A busy year for Hartlepool RNLI as lifeboats launched 59 times in 2021 and saved two lives

Hartlepool’s lifeboat heroes had another busy year that saw them save two lives and respond to dozens of call outs.

Saturday, 1st January 2022, 1:13 pm

The town’s RNLI boats were launched out to sea 59 times during 2021 to a total of 46 separate incidents.

They saved two people’s lives and helped another 58 and one dog.

The service thanked the townspeople for their continued support and fundraising in a round up of the year shared online.

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Matt Blanchard (front on duty with fellow volunteer crew members) notched up 20 years service with Hartlepool RNLI in 2021. Picture Tom Collins.

They said: “We have experienced some highs but also tragic events this year and our condolences go out to all those families and friends who lost loved ones.

“As always we are overwhelmed by all of your kind messages of support or wishing us a safe return from a call out.

“Special thanks go out this year to the people of Hartlepool and the surrounding area, in particular those that have arranged charity events under difficult circumstances, the amounts of money raised and donated is truly humbling and words can not express our gratitude.”

The crews have changed and adapted to the changing demands on them over the years, including helping more vulnerable people now.

Hartlepool lifeboats launched 59 times during the year. Picture by Tom Collins.

Last year, 49% of call outs were to vulnerable persons, while 35% we’re for mechanical failures, and 16% for others things.

Three crew members achieved 20 years of service and Hartlepool’s seagoing crew now have a combined lifeboating experience of over 450 years.

New crew that signed up just as the country went into lockdown in 2020 resumed their training last year.

Hartlepool RNLI stated: “Earlier this year the easing of Covid restrictions saw the crew return to a more ‘normalised’ situation with face to face training sessions increased and crew able to get back together regularly, whilst following good process to continue to protect ourselves and our ability to provide the service 24/7 365 days a year.”

Meanwhile, a Deputy Launching Authority, who make decisions to launch the lifeboats, hung up his pager and retired abroad.

The station also celebrated a new Deputy Coxswain earning his stripes.

Hartlepool RNLI thanked numerous agencies they worked with during the year including fellow North East lifeboat stations, coastguard teams, police, fire and ambulance services, plus their families and friends for all their support.

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