give 565 reasons to 'Respect the Water' in Northern Ireland
RNLI lifeboats in Northern
Ireland launched 261 times in 2014 bringing 281 people to safety,
while the charity's lifeguards helped 284 people on ten beaches
during the season.
The RNLI is calling for the
public to think ahead and never underestimate the strength and
power of the sea and inland waters as it today (Wednesday 28
January) releases its lifeboat and lifeguard figures for 2014.
Enniskillen RNLI, which operates from
two inland stations on Upper and Lower Lough Erne in county
Fermanagh, had the most
call outs launching 59 times over the 12 months bringing 57
people to safety.
Bangor RNLI in county Down was the
busiest single site station launching 49 times and helping 51
Portaferry Lifeboat was launched on
service on 24 occasions and rescued 47 persons.
Compared to the previous year lifeboat
launches show a slight increase when they launched 255 times
and 36 more people were brought to safety by RNLI lifeboats
The RNLI lifeguard units, which are
located on beaches in county Down and along the Causeway Coast
were also kept busy during the summer, recording 251 incidents,
assisting 284 people. The busiest beaches were Portrush where
the lifeguards operate three units, the lifeguards dealt with
126 separate incidents and 148 people.
Commenting on these figures RNLI Lifeguard
Supervisor Tim Doran said: 'With the profile of the beaches
changing after winter storms, the RNLI lifeguards were kept
busy. With rip currents and changing landscapes the lifeguards
engaged in a large amount of preventative work, speaking to
beach users and advising of the safest places to swim.'
Overall the RNLI's lifeboat crews
in Ireland launched 1,089 times, bringing 1,414 people to safety.
The busiest lifeboat station in Ireland last year was Lough
Ree RNLI in Athlone. The charity's lifeboat crew there launched
69 times and brought 142 people to safety. This was followed
by Howth RNLI which with 62 launches and 107 people brought
to safety, had their busiest year ever.
The types of call outs that the RNLI
responded to last year in Ireland included aid to leisure craft
users (536), assistance to fishing vessels (140) help to people
who got into difficulty along the shoreline (119) and to people
in the water (185).
Commenting on the figures RNLI Operations
Manager Darren Byers said:
'These figures are based on every
lifeboat station in the RNLI returning a detailed service report
and are a valuable insight into what our volunteer lifeboat
crews are facing when they launch and what conditions they face.
Also 35% of lifeboat callouts were carried out in darkness and
almost half of the callouts were to leisure vessels. Of these
callouts many were to boats run aground and engine problems.
Breaking down at sea or on a lough can be a frightening experience.
Weather and darkness can turn a bad situation very serious in
a matter of minutes. Nobody who sets out thinks anything bad
will happen but calling for help early is always the right choice.
Our volunteer lifeboat and shore crew
have shown the commitment and courage we have come to rely on
them for, but we must also thank our supporters and fundraisers,
who work tirelessly to ensure the charity, which is dependent
on donations from the public continues.
There are also hundreds of employers
around the county who let our lifeboat crews drop what they
are doing and respond to a callout. We would not be able to
run this service without them and we are extremely grateful
for them for that.'
2014 also saw the introduction of
the RNLI's 45th lifeboat station in Ireland when in November
Union Hall RNLI in south west Cork went on trial for a 24 month
2015 meanwhile, will see Lough Swilly
RNLI in Buncrana, County Donegal become the first station in
Ireland to receive the new Shannon class lifeboat. The €2.4M
lifeboat which is due to arrive later this year is the first
class of lifeboat to be named after an Irish river, recognition
by the charity of the role of Irish lifeboat crews and volunteers
throughout the history of the RNLI.
Last year the charity
marked 190 years of lifesaving and the RNLI is aiming to reduce
coastal fatalities significantly by 2024. To do this the charity
will be expanding its preventative work and engaging with water
users through the 'Respect the Water'
campaign on how to stay safe and maintain their equipment. Water
Safety advice is available on rnli.org/safety
NOTE: During 2014 RNLI Lifeboats in the
UK & Ireland were launched 8,462 times and rescued 8,727
people, 368 of which were classified as lives saved.
In addition RNLI Lifeguards attended 17,050 incidents during
which 1,769 people were rescued, 92 of which were lives saved.
Overall RNLI Lifeguards helped 19,252 people both in and
out of the water.
RNLI is always looking for new volunteer crew members to join
its search and rescue service and help save lives at sea.
