HM Coastguard responds to record number of incidents at the coast
HM Coastguard dealt with 340 individual incidents across the whole of the UK on Saturday (8th August) – our highest amount of call-outs in a single day for well over four years.
Packed coastlines and beaches kept us very busy throughout another hot heatwave day, which saw Coastguard Rescue Teams attend 221 incidents.
Both the RNLI and independent lifeboats were called out on 155 occasions combined and aircraft (30 taskings) were also used to assist at the coast and sea.
HM Coastguard responded to 186 999 calls yesterday and coordinated search and rescue responses to a wide-range of incidents, which included people being cut off by the tide and children swept out to sea on inflatables.
In total, the service rescued 146 people and assisted a further 371 people.
Saturday’s incident count (340) represents a significant 145% increase when compared to the average amount of call-outs we recorded throughout August 2019. The count also surpasses our previous (and recent) busiest day over the past few years, Friday 31st July 2020, when we coordinated 329 incidents.
HM Coastguard Head of Coastguard Operations Richard Hackwell said: “We have seen a big rise in incident numbers this weekend as more people visit coastal areas and head to the beach. We understand that people want to have fun at the coast and enjoy the heatwave but we urge everyone to respect the sea and take responsibility in helping to ensure the safety of themselves, friends and family.
“We’re heading into a period of more good weather so we want to remind you to check and double check tide times as even the most experienced swimmer or keen watersports enthusiast can get caught out by currents and tides. Plan your day out, always exercise caution and make sure you have a way of contacting us if you get into trouble.”
He added: “As our latest statistics show, we’ll always respond when someone calls 999 and asks for the Coastguard but help us to help you by not making choices which could put yourself and others at risk.
“Every time our frontline teams respond – as they always do and always will – please don't forget that they're also put at risk too. Take extra care at the coast today and over the coming days. We don’t want you to remember your day-out for all the wrong reasons.”