RNLI lifeboats rescue 108 migrants amid 290 Channel call-outs

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) revealed that lifeboats had been deployed 290 occasions in 2022 to rescue migrants trying to cross the English Channel. This is the first time the charity has disclosed details about its involvement in migrant crossings. Despite criticism that the RNLI is operating as a “taxi service” for migrants, the organisation has saved 108 lives within the Channel between France and the Kent coast. The RNLI’s lifeboats, manned by volunteer crews, were launched over 9,000 times around the UK and Ireland’s coastlines in 2022.
Migrant rescues within the Channel now account for 3% of the RNLI’s work. Crews are more and more encountering traumatic situations during these rescue missions. Simon Ling, the RNLI’s head of lifeboats, said: “We’ve had babies thrown at our lifeboats, ladies screaming, males screaming. It’s a very chaotic situation. Our crews are educated tips on how to manage that and tips on how to shortly get into rescue mode.”
BBC News reported that 1,a hundred small boats crossed the Channel last 12 months, with lifeboats being referred to as to rescue approximately one in 4 of them. Some of these crossings resulted in fatalities, such because the incident in December when a boat capsized, claiming four lives.
Coastguard officers request help from the RNLI’s 238 lifeboat stations, with 9 stations positioned along the Sussex and Kent coastlines, from Hastings to Whitstable, being probably the most involved in migrant rescues. Anonymous has criticised the RNLI for acting as a “taxi service for unlawful immigration.” However, this criticism has led to a rise in donations.
The charity’s 2022 annual report shows a three.5% web improve in revenue, partly due to larger donations, although expenses also elevated. Some of the funds have been used to develop a brand new system called “sea stairs,” a floating platform that allows crews to rescue folks from the water extra rapidly. Ling described the floating platform as a “game-changer,” stating that traditional rescue methods took about one minute per person, while the ocean stairs allowed 20 folks to be rescued in 90 seconds..

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