WOOLACOMBE was the busiest beach in the entire South West for RNLI Lifeguards last year. The figures were released today (Friday) to coincide with the RNLI's annual SOS Day fund raising drive, with events taking place across the country. Lifeguards at Woo

WOOLACOMBE was the busiest beach in the entire South West for RNLI Lifeguards last year.The figures were released today (Friday) to coincide with the RNLI's annual SOS Day fund raising drive, with events taking place across the country.Lifeguards at Woolacombe dealt with 507 incidents and assisted 606 people in 2008, making it the busiest individual beach.Steve Instance, RNLI Divisional Inspector for Lifeguards explained the wet weather in August had a big impact on the type of incidents the lifeguards dealt with:"Compared to 2007, lifeguards dealt with fewer minor incidents, such as lost children and weaver fish stings, which are associated with large crowds on the beach," he said."But they continued to be busy with major rescues and assists in the water, indicating that determined water users were still using the beach, hiring wetsuits and surf equipment and making the most of their holiday despite the poor weather."Across the South West, RNLI lifeboats launched 1,567 times during 2008, rescuing 1,671 people and spending more than 2,150 hours at sea on emergency call outs alone.RNLI lifeguards, patrolling 89 beaches, dealt with 8,423 incidents, assisted 9,801 people and saved 39 lives. To take part in RNLI SOS Day and for inspiring fundraising ideas or to simply make a donation, log on to www.rnli.org.uk/sos or call 0845 121 4999.