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Busy year for North Devon’s RNLI

11:34 22 January 2013


Annual statistics released by the RNLI show a busy year for North Devon, and a record year for flood rescue teams.

ANNUAL statistics released by the RNLI show a busy year for North Devon.

Lifeboats at Ilfracombe, Appledore and Clovelly spent a total of 2,275 hours at sea last year, with 138 launches between them.

Lifeguards on Woolacombe, Croyde, Sandymere and Westward Ho! beaches were involved in a total of 696 incidents reported, compared to 914 last year.

The fall in figures was probably due to the bad weather, said the RNLI, which also led to a record year for the flood rescue teams across the country.

The team carried out 11 rescued nationwide, including the dramatic rescue of a woman at Umberleigh, who was left clinging to a tree for 50 minutes after floodwater swept her from her car.

Andy Hurley, RNLI Regional Operations Manager, said: “The figures illustrate just how dedicated our volunteer crews and our lifeguards are, giving a huge amount of time to saving lives at sea and I thank them and their families for their continuing commitment.

“Call outs to sailing and power boats with machinery failure are still our core business in the south west, but I’m delighted to say the numbers are down which I hope means our prevention messages are getting through to people before they go onto the water.

“However we have seen a rise in the number of fishing boats needing our assistance and in rescues of people ashore, that’s folk who are perhaps injured, trapped or cut off by the tide around the sea shore and cliffs.”

For a full breakdown of the figures visit

The Figures

Ilfracombe Lifeboat Station launched 65 times, assisted 62 people and spent 793 hours at sea. Of those callouts, 17 were in the dark.

This compares to 41 launches in 2011, and 37 launches in 2010.

Appledore Lifeboat Station launched 68 times, assisted 62 people and spent 1,174 hours at sea. Of these callouts, 27 were in the dark.

This compares to 36 launches in 2011 and 62 launches in 2010.

Clovelly Lifeboat Station launched five times, assisted eight people and spent 108 hours at sea with one service in the dark.

This compares to five launches in 2011 and five in 2010.

On Woolacombe and Croyde beach RNLI lifeguards dealt with 628 incidents and assisted 900 people, saving three lives. In 2011 they dealt with 808 incidents, assisted 1,092 people and saved two lives.

On Sandymere and Westward Ho! RNLI lifeguards dealt with 68 incidents, assisted 76 people and saved one life. In 2011 they dealt with 106 incidents and assisted 115 people.


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