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Southend RNLI set for busiest year ever

Lifeboats News Release

Southend RNLI are set to have their busiest year on record with the volunteer crews at the station already called out more than 130 times this year.

The Southend RNLI Atlantic 85 lifeboat.

RNLI/Paul Dunt

The Southend RNLI Atlantic 85 lifeboat.

Calls for help have included people cut off by the tide, broken down vessels, inflatables drifting offshore and missing swimmers. Each shout has seen the crew stop whatever they are doing in their home or work lives and respond immediately to their pagers to help those in need.

In total, the crews have responded to 131 calls for help from January to August, with the busiest month being June, with a total of 36 call-outs. The busiest single day however, was July 18, when the volunteers at Southend RNLI responded to 14 separate pleas for help in a 24 hour period.

Expecting this to continue, the crews are anticipating their busiest year ever, beating old records, including those set in 2020 when the crews launched a total 156 times. During 2020 the crew helped 152 persons saving a total of 27 lives, more than any other RNLI station in the country. At this same point in 2020, the crews had responded to a total of 124 calls, meaning that 2021 is currently seven taskings busier.

There has however been some respite for the crews as the August call-outs have been the second quietest since 2009, launching a total of 18 times throughout the month. This is considerably less than the 2020 August call-outs, which stood as the busiest month with a total of 41 services. It is likely this is down to the poor weather during the month.

With the number of calls for help being received, the crews are urging visitors to the coast to stay safe.

Visitors are advised to check the following things before heading to the coast:

· Check the tide times before you visit

· If entering the water, let someone know where you are going and the time you will return

· Always carry a means of contacting help

· If you find yourself in trouble at the coast, Dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

RNLI Media contacts:

· Frank Holland, Deputy volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer, Southend RNLI (07760) 668658 [email protected]

· Jack Lidster Woolf, Lifeboat Press Officer, [email protected], 07746 346119

· Paul Dunt, Regional Media Officer (South East), 0207 6207426, 07785 296252 [email protected]

· For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

RNLI online: For more information on the RNLI please visit News releases and other media resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the RNLI News Centre.

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.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

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.