Irish Coast Guard 'saved 161 lives' in 2012

Irish Coast Guard vessel
Image caption The Irish Coast Guard responded to almost 2,000 call-outs in 2012

The Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) rescue service has saved the lives of 161 people in 2012.

Based on call-out figures up to 26 December, its staff and volunteers assisted almost 2,600 people in need of their help.

The also dealt with almost 2,000 call-outs, an increase of 8% on 2011.

In addition to its paid staff, the IRCG uses 900 volunteers to respond to emergencies and provide a 24-hour rescue service.

The IRCG is a division of the Irish Department of Transport's maritime safety services.