Tower lifeboat station on the Thames was again the UK's busiest during 2015.

Figures released by the RNLI show Tower launched 465 times assisting 90 people, and saving 15 lives. Neighbouring station, Chiswick, launched 227 times and rescued 135 people and saving 3 lives.

Nationally in the UK and Ireland the charity’s lifeboats launched 8,228 times, rescued 7,973 of which 348 were lives saved.

Update: It was another busy year around the coast for the charity’s volunteers - Southend-on-Sea Lifeboat Station was the RNLI’s busiest coastal station, launching 142 times and assisting 120 people.

Will Stephens, RNLI Head of Lifesaving said: " ‘Our volunteer lifeboat crew and lifeguards have again worked exceptionally hard serving our local communities. We continue to urge those working or enjoying our coastline and inland areas to respect the water. We understand that things can go wrong from time to time, so some preventative maintenance and annual checks prior to the boating season should allow for worry free sea time.

‘Inland, floods caused heartache for many at the end of 2015 and we ask those faced with floods to be aware of the fast flowing flood waters and to keep a safe distance. "


With over 15.5 million visitors to RNLI lifeguarded beaches in 2015, the charity’s lifeguards helped over 18,000 people dealing with anything from stings, slips and trips to missing children, major first aid incidents, as well as rescues in the water.

Leesa Harwood, Community Lifesaving and Fundraising Director said: "I’m appealing to all our dedicated supporters to help us by ticking our opt-in box over the next few months – to hear about our rescues, our safety advice, and our events and help us save the lives of hundreds more in the years to come.

‘Look out for our future opt-in campaign, or if you want to opt in immediately call our Supporter Care team on 0300 300 9918 (uk) or 0044 1202 663234 (non-uk) weekdays between 8am-6pm or e-mail at’

Notable rescues in 2015 included the University boat race on the Thames in April which kept the crew busy at Chiswick Lifeboat Station. As crowds gathered along the shoreline trying to get a good vantage point for the race, they were unaware of the rising tide and wash from the other boats and 60 people needed help to safety on dry land. More here.

Story dated January 27th 2016