Launch Statistics Show Another Busy Year For Chiswick Crew

Local RNLI lifeboat station was amongst the busiest in whole of UK and Ireland

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Another busy year for crews based at Chiswick lifeboat station with the RNLI lifeboat launched 229 times, up 18 per cent on 2009.

Once again Chiswick was amongst the busiest lifeboat stations across the RNLI’s 235 in the UK and Republic of Ireland.

The statistics - released to coincide with the RNLI’s biggest national fundraising day, SOS Day - highlight the need for the RNLI’s lifesaving service both on the Thames and around the coastline of the UK and ROI.

Indeed, the charity’s lifeboats launched a total of 8,713 times in 2010. Overall, the RNLI rescued a total of 8,313 people in 2010, more than the 8,186 rescued in 2009.

Fundraisers for the charity hope the figures will encourage the public to spare a thought for its committed volunteers and get involved on its annual RNLI SOS Day, Friday 28th January.

Andrew Ashton, Divisional Inspector for the RNLI East Division, said: "These figures show that once again RNLI lifeboats on the River Thames in the heart of London have had a busy year of saving and rescuing people in distress. When you consider that we remain to this day a charity, independent of the Government and the Coastguard, this is no mean feat.

"The River Thames is the UK’s busiest inland waterway which explains in part why Tower and Chiswick lifeboat stations were once again the busiest across the entire RNLI. When you consider the population of more than 7 million people, it is no wonder our lifeboats spent the equivalent of 400 hours on rescue missions."

Andrew continued: "No-one can deny we are living in difficult times – changes in our economy mean life is tough for many people. As a charity that relies on voluntary contributions we are so very grateful to all those who are still able to support us. It is only through donations and support from the public that we were able to launch our lifeboats and spend the equivalent of eight days at sea. For that I say thank you to everyone for their generous support, even in these difficult times."

The total number of launches across all four River Thames RNLI stations (Chiswick, Tower, Teddington and Gravesend) in 2010 was 894. Of these, 547 lifeboat launches were to assist individuals who were in danger on or near the river.

The figures have been released just days ahead of the RNLI’s annual SOS Day, when fundraising branches and supporters will be organising and taking part in fundraising activities to raise funds for the charity.

And it’s not too late to get involved – to find out what is happening in your area, to find out how you can support the RNLI, or to simply make a donation, visit

January 25, 2011