Volunteer crews from the RNLI braved rough seas and stormy weather throughout last year to help those in danger

The RNLI rescued more than 10,000 in 2014, with London lifeboat stations being the busiest across the network.

The charity released official statistics on Wednesday, demonstrating the vital work the volunteer crews do up and down the UK.

A total of 10,038 people were rescued last year, amid rough seas, stormy weather and rip currents.

The charity’s lifeboats launched a staggering 8,462 times, with 368 of the people they rescued classified as ‘lives saved’, and had the lifeboat not turned up, the casualty would not have survived.

Statistics show that 2014 proved to be even busier than the previous year, with crews launching 122 more times and rescuing 313 more people.

Tower lifeboat station on the Thames was the busiest, launching 543 times and rescuing a total of 104 people.

RNLI lifeguards were also kept on their toes throughout the year, with volunteers helping nearly 20,000 beach goers.

Operations director George Rawlinson said: “RNLI volunteer lifeboat and shore crew and lifeguards have shown the commitment and courage we have come to rely on, but we must of course also thank our supporters and dedicated fundraisers, who work tirelessly to ensure our charity, which is dependent on donations from the public, can continue to keep launching our lifeboats and patrolling some of the coasts’ busiest beaches.”

Future plans for the charity involve reducing coastal drownings by 50% by 2024, following the launch of their new campaign, Respect the Water, last year.

RNLI head of community safety Will Stephens said: “The very nature of the sea means it is unpredictable and even the most competent water users can be caught out

“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.

“Always be aware of the tide 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.”

Related articles