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Lifeboat statistics

SHETLAND’s two lifeboats were called out 24 times in 2013, rescuing a total of 38 people, the RNLI in Scotland said on Tuesday.

The most challenging shout for the lifeboats in Lerwick and Aith came on 23 August when they were tasked to assist in the huge rescue operation that followed the Super Puma crash off Sumburgh, in which four oil workers died.

Other notable call outs were:

• The sinking of the fishing vessel Prospect in Lerwick harbour on 5 August;
• Towing in the tour boat Alluvion with 12 people on board after she ran aground on rocks north of Bressay, on 5 July;
• Towing the creel boat Ivy Leaf to safety on 4 May.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) said lifeboats in Scotland attended almost 1,000 shouts in 2013, fewer than in previous years.

The busiest station in Scotland was Broughty Ferry, near Dundee, where the charity’s two lifeboats were called out a total of 105 times. Out of the 32 people rescued, five people’s lives were saved.

With 115 incidents last year, there has been a decrease in recent years of the number of fishing boats, the RNLI said.

Andy Clift, the RNLI’s regional operations manager for Scotland, said: “These figures illustrate the immense commitment exhibited by the RNLI’s volunteers throughout Scotland.

‘Day after day they are available to respond to emergencies along the coastline and out to sea and, night after night, they are also available with a large proportion of shouts taking place in darkness.

‘They also spend a considerable amount of time in carrying out exercises and training to ensure their skills are up to date.”

The RNLI launched on 8,304 occasions around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coastline in 2013, and rescued 8,384 people.