Southend RNLI Lifeboat tasked to 19 callouts in one week

Lifeboats News Release

Southend on Sea volunteer lifeboat crews have been paged 19 times in the past week to a variety of taskings as the weather improves and shorelines become busy.

Both Southend RNLI inshore lifeboats in action

RNLI/Jack Lidster-Woolf

Both Southend RNLI inshore lifeboats in action

The coastguard has requested the assistance of the volunteer crew at Southend RNLI lifeboat 19 times in the past seven days. There have been a variety of taskings including people cut off by the tide and injured, missing swimmers, broken down vessels in difficulties and inflatables drifting offshore.

During 2020 Southend RNLI had their busiest year of taskings in recent history, being launched 156 times and assisting 152 people in the local area. Comparatively at the same point last year, the Southend RNLI have had more calls in 2021. With the past week of taskings it looks likely the charity will have a busy summer.

The crew at Southend have been instrumental in ensuring peoples safety around the coast, including saving 27 lives in 2020, more than any station in the UK.

One of the taskings on Thursday evening included launching both the inshore station D-class lifeboat and the offshore station Atlantic 85, which were both joined by Rescue163, the coastguard helicopter in a search for a missing swimmer. The reported person was located ashore by Coastguard teams to the relief of all services involved in the search.

Over the past week, six of the 19 taskings have been to people cut off on the tidal mudflats that surround the local area. This is a regular tasking for the station as people visit the beach and walk out on the mudflats; they then get cut off by the tide or injure their feet on sharp shells, inhibiting their ability to get back to shore before the fast-moving tide comes in.

Graham Slack, volunteer Lifeboat Operations Manager, said – 'With the temperatures improving in recent weeks, we’re seeing an increase in people taking to the local shoreline. With Southend’s unique tidal range and mudflats there is always a draw to walk out. We would always advise against walking out on the local mudflats. However if you do venture out, please check tide times carefully, ensure you have appropriate footwear on, carry a fully-charged mobile phone and let someone know where you’re going.

Southend RNLI and the volunteer crew would ask everyone to carefully consider safety precautions at any time you’re close to, or entering the water. If you do see someone, or find yourself in difficulties, the RNLI charity provides 24/7 search and rescue for anyone that finds themselves requiring our assistance – just call 999 and ask for the coastguard.'

Even in these difficult and unprecedented times our RNLI volunteers are still on duty and ready to deploy at the sound of the pager.

Southend RNLI inshore lifeboat by the pier

RNLI/Jack Lidster-Woolf

Southend RNLI inshore lifeboat by the pier
Southend RNLI hovercraft at low tide

RNLI/Jack Lidster-Woolf

Southend RNLI hovercraft at low tide

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 over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, 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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