Lifeboat volunteers respond to record amount of call outs last year and saved more people than ever before
RNLI volunteers responded to more emergency call outs last year than ever before, figures have revealed.
Crews from Scotland’s 47 lifeboat stations rescued 1,175 people in 2014.
They were called out 1,004 times, up from 995 in 2013.
Broughty Ferry, a two lifeboat station, was the busiest in Scotland with 74 calls.
Oban lifeboat, which covers one of the most treacheries coastal areas in Scotland responded to 68 calls while Queensferry had 67.
John Hill, Oban coxswain, said: “You don’t know what the shout is, the crew don’t know until they are actually at the lifeboat station, but when the pagers went off in a force 9-10 earlier this month, we had a good turnout of crew. I could have filled the boat twice over.”
Anybody with a connection with the sea recognises that it’s very important to be able to call for help if you get into trouble - Ronnie MacKillop
Deputy coxswain Ronnie MacKillop explained: “Most of us do it because we want to give something back to the community.
“A lot of the crew are involved with the sea in some way, and anybody with a connection with the sea recognises that it’s very important to be able to call for help if you get into trouble.
“When the pager goes there is always a little burst of adrenaline happens. You get to the lifeboat and it could be something really simple, or something really major, but I have never found it really scary. I have never known a guy say I am not going to go.”
Michael Avril, from the RNLI, said the very nature of the sea means it is unpredictable and can catch out even the most competent water users.
"But it’s not just people who set out to use the water who end up in it – walkers can get caught out too as conditions can change very quickly or a trip could mean they end up in the water. We would urge people to respect the water, and never underestimate the power and strength of the sea,” he added.
"Always check tide times before taking to the water. Avoid areas where you could get swept off your feet in stormy weather and, if you’re visiting the coast, be sure to visit a lifeguarded beach during the summer months."