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Dublin: 13°C Saturday 26 September 2020

Warm summer saw RNLI lifeboats launched 571 times

Warm weather and increased numbers in the water this summer dramatically increased the need for RNLI volunteer crews.

An RNLI lifeboat
An RNLI lifeboat
Image: Dave Branigan

LIFEBOATS ACROSS THE country were launched 571 times this summer, a 43 per cent increase on last year.

From 1 June to August 31, the RNLI launched boats from around the coast, as well as three lakes.

The busiest station was Dún Laoghaire, which launched bots 34 times.

This was followed by Portrush in Antrim, who launched 26 times and Crosshaven in Cork, whose volunteer crew were out 25 times over the summer.

Some lifeboat stations showed a large increase in their call outs on the same period last year with Skerries, Wicklow, and Fenit lifeboat crews, which launched 17 times each, doubling their launches from last year.

Courtown in Wexford went from launching once last summer to 13 times.

Gareth Morrison, RNLI Divisional Operations Manager said that the increase is down to the warmer weather.

“With more people travelling to the coast over the summer months RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews were busy keeping people safe.

The commitment shown by our lifesavers that launched at all hours of the day and night in various conditions was outstanding. Not every lifeboat launch ends in a rescue and sadly some of our dedicated volunteer crews dealt with some difficult and challenging callouts. Their professionalism and determination in bringing loved ones home when they get in trouble on the water is to be commended.

Dramatic rescues, tragic losses

RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews in Ireland have been involved in a number of dramatic rescues this summer.

In July, 30 people were rescued by Kinsale and Courtmacsherry lifeboat crews when the tall ship Astrid was blown onto rocks and was taking on water off the south coast.

Dun Laoghaire RNLI all-weather lifeboat and Howth RNLI inshore lifeboat rescued six people on Dublin Bay in August after their boat capsized and they were clinging to the upturned hull.

Sadly, the summer also saw some tragedies on Irish waters and lifeboat crew at Dunmore East were involved with the Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 117 in bringing home the three brothers who drowned while out were fishing off Dunmore East in June.

Read: Young woman who fell into cave is rescued in Co Mayo

Read: Man airlifted to hospital after boat runs aground

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