Rescues of sailing boats rise 5%

2011 was the RNLI‘s second busiest year with nearly 9,000 lifeboat launches – more than half of which were to leisure craft.

The number of sailing boats rescued increased by five per cent last year to 1,557, but motor boat rescues fell by 11 per cent to below 2,000.

Machinery failure claimed responsibility for 1,641 rescues and was the most common cause for lifeboat launches.

RNLI operations director, Michael Vlasto, said: ‘It’s essential for us to look behind the figures as the charity puts a lot of effort into helping prevent emergencies in the first place.

‘Our lifeboat volunteers and lifeguards have once again demonstrated their dedication to saving lives at sea. But they wouldn’t be able to save lives without the incredible generosity of the public. I would like to say a huge “thank you” to all those who support the RNLI.’

Major rescue for sailing school yacht.

Training yacht loses mast in gale off Portland.

Crew rescued as yacht sinks at Poole.