Call outs down but still plenty of lives saved

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In line with the national trend, the region’s lifeboat crews were called out less times last year than in 2012 but there were still plenty of people grateful for their assistance.

Volunteer crews nationwide attended 996 shouts last year during which they rescued 1007 people and saved 29 lives.

It is the first time since 2008 that there were fewer than 1,000 shouts for the RNLI in Scotland.

At a local level the RNLI crew at Eyemouth were called out five times, rescuing four people, down from 18 callouts and 14 people rescued in 2012.

St Abbs crew were called out six times , down from seven the previous year although the number of people they rescued increased from four to nine.

And finally, Dunbar lifeboat crew attended 29 shouts and came to aid of 31 people, down from 32 call outs and 58 people rescued in 2012.

In contrast, the crew at Scotland’s busiest lifeboat station, Broughty Ferry, near Dundee, were called out 105 times and rescued 32 people. The crew at Tobermory put in the most hours, with 950.

The RNLI lifeguards, introduced to Coldingham last summer, were a first for Scotland and they had a busy first few months, coming to the assistance of the public on 53 occasions, although most of their work involved only minor first aid treatment.

Although last year’s figures were significantly lower than the record amount of shouts in 2009 of 1,121 and 2012 when 1,055 people were rescued, Andy Clift, the RNLI’s Regional Operations Manager for Scotland said volunteers’ efforts were still invaluable.

He commented: “The figures illustrate the immense commitment exhibited by RNLI volunteers in Scotland.

“Day after day they are available to respond to emergencies along the coastline and out at sea.

“And night after night they are also available with a large proportion of shouts taking place in darkness.

“They also spend a considerable amount of time carrying out exercises and training to ensure their skills are up to date.”

And with some rather cold and blustery conditions of late, Andy also had some timely advice for the public.

“During stormy weather the RNLI urges people to avoid areas, whether they be a harbour, pier, promenade or cliff top, where they could get swept off their feet.”