RNLI crew called out to 'rescue' same pair of pranksters twice in two days
THE RNLI has criticised "malicious calls" after they were mobilised to rescue the same two pranksters twice in two days.
The crew even had to split their resources to save a pair of teenagers during the first call out.
RNLI volunteers were called into action when two young men were cut off between the pier and Brighton Slipway at about 7pm on Saturday – but had to divert away from the men, said to be in their 20s, to save the two girls near Humberston. The men were advised on safety and sent home.
However, despite seeing first hand how in demand the service is, the next day, the men swam out to the same bank and called for help again. When RNLI volunteers arrived, the men were "laughing" at them, says Sea Safety volunteer Steve Austin.
It took a crew of ten volunteers – none of whom are paid – to answer the pranksters' call each night – a service that is funded by charity fundraisers and donors.
Mr Austin said the volunteers were "disappointed" when they saw their efforts were wasted, and that "tempers flared" before the men were released to police.
He said: "Most of our calls are by people who aren't in serious danger but think they need help, and we are always happy to take these calls. What annoys the crew is malicious calls like these."
However, Cleethorpes RNLI has announced a dramatic fall in the number of call-outs this summer, compared to the busiest year on record in 2011.
While last summer, crews were called out 31 times, this year it was only 21; although it was still the fifth busiest station in the north, behind Sunderland, Skegness, Blackpool and Seahouses.
Jack Barlow, operational manager, said: "It's definitely a good thing that the number has dropped. Volunteers work very hard to make people more aware of safety but it was also a very wet summer."
But it is the same situations that cause people problems every year.
"People are always cut off near Humberston while walking on the beach, particularly on sunny days," he continued.
"Always check the tide times and don't be on the beach within three hours of high tide and you could avoid this.
"However, the council's beach safety team do a great job, we have the Coastguard and we are here too so you are well covered if you run into trouble."
To continue watching Cleethorpes shores, the RNLI needs a constant flow of volunteers and fundraisers.
Mr Barlow added: "We always need volunteers. We have a hardcore few who have been doing it for years but because they are not paid, they are not always available due to work commitments."
If you would like to be an RNLI volunteer, visit RNLI Cleethorpes on the seafront between 9am and noon on Sundays or 7pm to 9pm on Tuesdays.
Tide times and other safety information is available from the beach safety office, opposite the pier, but you can also call the beach safety office on 01472 323356 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org