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Busiest summer in six years for Sussex lifeboat
2:00pm Tuesday 24th September 2013 in News
A scorching summer led to a record-breaking number of call-outs for the county’s lifeboat crews.
The crews along the Sussex coast have had their busiest summer for six years as more and more beachgoers and boat owners got into trouble while taking advantage of the glorious weather.
Eastbourne was named among the ten busiest lifeboat stations in the country while Newhaven |saw its number of call-outs almost treble.
In total the eight Sussex lifeboat stations were called out 241 times between June and August this year – a 10% increase on last year and a higher number of call-outs than any year going back to 2007.
Crews at Eastbourne have now had more call-outs this year than they had in the whole of 2012.
The Sussex increase contrasted with the general trend across the whole of the South Coast which saw a small drop in call-outs this summer.
Eastbourne, Newhaven and Brighton all recorded large increases this summer and record six year highs.
Among the major rescues this summer, Newhaven RNLI saved a paraglider who crash-landed into the sea on August 5 while RNLI lifeguard Arran Barker rescued a toddler at Littlehampton on August 31.
Newhaven RNLI crew member Alan Novis said: “I think the weather has had quite a significant impact because we have had a lot better summer than last year.
“We have had a real mixed bag of call-outs, a wide range of call outs but no particular type that has stood out.
“Because of the weather we have had lot more people using the beaches and using their boats than last year.”
Bob Jeffery, deputy launch authority at Eastbourne RNLI station said: “We have had a lot of similar call-outs, a lot of machinery failures.
“It’s no more expensive to run a boat these days but maybe in the economic climate, people don’t have the money to run their boats.
“A lack of maintenance is an issue as well as a lot of people just running out of fuel which there is no excuse for.”
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