Busy summer for RNLI

MONTROSE’S lifeboats were launched nine times over the summer months as part of a busy season for crews across the country.

The inshore lifeboat was called out five times while the all-weather lifeboat was deployed on four occasions, matching last year’s total.

Lifeboats in Scotland were launched nearly five times a day over the summer period, according to figures released by the RNLI.

The charity’s 46 Scottish stations launched a total of 417 times during June, July and August, an increase of four per cent compared with the same period last year.

The increase in activity coincided with a period of good weather along the west coast of Scotland, where the stations were busier than normal. Much of the rest of Scotland endured a wet summer and there were fewer call-outs for some of the stations.

The busiest station over the summer was Troon with 25 shouts, an increase of three on 2011. The busiest inshore station was Queensferry where the volunteers had 21 call-outs, a drop of four compared with 2011.

Significant increases were experienced by the RNLI at its stations in Largs, Mallaig, Tobermory, Campbeltown, on the west coast. The charity’s newest lifeboat station, at Leverburgh on the Isle of Harris, had seven shouts.

Stations in the far north at Wick, Thurso, the Orkney and Shetland islands were all quieter than in 2011, while there was a mixed picture along the east coast.

Paul Jennings, the RNLI’s divisional inspector for Scotland, said: “Once again, our volunteer lifeboat crews in Scotland have shown that they are committed and courageous individuals, on standby to save lives at sea come rain or shine.

“Behind the crews are a huge team of volunteers, the station management volunteers, shore helpers and fund-raisers to whom we owe our thanks for ensuring that the RNLI can keep on saving lives at sea.

Other lifeboat stations along the east coast also recorded drops in the number of call-outs. Arbroath had six shouts, down by seven compared to last summer, while Broughty Ferry recorded 10 fewer launches than last year but, at 22, was still joint second highest in the country along with Anstruther.

The busiest inshore station was Queensferry where the volunteer crew answered 21 shouts, a drop of four compared with 2011.