THE NUMBER of people that needed to be rescued by Penarth’s lifeboat crews in 2021 increased by nearly half on the previous year, the RNLI has revealed.

In its latest release of rescue figures, RNLI Penarth launched the lifeboats 41 times to rescue 54 people – a 43 per cent increase on 2020 figures. 

One call was to rescue a fishing boat that had broken down near the mouth of the River Usk.

Another call-out saw crew rescue paddleboarders who had been swept out by the tide.

RNLI Penarth saved four lives in 2021. 

The charity has now issued a warning that more funding is needed to help keep people safe as it expects to face another busy summer.

High numbers of visitors are expected in seaside locations like Penarth as people continue to choose to holiday closer to home.

Jason Dunlop, lifeboat operations manager at RNLI Penarth, said: ‘‘Summer is our busiest time of year, with thousands of people at risk of getting into danger by the water. Ordinary people just enjoying days out with family or friends.

“Mayday is the RNLI’s own call for help, as the charity relies on the generosity of the public to take part in events like the Mayday Mile and raise the funds that allow us to be there when we’re needed most. But we need to be ready. Training, kit, stations, fuel … these are just some of the things we need to save lives, and that your fundraising can help provide.”

The RNLI’s Mayday national fundraiser has been running throughout May across the UK and Ireland.

Mr Dunlop added: “It’s clear from these new figures that demand for our services is continuing to rise, with our lifesavers dropping everything to run to the lifeboat station when the call comes. Every penny raised during Mayday will go towards ensuring we are ready to save even more lives this year.”

The RNLI’s national rescue figures for 2021 show a total of 408 lives saved by the charity’s lifeboat crews and lifeguards year – more than one life saved every single day, and a 17 per cent increase in the number of lives saved on the previous year.