trip to the coast, the RNLI strongly recommends that those going boating or enjoying other water sports should know the basic methods of starting, running and maintaining their engine and other equipment. The charity also advises anyone going afloat to wear a well-fitted lifejacket and know how to operate it should an emergency situation unfold.

People being cut off by the tide continues to result in a large number of the 'shouts' the volunteer RNLI crew respond to, with a small year on year increase which resulted in 99 launches to those stranded in 2013.

RNLI advice is to always check the tide times and weather forecast before you set off. Both are available from your local lifeboat station or harbour office. Get regular updates if you are planning to be out for any length of time and be prepared to change your plans or cancel the trip if the forecast is bad.

RNLI lifeguards on the regions beaches also dealt with a number of incidents involving people who were cut off from the incoming tide. Among them was the rescue of these two dogs at Porthcothan...

Andy Hurley said: "There were nearly 12 million visitors to RNLI patrolled beaches in the south west during 2013. That's a staggering number so it's not surprising that it was a busy time for the RNLI lifeguards on patrol. As well as reacting to incidents which happened on the beach and in the water, including major and minor first aids and missing children, they also worked extremely hard to keep the estimated 1.3 million bathers between the red and yellow safety flags safe."

Cornwall's Busiest Beaches

Bude, six beaches (Black Rock, Crooklets, Northcott, Sandymouth, Summerleaze and Widemouth), 507 incidents, assisted 635 people and saved 1 lives (2012 - 359 incidents, 455 people aided, 3 lives)

Caradon, four beaches (Freathy, Sharrow, Tregantle, Treganhawke) RNLI lifeguards dealt with 251 incidents, assisted 334 people and saved 1 life, (2012 when they dealt with 150 incidents, assisted 188 people and saved 1 life)

Carrick, Seven beaches (Chapel Porth, Gyllynvase, Holywell, Perran Sands, Perranporth, Porthtowan, St Agnes) RNLI lifeguards dealt with 2,135 incidents, assisted 1,764 people and saved 13 lives, (2012 when they dealt with 1,444 incidents, assisted 1,631 people and saved 6 lives)

Kerrier, seven beaches (Gunwalloe, Kennack Sands, Poldhu Cove, Polurrian Cove Porthleven, Portreath, Praa Sands), RNLI lifeguards dealt with 557 incidents, assisted 453 people (2012 they dealt with 303 incidents and assisted 319 people saved 1 life)

North Cornwall, nine beaches (Booby’s, Constantine, Crackington Haven, Harlyn, Polzeath, Porthcothan, Trebarwith, Trevone, Treyarnon) RNLI lifeguards dealt with 1,038 incidents, assisted 1,162 people and saved 1 life (2012 they dealt with 868 incidents and assisted 972 people, saving 3 lives)

Penwith, fifteen beaches (Beach View, Carbis Bay, Godrevy, Gwithian, Gwynver, Hayle Towans, Marazion, Mexico Towans, Peters Point, Porthcurno, Porthkidney, Porthmeor, Porthminster, Sennen, Upton Towans) RNLI lifeguards dealt with 2,066 incidents, assisted 2,204 people and saved 15 lives. (2012 they dealt with 1,554 incidents and aided 1,726 people, saving 6 lives)

Newquay, nine beaches (Crantock, Great Western, Mawgan Porth, North Fistral, Porth, South Fistral, Tolcarne, Towan, Watergate Bay), RNLI lifeguards dealt with 1,513 incidents, assisted 1,710 people and saved 8 lives. (2012 they dealt with 1,459 incidents and aided 1,579 people, saving 4 lives)

6:01am 28th January 2014

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