THERE were more call-outs to Fleetwood Lifeboat and other RNLI centres last year than ever before, new figures show.
And the statistics from the RNLI, issued this week, also reveal that Fleetwood is one of the busiest stations in the British Isles.
At Fleetwood, there were a total of 93 launches - 39 by the main all-weather lifeboat William Street and 54 by the inshore lifeboat. This compares to just over 60 the year before.
A total of 81 people were assisted last year.
Fleetwood was also the 15th busiest station out of 233 in the UK and the Republic of Ireland - and the second busiest in the north after Sunderland.
Fleetwood Lifeboat spokesman Tony Clark told the Weekly News: “We were significantly busier last year.
“There are a number of reasons for that. We had a mild April and October, which meant more vessels were out there.
“We are also seeing more boats coming into Fleetwood Marina, and quite a few of our call-outs are to yachts from there.
“The figures show we had a total of 1,047.94 crew hours in services and exercise, so we were kept busy.”
Tony says that Fleetwood Lifeboat is keen to offer preventative measures to help stop vessels getting into difficultiies in the first place.
He said: “A lot of these incidents at sea are down to mechanical problems. We offer free maintenance and safety checks and the more people make use of that, the fewer problems out at sea there will be.”
The figures show a total of 1,237 people were helped in the north, an increase of 3 per cent on the previous high recorded in 2003.
There were 1,270 lifeboat launches from the north’s 33 lifeboat stations in 2011 – the second highest number in the history of the charity.
The busiest lifeboat crew in the north of England was Sunderland, who launched their two inshore lifeboats 111 times and rescued 135 people
In the north of England, 25 per cent of the launches (323) were to power pleasure craft; 19 per cent (243) to people in the water and 14 per cent (174) to sail pleasure craft.
RNLI Divisional Inspector, North, Andy Clift: “Without the amazing generosity of the people who support us, we would be unable to carry out this lifesaving work.”
For a free safety check call Fleetwood Lifeboat on (01253) 874000.