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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 February 2007, 17:07 GMT
Lifeboat launches on the increase
Skegness lifeboats cover a huge area of the coast
Skegness Lifeboat Station is one of the busiest in the north of England, according to RNLI figures.

The inshore and offshore boats were launched 62 times in 2006 - an increase of 13 on the previous year. Seventeen people were rescued.

Skegness coxswain John Irving said: "Our patch covers something like 440 square miles of sea from Spurn down to halfway between Wells and Cromer.

"So it's a large area and it's getting busier all the time."

Although the number of times the Skegness lifeboats were launched went up in 2006, fewer people were rescued - only 17 compared with 37 in 2005.

Dedication and bravery

A spokesman said a number of calls were to rescue swimmers and people on dinghies who managed to return to the beach before a lifeboat arrived.

The figures show that 74% of the rescues in the north of England were carried out by inshore lifeboats, reflecting the increase in the number of people using the sea for leisure activities including sailing, diving and jet-skiing.

RNLI divisional inspector in the north Andrew Ashton said: "I would like to thank our lifeboat volunteers for their commitment, dedication and bravery.

"Saving lives at sea is becoming more and more demanding.

"The diversity of sea-based leisure activities means our crews must devote an increasing amount of time to training for a wide variety of rescue scenarios to ensure they can always operate safely and effectively."

New record for lifeboat rescues
21 Feb 07 |  Scotland
RNLI rescues increase in county
21 Feb 07 |  Cornwall

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