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Lifeboats reflect on busy summer

Tenby lifeboat crewFOR THE first time in many years, Pembrokeshire was blessed with weeks of sunshine, resulting in a significant increase in the tourism trade and amount of holidaymakers in the county.

Temperatures soared into the high twenties, attracting thousands of locals and tourists to the beaches of Pembrokeshire’s coastline. Tenby’s RNLI volunteers faced the arduous task of responding, aiding and rescuing a considerably higher number of ocean users. Crewmember, Ben James told The Herald: “This year has been extremely busy for us. Tenby lifeboats have been launched seventy times this year alone”.

The RNLI rely on donations from the general public to keep them afloat and the money left to them through legacy wills have been pushed to their limits this season.

An RNLI spokesperson said: “Our commitment and perseverance is often over looked by those that use the ocean for both recreational and commercial uses”.

Bob James, who used to work for RNLI, said: “I know the importance of public donations as it ensures the service can afford the best possible equipment, which could make saving someone’s life that little bit easier. We don’t have an exact figure on what the average rescue costs but it certainly isn’t cheap. Valero oil refinery has been supplying free fuel to both Tenby and Angle.”

“Equipment like this, although costly, is imperative to ensure our main lifeboat can be launched quickly. When someone is in danger at sea, time is of the essence and you can’t put a price on someone’s life” explains Bob.”

Crew member Daniel Thomas said: “The sheer size and speed of this vessel allows us to get to those in danger very quickly, even in stormy conditions”.

Today’s RNLI lifeboats have intricate mechanisms and engineering devices. This shows how developed and sophisticated the lifeboats are, and are developing along with technology itself. It is an accomplishment for the RNLI to have come too far in 150 years, when they relied purely on man power alone.

The brave and valiant volunteering crew members at Tenby Lifeboat Station put their lives at risk to ensure our waterways and beaches are kept safe with very little recognition and praise for their efforts.

For more information on the RNLI and details on how to donate visit http://rnli.org/findmynearest/station/Pages/Tenby-Lifeboat-Station.