Fewer rescues by Hunstanton RNLI

The ‘sea safety’ message is being taken on board in West Norfolk as the number of lifeboat rescues continues to take a steady decline.

Hunstanton’s volunteer lifeboat crew launched 13 times and rescued 13 people in 2014, according to the RNLI’s rescue figures released this week.

Rescues included a fisherman who suffered a heart attack, a fisherman with a badly injured arm and a kite surfer with a broken ankle.

Geoff Needham, press officer for Hunstanton RNLI, said last year was one of the station’s quietest.

“It’s not just our station, there seems to be national trend of fewer rescues...it seems the sea safety message is finally getting across.

“Five years ago we were called out more than 40 times, then it went to the 30s, then 20s and now it’s gone down again.”

Mr Needham said despite the decline, there was still as great a need as ever for the RNLI’s volunteer crews.

He said: “In many cases, if our crew hadn’t got to the scene first, there would have been very different outcomes.”

He also said people should continue to be mindful of the potential dangers of the sea, and always have basic equipment on board vessels such as lifejackets, a compass, flares and a VHF marine radio.

Gareth Morrison, the RNLI’s lifesaving delivery manager, said: “Our volunteer crews are the lifeblood of the RNLI, given the commitment they make.”