Page last updated at 21:18 GMT, Monday, 27 October 2008

Increase in sea rescues recorded

RNLI Atlantic 75 inshore lifeboat
The RNLI says anyone can get advice from its stations

This summer's dismal weather and more inexperienced sailors on the water have led to an increase in sea rescues on the south coast, the RNLI has said.

Crews in Brighton have been called out 77 times so far this year - a rise of 28% - while nearby Shoreham has seen a similar rise with 92 call-outs.

The RNLI at Poole in Dorset has seen a 15% increase, with 150 launches and 139 people rescued in the same period.

Sailors have been advised to visit RNLI lifeboat stations for advice.

'Blown offshore'

Peter Huxtable, coxswain at Shoreham lifeboat station, said: "I think a lot more people are getting on to the water inexperienced.

"They have bought pleasure crafts and gone to sea and got caught out with a lot of wind coming up quickly and getting into trouble."

The popularity of new watersports, like kite-surfing, has also been factor for the rise, he added.

"In high winds we've had them getting blown out to sea and they get tangled up in their kites."

Mark Bell from Brighton lifeboat station said bathers using inflatable have also caused problems.

"We had eight incidents in one weekend, five in the same day.

"It was mostly people coming down for the day and not knowing the conditions or tides and being blown offshore."

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