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Page last updated at 15:07 GMT, Wednesday, 22 September 2010 16:07 UK
RNLI figures show decrease in Essex lifeboat call-outs
RNLI Arun class lifeboat
Life boat call outs are slightly down on the same period in 2009 in the UK

An Essex lifeboat crewman believes the reduction in call-outs this summer is due to people taking less risks at sea.

RNLI figures show Essex crews were called out 205 times this summer, 40 less than during the same time in 2009.

Only Walton & Frinton saw an increase, bucking a trend which operations manager Phil Oxley put down to awareness initiatives by the RNLI.

"I think it is generally working, bar little hiccups when people had problems that can't be planned," he said.

"The RNLI have spent a lot of money on safety at sea initiatives and I think a lot of people now take more care to not get into trouble at sea, but you can still be unlucky."

Mr Oxley was not overly concerned by the increase in call outs from his station, citing plain misfortune and good weather in June, July and August, as likely reasons for their busier summer.

"I think there's probably more people going to sea," he said.

"We've had a good summer weather-wise, we've got lots of marinas and yacht clubs, so more people are going to sea in their boats on weekends and for holidays.

"I think probably the small difference we've noticed this year is perhaps there has been more engine failures and rigging problems that perhaps haven't always come to the surface before."

Southend was the busiest station in the county, being called out 66 times during the three months.

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