Northern Ireland

413 callouts for RNLI lifeboat crews in Northern Ireland

RNLI inshore lifeboat
Image caption RNLI lifeboats in Northern Ireland were launched more than 400 times during 2012

RNLI lifeboats and lifeguards answered 413 calls for help in Northern Ireland in 2012.

Lifeboats launched 255 times to a variety of callouts.

The search and rescue operations saw 236 people brought safely to shore throughout the year by Northern Ireland's nine volunteer lifeboat crews.

Annual statistics were released by the charity on Tuesday.

They show that 111 operations took place in darkness, while crews collectively spent 2,193 service hours at sea.

Bangor was the busiest lifeboat station, 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.

Meanwhile, the 10 RNLI lifeguard units, based on beaches in County Down and along the Causeway coast, responded to 158 incidents and assisted 176 people who found themselves in difficulty.

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