A busy year for lifeboat crews

FILEY’S lifeboat crews rescued 25 people last year, according to new figures.

The town’s two lifeboats were launched 22 times in 2011 - including five emergency calls at night - and spent more than 134 hours on active duty.

The inshore lifeboat, Braund, was sent to sea 17 times and assisted 21 casualties, with the all-weather craft, The Keep Fit Association, rescuing four people from five launches.

The statistics show Filey’s crews were one of the busiest stations in the area, with more calls than Withernsea, Flamborough and Staithes and only seven less incidents than Scarborough.

John Colling, Filey Lifeboat Operations Manager cited two significant incidents which crews in both lifeboats were called to during 2011.

The first came in August when a three-metre speedboat was missing.

The owner of the boat had only bought it the day before and it was not fit for the sea.

The man set out to sea headed for Reighton beach with his son, though the boat only carried one life jacket, with no communication equipment and no flares.

After several hours of searching, the boat was eventually found by the all-weather lifeboat east of Flamborough Head.

Its propeller had been damaged after hitting a rock and the boat was out of fuel.

After returning to shore, the man was warned by the coastguard about being properly equipped for going out to sea.

The second incident came when a disabled boy fell on the rocks at Filey Brigg.

The inshore lifeboat was launched to rescue the boy who had head and face injuries and a suspected back injury.

Crew member Vanessa Thomas, 20, a newly qualified paramedic, quickly took charge and treated the boy’s wounds before he was stretchered into the lifeboat and later taken to hospital.

Mr Colling said: “Both of these incidents highlight the different capabilities of both boats and the professionalism of the crew, who train hard throughout the year to maintain their level of expertise.

“Some years are busier than others and this can quite often be affected by the weather conditions, as during warm weather more people come out to play.

“But everyone who visits the coast or ventures out to sea should really make sure they are in no doubt as to their capabilities and limitations and should always seek advice if unsure of anything.”

The figures were revealed after a stalwart of Filey lifeboat was honoured for his tireless work.

Dr Roger Nunn, Filey Honorary Medical Officer, has been awarded a Gold Badge for his services to the Filey team.

Dr Nunn, who has held his role for more than 28 years, said he was delighted to have been recognised by the charity, who helped him many years ago when got into difficulty while windsurfing.

Coxswain Barry Robson said: “Roger is well respected by the crew and when he is assisting them at the boathouse he is very keen to be fully involved.”

in all that is going on.

“We are very pleased to hear of his award.”

Chairman David Wilson added: “Roger has provided Filey Lifeboat Station with invaluable support over many years to which we are indebted and the award of the Gold Badge is very justifiably deserved.”