RNLI 200 Years: Reflecting on Blackpool's latest lifeboat rescues and our life saving RNLI heroes

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They are our sea heroes.

They are the lifeline when things take a turn for the worse on our shores and there's nowhere more needy of a robust, dedicated and fully operational RNLI service than Blackpool.

With miles of coastline to cover, the voluntary service is vital to Blackpool and as the incredible rescue service marks is 200th anniversary today, we cast our minds back to incidents in the last couple of years where crews have turned out, often in treacherous conditions, to rescue people in difficulty at sea, bringing them safely back to shore.

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Back in June 2023, two teenage girls were rescued by lifeboat crews after getting into difficulty in the sea.

Blackpool lifewcoat crews launched both D-class and the B-class lifeboat, quickly locating the girls who were beginning to suffer from shock and starting to feel the effects of cold water. They were struggling against the tide. They were taken back to shore where their friends were waiting for them. This incident urged crews to reinforce to float to stay alive message.

Back in November 2022, a man was taken to hospital after being found collapsed on the water's edge at Blackpool by the lifeboat crew. The inflatable was scrambled after reports a figure had been spotted on the beach walking towards sea by passers-by. This was in the middle of the night when a person was spotted possibly walking into the sea near North Pier. The inshore lifeboat was called and the casualty was found collapsed at the water's edge.

Another similar incident in October last year saw a person dramatically rescued from the sea near South Pier. Again it was the middle of the night when RNLI crews were called to search for someone who had been seen in the sea. They were safely resuced and cared for by the ambulance service,.

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On the day of Blackpool Air Show back in 2022, a number of small children were rescued from the sea after getting into difficulty. It was an extremely busy day and one child had gone missing but the swift action of our local RNLI brought everyone back to safety.

Blackpool RNLI Open Day at the Lifeboat StationBlackpool RNLI Open Day at the Lifeboat Station
Blackpool RNLI Open Day at the Lifeboat Station | JPIMedia Resell

Last year, in August, a woman fell from Central Pier. Lifeboat crews were called into action with two rescue boats deployed to search for the woman in the water close to the pier. Again, thanks to the incredible work of Blackpool RNLI, she was rescued and brought ashore.

These are just a tiny fraction of the callouts Blackpool RNLI has dealt with in the last few years. Their time and dedication has seen them launch the lifeboat 2,786 times, saving 479 lives through Blackpool's 160 year RNLI service

Blackpool RNLI is also one of only two stations in the UK and Ireland to operate three inshore lifeboats. Last year alone, the volunteer crews responded to callouts 148 times leading to 114 launches, saving 14 lives and assisting a further 42 people to safety.

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Blackpool will be represented at a special service of thanksgiving to the RNLI at Westminster Abbey, by Lifeboat Operations Manager David Warburton who said on the crew's website that it was an honour to be asked to attend.

He said: "We are the latest generation of 160 years of history at Blackpool RNLI, and already we have the next generation coming through. ‘We are busier than ever as an RNLI lifeboat station, but look forward to continuing to build through 2024 to save lives and keep Blackpool safe."

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