RNLI launch Mayday appeal after rise in rescue figures

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has issued its own Mayday call for funds after rescue figures for 2021 showed a total of 408 lives were saved by the charity’s lifeboat crews and lifeguards last year in Scotland alone.

Mark Dowie
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 12:00pm
RNLI launch Mayday appeal after rise in rescue figures

The total represents more than one life saved every single day, and a 17% increase in the number of people saved compared with 2020 when there were 239.

Last year, Scotland's volunteer lifeboat crews at 46 lifeboat stations, three of which are in the Angus County Press area at Montrose, Arbroath and Broughty Ferry, launched 1176 times.

This represented a 10% increase on 2020, and the vessels aided a total of 987 people. These crews spent 9245 hours at sea on rescue missions, 1117 hours more than in the previous year.

The RNLI's own Mayday call comes as it faces another busy summer.

With high numbers of visitors expected as people continue to choose to holiday closer to home, the charity says it needs more funds to ensure its vital lifesaving service is able to keep everyone safe.

Scottish lifeboat crews saw an increase in incidents involving paddleboarders, swimmers and sailing vessels in 2021 – a trend the charity predicts will continue this year, with leisure activities on the water a popular pastime for many people keen to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The Mayday national fundraiser begins on Sunday May 1 and will run for the whole month across the UK and Ireland, including the Mayday Mile, in which participants cover a mile to raise vital funds.

The organisation receives no Government funding and relies entirely on donations to cover costs such as training, keeping kit up to date, maintaining stations and buying fuel.

Claire MacDonald, RNLI Fundraising and Partnerships Lead for Scotland, said: "It’s clear from these new figures that demand for our services is continuing to rise, with our lifesavers dropping everything to run to the lifeboat station when the call comes.

"Every penny raised will go towards ensuring we are ready to save even more lives this year.’

To sign up for the Mayday Mile, or to make a donation, visit RNLI.org/supportMayday.

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