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RNLI release call out and rescue figures across Kent

A warning's been issued for people to take care on the coast after more than 500 were rescued at sea by the RNLI in Kent last year.

In 2016 the charity's volunteer lifeboat crews were launched 486 times across the county's lifeboat stations, rescuing 519 stricken people.

Data released today reveals the area with the most call-outs was Ramsgate, where crews had to go out 99 times and rescue 134 people.

In Gravesend 53 people had to be saved as crews were deployed 89 times.

In the most serious cases, 50 lives were saved - with 14 of those in Dover, 12 in Walmer and 10 in Whitstable.

RNLI lifesaving manager Glen Mallen said: "Once again we are extremely grateful for the dedication shown by our lifesavers.

"Across the country our volunteer lifeboat crews collectively spent in excess of 42,800 hours at sea, but we really do see our rescue service as a last resort.

"We’d really like to see people paying more attention to safety messages and giving the water the heathy respect it deserves.

"While we will always answer the call for help, I and everyone within the RNLI would like to see people staying safer at the coast."

An RNLI lifeguard in action. Picture: RNLI
An RNLI lifeguard in action. Picture: RNLI

The data revealed that 1,981 calls for help were made across the country's 39 lifeboat stations to 2,013 people in distress over the previous year.

Mr Mallen added: "We’re calling on anyone visiting the coast to make safety a priority, whether that means wearing a lifejacket, checking their vessel before they go afloat, knowing they should call 999 and asking for the Coastguard in the event of an emergency, checking the tide times before they set out, or staying away from cliff edges and unstable coastal paths."

Around 190 people died across the UK and Irish coast last year.

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