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Busy year for New Brighton's lifeboat
3:47pm Thursday 31st January 2013 in News
Figures released by the RNLI show New Brighton was Wirral’s busiest lifeboat station launching 42 times in 2012.
The New Brighton crew rescued 18 people; West Kirby inshore lifeboat launched 18 times and also rescued 18, while Hoylake experienced a comparatively quite year with just three launches, rescuing one person.
Earlier this month, the New Brighton lifeboat service celebrated its 150th anniversary.
Records show the resort's lifeboat crews have rescued 1,235 people from the waves since the local service was inaugurated in 1863.
A century-and-a-half of outstanding bravery has seen 48 awards for gallantry being gained by local lifeboatmen.
Around the coast of the UK and Republic of Ireland, 2012 saw RNLI lifeboats launch 8,321 times rescuing 7,912 people.
The charity’s lifeguards responded to 14,519 incidents and helped 16,414 people on beaches in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The RNLI’s flood rescue team had their busiest year on record, deploying 12 times.
RNLI operations director Michael Vlasto said: “The figures show that our volunteers dedicate a huge amount of their time to saving lives at sea.
"To know that they are on call 24/7, every day of the year is reassuring for all of us who venture out to sea around the UK and Ireland.
“And it’s not just our crew who are committed to our charity - they wouldn’t be able to carry out their lifesaving work without the incredible generosity of the public and I would like to say a huge ‘thank-you’ to all those who support the RNLI, whether by giving up their time or by making a donation."
Tower lifeboat station on the Thames was the busiest with 499 launches, while Southend-on-Sea was the busiest coastal station with 137.
The overall number of launches was down by 7% from 8,920 in 2011.