Local lifeboat crew rescued 13 in 2012

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MONTROSE lifeboat was the 16th busiest in Scotland last year, with a total of 20 launches of both vessels.

Nine of these launches were in the hours of darkness.

Thirteen people were rescued; five by the all-weather boat and eight by the inshore one.

Seven of those rescued were over 18 years old, and the remaining six were under 18.

The boats were at sea for 124 hours in service, and a further 178 hours of exercises were carried out.

The busiest station in Scotland was again Broughty Ferry, with 103 launches in total, of which 47 were in darkness, and a total of 37 people were rescued.

The station with fewest launches was Longhope, which had three.

Over the whole of Scotland a record number of people, 1,055, were rescued in 2012 by Royal National Lifeboat Institution volunteers. Lifeboats were launched from the country’s 46 stations on 1,008 occasions. The previous highest number of rescued people was 1,026 in 2006.

Arbroath was the sixth busiest station with 41 launches, a rise of 10 on the previous year. The launches included the rescue of two jet-skiers who had spent more than two hours with a broken jet-ski in freezing waters off the east coast in late November.

The busiest inshore station was at Queensferry, near Edinburgh, where the volunteer crew has been the busiest operating an inshore lifeboat for several years. In 2012 they launched 66 times and rescued 163 people, the highest among Scotland’s stations.

Last year was notable for the large number of rescues that took place during darkness, with 386 ‘shouts’ being undertaken by crews at night.

The RNLI’s statistics also reveal that 15,450 hours were spent at sea by Scottish crews in 2012. This includes the time spent on ‘shouts’ which totalled 10,671 hours, and time spent on training exercises.

The RNLI’s Regional Operations Manager for Scotland, Andy Clift, says: “The figures show that our volunteers dedicate a huge amount of their time to saving lives at sea. To know that they are on call 24/7, every day of the year, is reassuring for all of us who venture out to sea around the Scottish coast.

“But it’s not just our crews who are committed to our charity - they wouldn’t be able to carry out their lifesaving work without the incredible generosity of the public and I would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to all those who support the RNLI, whether by giving up their time or by making a donation.”

The number of fishing vessels requiring help from the RNLI fell from 143 in 2011 to 122 last year. People on land requiring help rose significantly from 142 to 226. This includes people stuck on an island, cliff, rocks, mud and shoreline.