RNLI lifeboats save nearly 1,300 souls in 2013

RNLI lifeboats in Ireland launched an amazing 1,087 times in 2013 bringing 1,278 people to safety.

The figures released by the charity today are based on figures from all 44 lifeboat stations in Ireland.

In a year when Ireland enjoyed one of its hottest summers, the overall statistics show an increase of 132 lifeboat launches, up from 955 in 2012 to 1,087. There was also an upsurge in the number of rescues with 221 more people brought to safety over the 12 month period.

Looking back on the year, Martyn Smith, RNLI Operations Manager said: ‘2013 proved to be another busy year for the RNLI with an increase in both our lifeboat launches and rescues. Our lifeboat crews are highly trained and equipped to deal with the challenges they face and we are indebted to their dedication to respond when the need arises.

‘Sadly, not every call out results in a rescue and 2013 also brought its share of tragedy. A number of our call outs involved searches for missing people and in some incidents, they involved bringing home loved ones who were lost at sea. These call outs while challenging for all involved, demonstrate the commitment and seamanship of our crews who devote many hours to a search and recovery effort’.

The Astrid

One of the most high profile rescues for the RNLI came in July last year, when they came to the aid of 30 people after the tall ship Astrid was blown onto the rocks west of Oysterhaven, near Kinsale.

Brilliantly on 10 occasions, lifeboat crews were also called upon to rescue animals. These included four dogs, two sheep, a cow, two whales and even a dolphin.

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