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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 February 2007, 11:07 GMT
New record for lifeboat rescues
The RNLI rescued a record number of people last year
Scottish lifeboat crews rescued more than 1,000 people in 2006, making it their busiest year since records began.

The rise could be linked to an increase in people enjoying seaside-related activities, the RNLI said.

Volunteer crews in Scotland launched a total of 1,049 times and rescued 1,022 people last year, their figures show.

Oban lifeboat rescued more people than any other RNLI vessel, while the Broughty Ferry station, near Dundee, was the busiest.

In most cases, crews were called to help sailing boats in trouble.

'Hurricane' conditions

They also responded to more serious calls, including aircraft crashes, medical evacuations and rescuing people trapped by tides.

The RNLI, which rescued 900 people in 2005, has urging members of the public to ensure they check weather conditions and make the right preparations before heading out on the water.

According to the charity's annual figures, Oban's all-weather lifeboat rescued 109 people, while the two lifeboats at Broughty Ferry launched 79 times, helping to rescue 29 people.

RNLI divisional inspector for Scotland John Caldwell said: "Our volunteer crews responded, as always, 24 hours a day, last year in conditions that sometimes reached hurricane force 12."

The busiest RNLI lifeboat station overall was Tower Pier on the River Thames, which launched 344 times and rescued 99 people.

Busiest year for Scots lifeboats
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