Scotland

RNLI crews 'saved 29 lives' during busy 2015

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Media captionThe RNLI says its crews saved the lives of 29 people in Scottish waters throughout 2015

Scotland's lifeboat crews launched more than 1,000 times last year, saving 29 lives, new RNLI figures show.

Broughty Ferry was the busiest lifeboat station in 2015 while Queensferry was the busiest inshore lifeboat.

The RNLI said its volunteers also worked "exceptionally hard" serving storm and flood-hit communities.

Last year the charity began operating lifeguard services on four Fife beaches. Across Scotland RNLI lifeguards dealt with 116 incidents.

During 2015 RNLI lifeboats launched 1,078 times - up from 1,002 in 2014 - rescuing 1,046 people, including 29 where the person "would probably not have survived without assistance".

Almost a fifth (19%) of calls were to sailing pleasure craft. Another common cause of call outs was machinery failure (18.5%)

Crews also assisted communities hit by recent storms and flooding.

Image copyright RNLI
Image caption RNLI volunteers assisted during the rescue of passengers from a flooded bus in Girvan

In December, the Girvan lifeboat crew worked with other emergency services to help passengers escape a bus which had been caught in flood water.

During the first week of the new year in Aberdeen the lifeboat crew used rocket propelled lines to help SSE restore power after storms and flooding.

Michael Avril, RNLI community incident reduction manager in central Scotland, said: "Our volunteer lifeboat crew and lifeguards have again worked exceptionally hard serving our local communities.

"We continue to urge those working on or enjoying our coastline and inland areas to respect the water.

"Inland, floods caused heartache for many at the end of 2015 and we ask those faced with floods to be aware of the fast flowing flood waters and to keep a safe distance.

"We understand that things can go wrong from time to time, so some preventative maintenance and annual checks prior to the boating season should allow for worry free sea time."

The Broughty Ferry lifeboat crew went to sea 82 times. The Queensferry lifeboat launched 73 times, rescuing 150 people.

On the west coast, Troon launched 74 times while the Mallaig lifeboat had 44 launches, rescuing 53 people.

Matt Crofts, RNLI operations, said: "We would like to thank all of our volunteers for their tireless hard work and dedication over the past 12 months, without all of our volunteers, fundraisers and education teams our lifesaving service would not operate."

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