Filey Lifeboat Station crew is always ready for emergency call

It might have a history stretching back more than 200 years, but the crew which man Filey Lifeboat Station know that they always need to practise and were photographed here returning to shore from one of their regular exercises.

PIC: Tony Johnson

Established in 1804, the station and its crews have been awarded eight medals for gallantry, most recently in 2004 when helmsman Michael Farline was recognised for saving the lives of two swimmers at Reighton Sands during the previous August.

While the summer, when visitor numbers are at their height, can be the busiest time for the crews, the station is manned throughout the year and just last month the crew was called out following reports of three kayakers in trouble.

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Strong winds at the end of Filey Brigg had caused one of the kayakers to capsize and they were all visibly struggling against the conditions. Within minutes the lifeboat had been launched and having rescued the trio they were taken back to Coble Landing, where they were found to be cold but otherwise none too worse for their experience.

John Ward, a spokesman for Filey Lifeboat, said: “The group of kayakers were well prepared and well kitted out but unfortunately they were caught out by the conditions at the end of Filey Brigg. Luckily, everything turned out fine for them.”

The Royal National Lifeboat Institute was set up in 1824 by Sir William Hillary to act as an umbrella organisation for all the existing crews and since then 142,200 lives have been saved across the country.

Separate from the coastguard and independent of the Government, maintaining the service does not come cheap. Last year, it cost around £485,000 a day to run both the 238 lifeboat stations and the lifeguard service – even just one waterproof jacket costs £349.

However, another set of statistics shows just what the money invested in the service means. According to figures for 2016, volunteer crews launched 8,851 times around the coast of the UK and Ireland, rescuing an average of 23 people a day, the busiest years since 2011.

Technical details: Fuji X-Pro1, 18-55mm lens with an exposure of 1/500th sec @ f5.6, ISO 200.