Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Lifeboats see a spike in callouts during lockdown

Lifeboats News Release

The RNLI’s Inshore Lifeboat and All Weather Lifeboat at Great Yarmouth and Gorleston has been tasked nine times since the UK entered lockdown

RNLI/Cameron Darnell

Samarbeta early hours of the morning taken by Crew Member Cameron Darnell

During lockdown the crew at Great Yarmouth and Gorleston have been called out a total of nine times,with the All Weather Lifeboat being launched to support the Inshore Lifeboat in bad weather. Like any other day of the year and during these exceptional times the crew have made sure they are available and will continue to do so until lockdown measures are lifted.

As well as the situations the volunteers crews usually put themselves into there is added risk in relation to COVID-19.

Social distancing is not an option whilst on a lifeboat, and our volunteer crews have to take this into account when the call comes in and try and adhere as best to the guidelines.

The RNLI is currently seeking further clarity following the update given by the UK Prime Minister last night (10 May) and will be engaging with a number of watersport governing bodies and other stakeholders to help inform its response.

Many people will want to visit the coast and participate in water-based activities such as swimming, kayaking, surfing, boating and angling.

At present there are no RNLI lifeguards on beaches and although our volunteer lifeboat crews are fully operational, should they be needed, it is important that anyone visiting the coast understands the risk and takes the necessary steps to keep themselves safe. This will also help to reduce the demands placed on our lifeboat crews and other emergency services including HM Coastguard. In this way we can all work together to succeed in ensuring the coast is a safe place to visit.

We would urge anyone planning a visit to the coast to follow RNLI safety advice:

  • Take care near cliffs - know your route and your limitations
  • Have a plan - check the weather forecast and tide time.
  • If you fall into the water unexpectedly, FLOAT TO LIVE. Fight your instinct to thrash around, lean back, extend your arms and legs, and Float.
  • If individuals are choosing to go sailing or yachting it is important to ensure that equipment is properly checked and serviceable before going afloat.
  • In any coastal emergency dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.

We are all in this together and want to protect our crews as best as possible.

For more information please telephone Kimberley Platford, RNLI volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer and Crew on 07907360588, [email protected] or Jim Rice,RNLI Regional Media Manager (North East & East) on 07810658072 or [email protected] or Clare Hopps, Regional Media Officer (North East and East) on 07824518641 or [email protected] or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.