Volunteer crew members at the RNLI faced an unprecedented summer with new statistics revealing a dramatic increase in the number of water users needing to be helped by the charity’s lifeboat crews compared to 2019.
Based on provisional incident reports from RNLI lifeboat stations around the UK and Ireland, there was a 64 per cent increase in the number of recreational water users aided by the charity. Additionally, many lifeguards reported seeing an increase in the number of visitors to beaches around the coast.
The RNLI’s head of water safety, Gareth Morrison, said: “When lockdown restrictions eased, we saw people flock to the beaches to enjoy our coastlines instead of holidaying abroad. But that resulted in a huge number of people getting into difficulty around our coasts, with our lifesavers facing an incredibly busy summer. If you find yourself in trouble at the coast this winter, call 999 and ask for the coastguard.”
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