Coastguard reveals annual figures ahead of new helicopter launch

The Coastguard responded to 2,627 incidents last year.

That is a 33% increase in calls which has been largely attributed to the good weather last summer.

Last year there were 253 aeromedical missions and 159 offshore island medical evacuations while the number of fishing incidents increased by 20%.

They are particularly concerned at the number of incidents involving jet skis.

There were 26 incidents last year all concentrated in leisure areas like beaches where there is a danger of serious injury to families and small children.

The Coastguard says a new Maritime Registration Bill will require jet ski owners to register their vehicles, making it easier to prosecute them and and enforce safety standards.

The figures have been released as the Coastguard launches it new state-of-the-art S92 helicopter for the Dublin region.

The new helicopters have allowed them to expand their role in providing emergency medical transport for the HSE.

KEYWORDS: Coastguard
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