RNLI call outs to broken down motorboats and sailing vessels are on the rise, prompting the charity to launch its Mayday Mile fundraiser

RNLI call outs to motorboats, sailing yachts and dinghies have increased by 5%.

In 2021, volunteer lifeboat crews were called out to 1,968 recreational boats; in 2022, this rose to 2,081.

The biggest number of RNLI call outs were to boats with machinery or equipment problems, including engine failure.

Last year, the RNLI was launched to 1,007 vessels with machinery or equipment problems – 591 of them were motor boats, 411 were sailing yachts.

A breakdown of the 2022 RNLI call outs to vessels. Credit: RNLI

A breakdown of the 2022 and 2021 RNLI call outs to vessels. The numbers from unknown craft and unknown person are added into the other category. Full recording of RNLI callouts is not always possible or easily defined. Credit: RNLI

The operational figures for 2022 also reveal that RNLI lifeboats were launched 9,312 times in 2022 between January and December 2022, compared to 8,868 times in 2021.

Lifeboat crews and the charity’s beach lifeguards saved a total of 506 lives last year – more than one life every day.

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The charity says it is expecting an increase in demand for its lifesaving services this summer, and is launching a new appeal to raise funds.

It is asking the public to take part in its Mayday Mile fundraiser, which runs from 1 May to 31 May. Participants can choose to walk, jog, hop or skip a mile a day, with sponsorship raising money for the RNLI.

The head of engagement at the RNLI, Pete Emmett, said as a charity, the RNLI relied on ‘generous support of members of the public to continue this lifesaving work.’

‘We need ongoing fundraising – now, more than ever – to keep providing our lifesavers with the best equipment and training for their important lifesaving role, which is why we’re calling on people to support our lifesavers this May,’ he said.

‘Every Mayday Mile completed will help give our lifesavers everything they need to continue to keep people safe this summer – and beyond. It’s so easy to get involved, and to have fun whilst helping the RNLI save lives,’ he added.

More information at: RNLI.org/SupportMayday.

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