Lifeboat crews in the North of England saw their number of call outs drop by 29% this summer. They're crediting the fall on the wet weather.
Crews in the North division launched 407 times this summer to rescue people in difficulty at sea, on the beach and, on one occasion, from a flooded caravan park.
Summer 2012 was the wettest for 100 years. Met Office figures for June, July and August show 370.7 mm of rain fell across the UK.
Sunderland was the busiest RNLI station in the North of England division but figures were substantially down on last summer. Sunderland - 34 rescue launches (45 in 2011)Skegness - 30 rescue launches (27 in 2011)Blackpool - 28 rescue launches (22 in 2011)Seahouses - 22 rescue launches (25 in 2011)
Across the UK and Republic of Ireland, RNLI lifeboats launched 3575 times this summer, two per cent down on last year's total of 3633.
The majority of summer lifeboat rescues are carried out close to land by inshore lifeboat crews. 2012 was no different, with 314 inshore lifeboat launches in the north (77 per cent of the total). Among the people saved were swimmers in serious difficulty, children on inflatables, kayakers who overturned and people walking on the beach who became cut off by the tide. Some of the worst sea conditions of the summer were encountered on 30 August, when Whitby RNLI launched in Force 7 winds to help a yacht in difficulties in the very rough seas. The yacht's five crew were suffering from sea sickness and wanted to head for the safety of Whitby harbour. However, conditions were so bad it was unsafe to enter the harbour and they were advised to head to Scarborough. Whitby lifeboat escorted the yacht until the crew were happy to go on alone. Then as the yacht approached the coast, Scarborough all-weather lifeboat launched and towed it safely into the harbour.