A SPATE of incidents took up 14 hours of the bank holiday weekend for volunteers at Hamble Lifeboat.

The team were called to nine different locations between Friday and Monday, including a missing person search, a police incident, and a red flare sighting.

These were across the River Itchen, the River Hamble, the docks, and Southampton water.

Five of the incidents were out of hours, with volunteers having to scramble to the station after being contacted via pager.

But despite the rising fuel costs, the charity is prepared for the inevitable increase in incidents as the warmer weather rolls in.

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"Easter Bank holiday brought with it some very nice weather,” said chairman James Godwin.

“The combination of good weather and a Bank Holiday Weekend always gives a heavily increased likelihood of the Lifeboat being requested by the UK Coast Guard - over 50 years of operational service has taught us that.

“We completed 122 incidents in 2021 - we expect a similar number again this year.

“We are always prepared to launch, 24/7/365 and we ensure the boats are fully fuelled.

“The rising cost of fuel prices has definitely made us make some changes to the way train and the usage of the boat, but it does not affect our ability to attend incidents as and when required.”

Earlier this month, Hamble Lifeboat told the Echo it was reducing its diesel consumption.

Every year it needs to raise about £60,000 a year to cover its running costs.

The number of volunteers and the amount of hours they spend volunteering will remain the same.

“Our key message for anyone on or near the water is always to stay safe; don’t take unnecessary risks and please wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid when doing water-based activities,” added Mr Godwin.

Volunteers have also been busy off the water.

Over the past two weekends, the so-called book ladies, who sell their products to raise funds, have made more than £1,000 for the service.

“We would like to thank them personally for their hard work and dedication to raising much-needed money to help keep us operational,” said the charity on Facebook.


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