Galway RNLI lifeboats launched 24 times during the summer months, new figures from the charity have shown.
This summer, the three RNLI lifeboat stations in Galway launched 24 times with Aran Islands lifeboat launching 12 times and Galway RNLI launching ten times. The Clifden volunteer lifeboat crew were called out twice.
Overall in Ireland RNLI lifeboats launched 377 times, a slight drop on last year’s total of 389. The charity’s volunteer crewmembers were involved in many different types of callouts to a range of casualties.
Many of the launches were due to people getting caught out by the tide, problems with their vessel’s engine or machinery, and an increasing range of leisure marine activities. However there were also a number of tragedies and many of the RNLI’s lifeboat crews were involved in searching for missing loved ones or in bringing them home.
The figures, which cover the period June 1 to August 31 2012 and include all the charity’s lifeboats across Ireland, are down three per cent compared to the 2011 figures, which may be due to the unpredictable weather over the summer months.
Owen Medland, RNLI Training Divisional Inspector said that this has been another busy summer for the RNLI despite the unpredictable weather.
“There have been some stories of incredible bravery and also some stories of devastating loss. In all cases our lifeboat volunteers have shown extreme professionalism and commitment. Each and every callout is different and conditions, location, duration and activity can all vary. In many cases our volunteers are involved in callouts that go on for a number of hours throughout the night and their employers support them in their volunteering.”
There are 44 RNLI lifeboat stations in Ireland with three operating inland at Lough Erne in Enniskillen, Lough Derg in Dromineer and Lough Ree in Athlone. Lifeboat crew at these stations operate 56 lifeboats and two rescue water craft all year round.
For more information on the RNLI visit www.rnli.org.