Over 1,200 people were saved by the RNLI last year - these were the five busiest stations

Almost half of the recorded launches were carried out in darkness.

THE RNLI VOLUNTEER lifeboat crews launched 1,098 times last year, bringing 1,244 people to safety.

The charity’s volunteer lifeboat crew are on call in all weathers at the 45 lifeboat stations around the Irish coast and on inland waters.

Howth lifeboat station in Dublin was the busiest on the coast with 60 launches and 58 people assisted.

The next busiest was Clifden RNLI in Galway, they launched 49 times and brought 20 people to safety.

Meanwhile, Dun Laoghaire RNLI launched their two lifeboats 48 times and assisted 50 people.

The inland RNLI lifeboat station at Lough Ree in Athlone also had a very busy year recording the highest number of people assisted. The inshore lifeboat was launched 47 times and helped 130 people to safety on the huge lough.

In Munster, Crosshaven RNLI saw considerable activity with 42 launches and 50 people brought to safety.

Tough conditions 

Of the recorded launches, 416 were carried out in darkness.

The type of incidents the charity’s lifeboat crew responded to can range from danger of drowning (66) to searches for missing people (54), grounded or stranded vessels (126) or people thought to be in danger or overdue (118).

There were also a number of callouts to animal casualties last year, with 10 lifeboat stations launched to incidents involving animals.

They included a dolphin in Ballycotton, a horse swept into the river at Lough Derg, eight cows who became stranded and ended up in the sea off Kinsale, and seven dogs around the coast who were reunited with their grateful owners.

Read: Video: Horse rescued after falling into river and being swept downstream>

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