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October 4, 2005
Burnham-On-Sea RNLI follows national trend of a busy summer

A stricken yacht was rescued by Burnham RNLI during August

Burnham-On-Sea RNLI has followed the national trend by having an incredibly busy summer season of rescues.

Preliminary figures for June, July and August 2005 show that RNLI lifeboats in the organisation's south division launched a record 682 times. This was 79 launches more than in the same period last year, and four more than the summer of 2003 - the busiest year on record.

In Burnham, the RNLI was called out by Swansea Coastguard a total of nine times during the same period, as opposed to ten times in the previous year.

RNLI Beach Lifeguard service in the south and south west of England had
their busiest season ever.

A record 7,361 incidents were dealt with over the same three-month period compared with 6,672 for the same period in 2004.

Torbay on Devon's south coast was the busiest lifeboat station in the division, carry out a total of 60 launches during the three-month period. The second busiest station in the south west was Poole in Dorset with 59 launches for the volunteer crews, and just along the coast at Exmouth the inshore and all weather lifeboats were also busy with 58 call outs.

In Cornwall it was the Newquay inshore lifeboats that launched the most times, putting to sea on 29 occasions. In Somerset Weston-Super-Mare's lifeboats nearly doubled the number of summer shouts from 15 in 2004 to 29 this year. The busiest station in the Channel Islands was Alderney where the all weather lifeboat launched on 20 occasions during the summer, nine times more than in 2004.

Simon Pryce, RNLI Divisional Inspector for the south division, said: "These increases may be down to the weather we've enjoyed this summer as more people took to the water."

"RNLI stations have reported rising numbers of calls to divers, yachts, motorboats and people cut off by the tide. This is why the RNLI continues to promote sea safety through its many initiatives, aiming to educate people before they take to the water."

"These statistics show how vital training is to our volunteer crews, which
is why this summer we've launched a Crew Training Campaign aimed at raising
£10 million over the next five years."

RNLI beach lifeguards operate throughout the division on 59 beaches across Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. The busiest RNLI lifeguard team overall was Carrick in Cornwall, who dealt with 1,729 incidents.

The second busiest RNLI lifeguard team was at Bournemouth in Dorset, responding to 1,179 incidents. The busiest RNLI beach lifeguard team in Devon was the team at South Hams, who reacted to 395 incidents.

Simon Pryce continued: 'RNLI lifeguards have been especially busy this summer, the standard qualifications they hold are enhanced by specialist RNLI training at the beginning of each season and this summer all of their training has been put to good use.

"We work in partnership with local authorities across the south and south west, who I commend for their commitment to beach safety, and for recognising that lifeguards on beaches save lives."

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