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VIDEO: Lifeboat Crews Face Challenging Summer

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6:02am 19th September 2012

Cornish lifeboat crews see a rise in southwest rescues.

New statistics reveal teams have been scrambled seven times a day over the summer.

Between the beginning of June and the end of August lifeboats from the Duchy to Somerset launched 653 times, up from 627 last year.

That is despite a wetter summer and events such as the Olympics and jubilee which might have kept people off the beaches and away from the coasts.

In fact, the RNLI says the unseasonable weather made some of its rescues even more difficult.

Falmouth lifeboat was the busiest in the region, with a total of 45 call outs. The furthest distance travelled by a lifeboat in a single shout was by St Mary’s lifeboat, which launched to rescue a catamaran 80 nautical miles off the Isles of Scilly and tow it back to harbour.

You can hear what happened when Pirate FM went out on a training exercise with the St Ives lifeboat here...

 
Tom Mansell, RNLI Inspector in the south west, said: "This has been an unusual summer with some tricky weather for our volunteer lifeboat crews to contend with. The recent rescue of a surfer in southerly force five to six winds and with a choppy two to three metre swell and larger breaking waves by the crew of the Salcombe inshore lifeboat showed just how much we expect from our volunteers, as did the rescue of a yachtsman thrown into the water when the boat he was on capsized off Padstow.

"Once again our volunteer crews have shown that they are committed and brave individuals, on stand by to save lives at sea come rain or shine even during the summer when they deserve their own time off to be with their families. I thank them for their continuing dedication and I thank their families for their invaluable support too."

6:02am 19th September 2012

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