GALLOWAY’S Lifeboat call-outs more than doubled this summer, according to statistics released this week.
WIth just eight calls for help in 2011, this year the crews recorded 20 incidents between Kippford, Kirkcudbright, Stranraer and Portpatrick.
Scottish totals show Lifeboats across the country were launched 417 times - nearly five times a day during a busy summer.
The increase in activity coincided with a period of good weather along the west coast of Scotland, where the stations were busier than normal. Much of the rest of Scotland endured a wet summer and there were fewer call-outs for some of the stations.
Paul Jennings, the RNLI’s Divisional Inspector for Scotland, said: “Once again our volunteer lifeboat crews in Scotland have shown that they are committed and courageous individuals, on stand by to save lives at sea come rain or shine.
“Behind the crews are a huge team of volunteers, the station management volunteers, shore helpers and fundraisers, to whom we owe our thanks for ensuring that the RNLI can keep on saving lives at sea.”
Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown also paid tribute, saying: “The volunteers of the RNLI do a fantastic job in Dumfries and Galloway and right across the country. They receive no Government funding and are totally reliant on donations from the public. Most of the volunteer crew members also have full time employment, but give up their time to help others. They are truly dedicated and I pay tribute to all their hard, and often dangerous, work.
“While across the UK as a whole RNLI callouts were less this summer than last year, they doubled in Dumfries and Galloway from 8 to 20. This shows how dangerous the waters off our coastline can be and why it is so important that the RNLI volunteers are there when they are needed.”