The station currently has 20 lifeboat
crew and two shore crew to cover its inshore service on Strangford
Lough and the Irish Sea approaches to the Lough but is now calling
on new volunteers to come forward and find out how they can
get involved in helping the charity continue to save lives at
Portaferry RNLI was established in 1980
due to the increase in pleasure boating activity and commercial
traffic in Strangford Lough and its Irish Sea approaches. In
2009, a new Atlantic 85 lifeboat was placed on service and a
new boathouse was constructed to accommodate the larger Atlantic
During 2014, the Portaferry Lifeboat,
the 'Blue Peter V', and its volunteer crews, launched 24 times,
bringing 47 people to safety. Many of those services were in
difficult circumstances and in the dark.
Brian Bailie, Portaferry RNLI Lifeboat
Operations Manager is calling on anyone who may be interested
in volunteering to contact him:
'We are looking for anyone aged 17 years
and over who is willing to offer some of their free time to
join, what I believe to be, one of the most exhilarating and
rewarding voluntary services that is out there. Every volunteer
receives first class training from the RNLI and learns new skills
which can benefit them in many walks of life.'
Volunteers for the lifeboat crew will
have to be reasonably fit, be required to take a medical and
eyesight test and should live or work within six minutes travel
time from the lifeboat station. Other opportunities exist
for shore crew without the same medical requirements..
Anyone who feels they have
the time and commitment to volunteer for the charity which is
on call 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, is asked to email
Brian at email@example.com
For additional information
Alternatively, if you could
help us raise life-saving funds for the RNLI, please click here
for further information.
RNLI brings 575 people
to safety in Northern Ireland in 2013
Author Nuala McAloon - RNLI
Press Officer Ireland
RNLI lifeboats in Northern Ireland
launched 255 times in 2013 bringing 245 people to safety.
The figures released today
(Tuesday 28 January) are based on returns of service from the
nine lifeboat stations located across the region.
The annual statistics
show that 109 call outs took place in the dark while crews spent
1,459 service hours at sea collectively. Enniskillen RNLI, which
operates from two inland stations on Upper and Lower Lough Erne
in county Fermanagh, had the most call outs launching 56 times
over the 12 months bringing 82 people to safety. Portrush RNLI
in county Antrim had 47 call outs bringing 33 people to safety
while Bangor RNLI in county Down launched 31 times and rescued
Northern Ireland experienced
one of its hottest summers for years and this was reflected
in a busy season for the 10 RNLI lifeguard units which are located
on beaches in county Down and along the Causeway Coast. In all,
RNLI lifeguards responded to 302 incidents compared to 159 in
2012 and came to the aid of 330 people who found themselves
in difficulty, which is an increase of 153 from the year before.
The Causeway Coast, where there are seven units, was the busiest
area, with lifeguards responding to 222 incidents and assisting
247 people. Among these incidents was the dramatic rescue of
a family of six in Castlerock after they got caught in a flash
rip - a strong current running out to sea.
Overall in Ireland, RNLI
lifeboats launched 1,087 times in 2013 bringing 1,278 people
The statistics show that
the majority of last year’s call outs were to pleasure craft
which accounted for 583 services, while there were 138 launches
to fishing vessels. The charity’s lifeboat crews also had 142
call outs to people classed as ashore. These services included
assisting people who were ill or injured on an island, cliff
or the shoreline, where access by lifeboat was the fastest or
safest way to reach the casualty.
On 10 occasions, lifeboat
crews were also called upon to rescue animals in 2013. These
included four dogs, two sheep, a cow, two whales and a dolphin.
The overall statistics
show an increase of 132 lifeboat launches in 2013, 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. Throughout the year, there were some dramatic and challenging
call outs for the lifeboat crews.
September, Portaferry RNLI rescued a fisherman from Portavogie,
who was in the water for 45 minutes after his vessel sank off
the coast of county Down.
Earlier, in July, 30 people
were rescued by Kinsale and Courtmacsherry lifeboat crews when
the tall ship Astrid was blown onto rocks and started to take
on water off the south coast.
Reflecting on the year,
Gareth Morrison, RNLI Divisional Operations Manager for Northern
Ireland 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’, Mr Morrison continued,
‘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
Looking ahead, Mr Morrison
reminded the public that irrespective of weather conditions,
the water always presents a risk. He recommended that people
take care by following some simple safety tips: ‘We would remind
water users to always wear a lifejacket, get the appropriate
training, carry a means of calling for help, check engine and
fuel, tell others where you are going and check weather and
Morrison concluded by
thanking everyone who had contributed to help the RNLI save
lives at sea in 2013: ‘I would like to say a huge thank-you
to our volunteers and all those who support the RNLI, a charity
dependent on the generosity of the public, whether by giving
up their time or by making a donation. I would also like to
acknowledge the efforts of our colleagues in the Coastguard
and emergency services who we worked closely with in 2013’.
