England

Increase in RNLI summer rescues in the North East

Volunteer lifeboat crews have reported a busy summer off the north east of England coast.

Preliminary figures show that in June, July and August there were a total of 233 launches, from the 11 stations between Berwick and Redcar.

This compares to 220 during the same period in 2009.

The busiest station was Sunderland, which responded to 37 incidents, and Hartlepool next, with 36 launches. The quietest was Craster, with three.

Andy Clift, RNLI divisional inspector, North, said: "Once again, the RNLI's lifeboat crews and lifeguards have been kept busy at a time when most people are relaxing and taking holidays.

"I am very grateful to all our volunteer crews who are willing to leave their families or their day jobs at a moment's notice to go out and help someone in trouble at sea.

"And I would also like to say thank you to those employers who allow RNLI volunteers to stop work each time their pagers go off.

"Without their support and understanding, our charity would be unable to carry out its vital lifesaving role."

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