Broughty Ferry was the busiest lifeboat station in Scotland during a record year for volunteer crews in 2014.
A record number of people were rescued and there was also a large rise in people’s lives being saved by the RNLI’s 47 lifeboat stations around the Scottish coastline, according to figures released today (Wednesday).
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution says that 1,175 people were rescued in 2014, compared with 1,008 the previous year. In recent years the number of those rescued has varied from 847 in 2011 to last year’s record figure.
The charity’s core mission is to save lives at sea and in 2014 there were 51 people of all ages who owe their life to the skills of volunteers. This was a rise from 29 lives saved in 2013.
The total number of incidents (known as shouts) was 1,004, a slight rise from 995 recorded in 2013.
On one day alone last Summer two neighbouring lifeboat stations were involved in two separate incidents which resulted in the saving of nine lives, including those of two children in danger of drowning off the north east coast.
Michael Avril, the RNLI’s community incident reduction manager in Scotland, said: “The very nature of the sea means it is unpredictable and can catch out even the most competent water users.
“But it’s not just people who set out to use the water who end up in it – walkers can get caught out too as conditions can change very quickly or a trip could mean they end up in the water. We would urge people to respect the water, and never underestimate the power and strength of the sea.
“Always check tide times before taking to the water. Avoid areas where you could get swept off your feet in stormy weather and, if you’re visiting the coast, be sure to visit a lifeguarded beach during the summer months.’
Broughty Ferry had 74 shouts, followed by Oban with 68 and Queensferry with 67. The RNLI’s newest station in Scotland at Stonehaven, a trial station near Aberdeen, had eight shouts. There were 29 shouts at Arbroath.
More than 40 per cent of all shouts in Scotland were to pleasure craft. The number of fishing boats requiring help declined slightly. Lifeboat stations spent almost 40,000 hours at sea in the year, a combination of attending incidents and carrying out crew training exercises.