- During 2013 RNLI Lifeboats along the coastline and inland
waters of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland were
launched 8,304 times and rescued 8,384 people, during which
lifeboat crews spent 3,069 hours at sea in darkness. Lifeguards
responded to 19,594 incidents and helped 23,505 people. The
RNLI Flood Rescue Team was also deployed in Wales during December
2013 rescuing 25 people.
lifeboats and lifeguards answer 413 calls for help in Northern
Ireland in 2012
2012 saw RNLI lifeboats in Northern
Ireland launch 255 times to a variety of call outs.
The search and rescue operations
saw 236 people brought safely to shore throughout the year by
the nine volunteer lifeboat crews located across the region.
The annual statistics released
by the charity today (22 January) show that of the figures,
111 services took place in darkness while crews collectively
spent 2,193 service hours at sea.
Bangor was the busiest lifeboat
station in Ireland launching to 53 requests for help with the
crew rescuing 53 people off the county Down coast. Enniskillen
which operates two bases on Upper and Lower Lough Erne in county
Fermanagh and which is Northern Ireland's only inland RNLI station,
launched 46 times and brought 50 people to safety. Portrush
RNLI in county Antrim launched 33 times and rescued 33 people.
'Blue Peter V' Lifeboat launched to incidents on 23 occasions
(11 in darkness) during 2012. The lifeboat crew rescued
16 people during which time they spent 252 hours at sea.
It was also a busy year for
the 10 RNLI lifeguard units located on beaches in county Down
and along the Causeway Coast, where lifeguards responded to
158 incidents and assisted 176 people who found themselves in
The Causeway Coast where there
are seven units located, was the busiest area, with the Portrush
East lifeguards responding to 31 incidents and assisting 35
people. The Benone unit attended 30 incidents and assisted 30
people while the Portrush West unit responded to 25 incidents
and assisted 32 people.
Overall in Ireland, RNLI lifeboats
launched 939 times with the volunteer crews across the 44 stations
rescuing 1,041 people. The figures show that while the overall
number of lifeboat launches decreased in 2012 compared to 2011,
there were over a hundred more people rescued.
Across the coast and inland,
volunteers spent some 10,194 service hours on Irish waters and
as is the case every year, there were a variety of reasons for
the call outs.
The most common causes for responding
in 2012 were to incidents involving machinery failure (200),
people thought to be in trouble (109), a missing person (73),
and to vessels that were stranded or had ran aground (73).
- During 2012 RNLI Lifeboats along the coastline and inland
waters of the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland were
launched 8,321 times and rescued 7,921 people, during which
lifeboat crews spent 67,352 hours at sea. Lifeguards
responded to 14,519 incidents and helped 16,414 people. The
RNLI Flood Rescue Team was also deployed 12 times at incidents
in England, Wales and Ireland.
7 February 2012
RNLI statistics for
Northern Ireland lifeboats and lifeguards show 373 calls for
help during 2011
2011 saw RNLI lifeboats in
Northern Ireland launch 259 times to a variety of callouts.
201 people were rescued over
the course of the year by volunteer lifeboat crews from the
10 RNLI Lifeboat Stations in Northern Ireland who spent over
1,726 hours at sea, while the newly introduced RNLI beach lifeguards
on seven beaches along the Causeway coast recorded 114 incidents
and helped 123 people.
During 2011, Portaferry Lifeboat
was launched on service 30 times and rescued 23 people during
which the lifeboat crew spent 179 hours at sea, often in difficult
weather and sea conditions. In addition to shore
based training, the station's volunteer crew also spent 365
hours at sea whilst on exercise.
Overall, RNLI volunteer crew
members from the 43 lifeboat stations around Ireland responded
to 980 calls and rescued 905 people during 2011.
Combined figures for the
UK and the Republic of Ireland for 2011 show that RNLI lifeboats
were launched on service 8,905 times, rescued 7,976 people and
saved 354 lives. RNLI Life-guards on 180 beaches in the
UK attended 15,625 incidents, aided 17,671 people and saved
RNLI statistics for 2011
show that launches to vessels suffering machinery failure still
account for the largest number of callouts.
The 2011 figures
have been released in the wake of the RNLI 'Lifejackets
for Lifesavers' campaign
which will see every lifeboat station in Northern Ireland take
delivery of new specially designed lifejackets by September
2012. The lifejackets have been commissioned by the RNLI
for search and rescue work and have been given the seal of approval
by lifeboat volunteers. The cost of providing the lifejackets
for all of Northern Ireland's lifeboat stations is estimated
at £26,500. (further