England

Southend lifeboat callouts increase

RNLI hovercraft
Image caption People flocked to the coast on hot days in summer bringing more RNLI launches

An Essex lifeboat crew saw its callouts increase by 30% last year as people flocked to the coast to enjoy the hot weather, the RNLI has said.

Launches by the Southend lifeboat rose from 80 in 2012 to 104 in 2013.

The RNLI said the hot spell in July saw call outs around the UK rise by 36% compared to 2012.

Andrew Ashton, of the RNLI, said: "We had some really lovely sunny days this summer... so it's hardly surprising we were called out to so many incidents."

In one incident, the Southend-on-Sea lifeboat rescued two young girls drifting out to sea on inflatable beds, as well as their mother who was attempting to save them.

The lifeboat at Clacton, which often deals with offshore boating incidents, was the third busiest on the East Anglian coast over the summer months, being called out 33 times.

The RNLI said there were usually more rescues in the summer, though incidents in winter weather were often more dangerous.

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