Official statistics released this week by the RNLI indicate that Morecambe’s volunteer lifeboat crew experienced nearly a 50% reduction in demand for their services in 2016 compared to the previous year.
The charity recorded that Morecambe’s inshore lifeboat and inshore rescue hovercraft launched on service 23 times in 2016; rescuing 13 people. This compares to 41 launches and 24 people rescued in 2015.
Morecambe RNLI volunteer Deputy Launching Authority, Colin Midwinter, said ‘It is likely that a number of different factors have brought about this reduction. Traditionally the weather, particularly during holiday periods, makes a difference. Undoubtedly HM Coastguards’ utilisation of alternative resources, such as Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service and their partners Bay Search and Rescue Service, rather than ourselves has also had an impact.
“To date, 2017 is showing a similar pattern but as we tend to get busier during and after the Easter period, it is too early to say.
“We would like to think that our charity’s campaign to inform and educate the public to “Respect the Water”, is having a positive effect on peoples’ awareness and behaviour. Locally we have new crew members to deliver a speedy and professional response 24/7.”