[S]tatistics compiled by the RNLI show that Morecambe’s volunteer lifeboat crew launched on service 24 times during 2017; their inshore lifeboat launching on 11 occasions and their inshore rescue hovercraft on 13 occasions. This total does not include the times when the crew were called out but stood down before launching or requested to be ready on standby but were not deployed.
The volunteers launched at least once a month during 2017; May being the busiest month, when they launched 5 times. Throughout the year, their search and rescue craft were launched less than 10 minutes after being alerted; with the exception of one incident on the River Lune in January, which took 12 minutes.
The charity only claims that a life has been ‘saved’ after an operational committee, in the RNLI’s headquarters in Poole, have interrogated the circumstances of the service and concluded that the casualty would have died without the intervention of the lifeboat crew. If the evidence suggests the casualty might have survived, or possibly rescued by other means, then they are deemed to have been ‘rescued’ or ‘assisted’. During the year, the Morecambe crew saved a total of 4 lives; a further 4 people were rescued and 3 people were assisted.
Coastal fatality figures show 109 people lost their lives at the UK coast in 2017 (156 in 2016).
Of these figures, six people lost their lives off the north west coast (Wirral, Lancashire and Cumbria) of England in 2017 (four in 2016). The RNLI can reveal:
- All six did not intend to enter the water
- Four of the six fatalities were men
Morecambe’s volunteers are totally committed to reducing this figure and the lifeboat station hosted educational visits for over 800 visitors from schools, youth groups and other organisations during the year; including all the pupils from West End Primary School – one year at a time! Crew members also delivered formal talks about their work to over 150 people in the community; as well as meeting members of the public during their Lifeboat Open Day and the Carnival and Heritage weekends.