Pleasure boat rescues keep RNLI busy off Wales in 2010

RNLI lifeboats rescued 1,121 people in call-outs off the coast of Wales and the Isle of Man over the past year, with pleasure boats the main cause.

Figures for the RNLI Wales and the West area show boats were launched 1,207 times in 2010, a similar total to 2009.

But crews said they carried out more launches involving people in difficulty in pleasure boats than other incidents.

An RNLI spokeswoman said there was a rise in calls in June and July due to the warm weather.

RNLI volunteers at Beaumaris lifeboat station, Anglesey, were the busiest within the Wales and West division.

They launched 83 times to various incidents, rescuing 57 people over the year.

This included the rescue of nine students from Bangor University who were in the water after their rowing boat broke in half on the Menai Straits in September.

Major lifeboat rescues last year included a launch by RNLI Tenby volunteers who rescued five men from a sinking fishing boat near Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire.

Another incident was the rescue of a 12-year-old Wirral boy by the RNLI Porthcawl lifeboat crew after an offshore wind blew his dinghy out from Trecco Bay.

There was a 30% rise in incidents for RNLI lifeguards patrolling south and west Wales beaches.

They assisted 1,569 people in a number of incidents

Pembrokeshire RNLI lifeguards were the busiest assisting in 842 incidents and giving aid to 1,021 members of the public during the season.

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