A RISE in festive rescues could mean an unconventional Christmas Day for one Flint family.

New figures show that Christmas callouts for the RNLI have 'rocketed' over the past 40 years.

During the last 10 years, the figure has risen by a dramatic 187 per cent, to an average of 11 lifeboat launches between 2009-2018.

The rise in figures could mean there is more likelihood than ever that three members of the same Flint family swap turkey and tinsel for saving lives this Christmas.

Sisters Carly (26) and Rachael McCarthy (30) and their dad Bill Dewsbury all volunteer for Flint RNLI. Rachael, a police officer joined the crew 10 years ago and is the station’s first female helm.

Bill has been volunteering with the RNLI for eight years, first as Station Mechanic and now as Deputy Launch Authority.

Carly, a teaching assistant who currently volunteers as boat crew and is hoping to become the station’s second female helm said: "We all live together and it’s certainly a wake-up call when all three pagers are going off in one house in the middle of the night.

"The adrenaline kicks in and driving to the station is tense. We don’t know what the job is going to be until we’re at the station putting our kit on.

"That’s when the training kicks in and everyone just does their job.

"My mum does worry, because often all three of us are out on the water. She doesn’t know what the job is or how long we’ll be out for – it could be two hours, it could be ten hours – until we get home.

"At Christmas, it’s usually just the four of us and mum makes us Christmas dinner. We joke that it could end up just being her if we all get called out."

During the festive period (from 24 Dec – 1 Jan) last year, RNLI volunteers in Wales launched 23 times from the station’s 30 lifeboat stations from Flint to Penarth and assisted 20 people.

In 1979, there was only one launch during the same period and one person aided.

As well as RNLI calls increasing during the Christmas period since 1979, the cause for callouts has shifted for the volunteers heading to sea.

In the early 80’s the most common cause of callout was to vessels with machinery failure. Figures have revealed that since 2000 many of those needing help are often just visiting the coast and not out on vessels or water craft.

Chris Cousens, RNLI Community Safety Partner for Wales added: "The festive period is no different to any other time of year and we have such dedicated volunteers ready to respond if a call comes in.

"Around 150 people lose their lives at the UK and Irish Coast each year and over half never even planned to enter the water. As well as slips trips and falls tidal cut offs are also a contributing factor to RNLI call outs."

The RNLI’s Perfect Storm appeal is being launched in response to some major challenges the charity is facing. In 2018, the RNLI’s financial resources dropped by £28.6M

To support the RNLI’s Perfect Storm appeal this Christmas, helping to ensure the charity’s brave volunteers can continue saving lives at sea, visit RNLI.org/ThePerfectStorm