Poole is the busiest lifeboat station on the UK coast, according to the RNLI's statistics for 2005.
Poole is the busiest lifeboat station on the UK coast, according to the RNLI’s statistics for 2005. The station, which has an inshore lifeboat and all-weather boat, was launched 147 times last year.
The station’s mechanic, Paul Taylor, moved to Poole last year from St David’s RNLI, and says the difference is incredible. ‘In Pembrokeshire, we used to get around 15 eight-hour shouts a year, in winds of up to F7 or F8,’ he said. ‘At Poole, we get a lot more, but often in calm conditions. The call-outs are shorter, but still intense. Most take place within in the harbour and can be anything from a stranded windsurfer to a yacht aground. Sadly, we’ve even had a few suicides, including a woman last year who drove her car down the slipway of the chain ferry.’
Poole were not the only ones to have a busy year, with call-outs being up 8% all over the country. Notable increases happened in Dover, whose call-outs rose by 75%, and Walmer and Hastings, who were up by 50% from 2004. Martyn Smith, RNLI divisional inspector, said increases reflected a rise in numbers of people taking part in leisure activities such as kite surfing, jet skiing and diving.
Photo = Nick Leach