Monday, January 21, 2008

Mumbles RNLI lifeboat crew are Wales’ busiest rescuers

21 January 2008 West 006 2008

Strictly embargoed until 00.01am Tuesday 22 January 2008

Mumbles RNLI lifeboat crew are Wales’ busiest rescuers

The latest figures, reveal the Mumbles has rescued more people than any other of the 31 RNLI lifeboat stations in Wales. Whilst Rhyl is the busiest RNLI lifeboat station in Wales in terms of lifeboat launches, the volunteer RNLI crew at the Mumbles have assisted the greatest number of people – rescuing 85 people in 2007.

Despite the wet summer, the RNLI’s crews were consistently busy throughout the year. RNLI volunteers in Wales spent more than 1,490 hours at sea in 2007, rescuing 1,007 people and launching to 1,125 emergency call-outs*.

Of the 31 lifeboat stations in Wales, 12 have seen their rescue figures rise, including Burry Port and Penarth. The Barry Dock all-weather RNLI lifeboat was the busiest offshore lifeboat in Wales, with 31 emergency call-outs in 2007.

Rhyl retained its position as the busiest RNLI lifeboat station in Wales with 115 launches and 65 people rescued. The volunteer crew spent over 113 hours at sea, more than any other RNLI lifeboat station in Wales.

The rescuers are now issuing an SOS of their own and are calling members of the public to support RNLI SOS day the charity’s national fundraising day this Friday. RNLI SOS day fundraising events will be happening across Wales from a ‘Stroke Our Snakes and Spiders’ challenge in Swansea to a ‘Sip Our Soup’ lunch at the Novotel in Cardiff. South Wales Police have already arrested RNLI mascot Stormy Stan at Porthcawl RNLI lifeboat station and are urging the public to visit to help them raise enough ‘bail’ to secure his release in time for SOS day.

Andy Hurley, RNLI Training Divisional Inspector for Wales says:

‘Despite fewer visitors to the coast during the early summer months, RNLI volunteers around the coast have experienced another busy year, which has required a great deal of time and commitment from our lifeboat crews. It seems the unseasonable weather didn’t deter most people from visiting the coast and with the increasing popularity of leisure pursuits on the water, the RNLI in Wales remains as busy as ever.

‘Lifeboat launches and equipping our volunteer crews with the skills they need to save lives costs money, which is why we are urging the public to get involved in RNLI SOS day by logging on to’

Most RNLI lifeboat launches in 2007 in Wales were to power pleasure craft, with 285 call-outs to vessels in difficulty. Machinery failure remains the biggest cause of rescue in Wales, and the charity is encouraging people to ensure they are well equipped and take heed of the RNLI’s sea safety advice before taking to the water.

Mr Hurley adds:

‘RNLI inshore lifeboats have once again been far busier than our all-weather RNLI lifeboats, accounting for 77 per cent of all call-outs. This demonstrates that most of our work is done close to the shore as more people spend their leisure time on the sea. Our sea safety education initiatives continue to raise awareness of potential dangers and help prevent incidents from occurring.

‘Thanks to the ongoing support of the public, we will be introducing RNLI lifeguards on to 12 beaches in Pembrokeshire this summer, which will enable us to provide a seamless rescue services from the beach to the open sea.’

The wet summer meant that the RNLI’s Flood Rescue Team and volunteer lifeboat crew, including many volunteers from North Wales, were particularly active inland rescuing over 200 people in flood hit areas across the UK during the summer months.

Nationally, the RNLI experienced one of its busiest years on record, with 8,052 launches for the charity’s 233 lifeboat stations around the coasts of the UK and Ireland.

To take part in RNLI SOS day and for inspiring fundraising ideas or to simply make donation log on to or call 02920 456999.


The media are invited to World of Aquatics, Samlet Road, Swansea at 10am on 24 January for the ‘Stroke Our Snakes and Spiders’ fundraiser. A news release on this specific fundraiser is available by contacting Tamsin Davies on 02920 456999.

Notes to editors:

*Finalised RNLI annual lifeboat launch statistics will be available in February 2008; the provisional statistics available today are very close to the expected final figures.

  1. For individual RNLI lifeboat station statistics or to find out more about SOS events in your area, please contact Danielle Rush.

  1. The RNLI is a registered charity that continues to rely on voluntary contributions, corporate donations and legacies for income and receives no UK Government funding.

  1. The RNLI’s annual running costs are over £122M – approximately £335,000 per day.

  1. There are over 230 RNLI lifeboat stations across the UK and Ireland, which are operated by 4,800 RNLI lifeboat crew members, of which 95 per cent are volunteers.

  1. RNLI Lifeguards operate on 71 beaches in the south and east of England.

  1. The RNLI’s 2007 inland flood response was carried out by volunteer lifeboat crews from around the coast and members of the RNLI’s Flood Rescue Team* (which is on 24-hour standby to respond to flooding emergencies both at home and abroad).

*Volunteers at the RNLI's lifeboat stations in the UK and Republic of Ireland, were asked if they wished to volunteer for the RNLI’s Flood Rescue Team, which the charity set up following its involvement with flood relief in Mozambique in March 2000. Those selected were trained in swift water and survival techniques, and other specialist skills.

For further information, please contact Danielle Rush, RNLI Media Relations Manager for Wales on 07786 668829 or 01745 585162.

The RNLI online

For more information on the RNLI please visit or News releases and other media resources are available at


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