The RNLI's 238 stations in the UK and Ireland will be on call during the festive period to assist people in trouble at sea

Many will be taking time off over the Christmas period, but not the RNLI, who’s always on call to save lives at sea.

Once again the RNLI will be providing 24/7 rescue service throughout the holidays at the charity’s 238 stations covering the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Over the last 10 years the Royal National Lifeboat Institution volunteers have launched 1078 times helping 488 people and saving 35 lives. Of those launches 96 took place on Christmas Day.

Christmas morning in 2012 the RNLI received a call alerting them of several people in the water. Both Hastings Lifeboats were launched in terrible weather conditions. The lifeboats battled 45 knot winds to reach the scene. Emergency services provided medical care to one individual on the shore, who sadly didn’t make it.

On Christmas Day last year Tynemouth volunteers’ pagers went off late in the evening and they had to abandon the Christmas celebrations with their families to assist one person in the water. The casualty was quickly recovered by other emergency services.

RNLI Sheringham Christmas Rescue

Statistics for the last 10 years show that during the festive period the most common cause for lifeboats launching was to people in the water or people caught out on a shoreline or beach.

Guy Addington, Community Safety Partner says: “The festive period is no different to any other time of year and we have such dedicated volunteers on call if a call comes in.

“With people heading to the coast for a stroll we ask you to take care. Around 190 people lose their lives at the UK and Irish Coast each year and over half never even planned to enter the water. As well as slips trips and falls tidal cut offs are also a contributing factor to RNLI call outs. Please take a look at the tide times and always have a means of calling for help. Remember, if you need help or someone else is in difficulty dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”

Four lifeboat stations are routinely fully crewed due to the location and number of call outs and Christmas is no exception which means they will miss out on Christmas dinner with their families.
Crews will be on standby at Humber Lifeboat Station, and three lifeboat stations on the Thames at Tower, Gravesend and Chiswick.