Busy year for Lifeboat

PORTRUSH lifeboat helped save 32 lives last year and launched a total of 44 times last year.

Figures released by the RNLI showed that Portrush was the second busiest station in Northern Ireland, with only Bangor ahead.

RNLI lifeguards also assisted 123 people on the seven beaches in the Causeway Coast area in which they patrol. They recorded a total of 114 incidents.

Commenting on the 2011 statistics RNLI Deputy Divisional Inspector Gareth Morrison said: “Our lifeboat volunteers continue to show selfless dedication and commitement to saving lives. Some stations are extremely busy while others have less callouts but spend long hours at sea in awful conditions. The work of the volunteer lifeboat crews could not be made possible without the generosity of the public who in difficult times continue to support Irish lifeboat crews.

“While these figures give an interesting insight into search and rescue by the RNLI on Irish waters they are by no means the full story. As well as working to save lives at sea the RNLI also provides other programmes and services for the public including sea safety advice and clinics, education roadshows and visits to lifeboat stations.”

The 2011 figures are being 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 in September.

The lifejackets have been commissioned by the RNLI for search and rescue work and have been given the seal of approval from lifeboat volunteers. The cost of providing the lifejackets for all of Northern Ireland’s lifeboat stations is estimated at £26,500.