Belfast Telegraph

Lifeboat callouts in Northern Ireland soar by 20% in long, hot summer

Lifeboat crews were kept busy in Northern Ireland this summer, with 138 launches over June, July and August – a 20% increase on the same period last year.

As crowds flocked to the beaches in the good weather, the RNLI's lifeguards were also busy with 259 recorded incidents – a big increase from 142 in 2012.

As people were enjoying the hottest summer for many years, the Northern Ireland RNLI lifeboat crew in Portrush was called out 26 times.

The Co Antrim station was the busiest over the summer period, followed by Enniskillen's crew, who operate two inshore lifeboats and two rescue water craft on the upper and lower Erne and launched 24 times.

Bangor volunteer crew were called out 15 times while Red Bay and Donaghadee lifeboats launched 14 and 13 times respectively.

Larne RNLI also had a busy summer with 11 callouts and Kilkeel lifeboat crew had nine launches. Newcastle lifeboat station in Co Down answered seven calls for assistance.

In June, Larne RNLI rescued a man who was unconscious in the water, while Portaferry lifeboat crew were involved in a callout to help four people when their yacht collided with a wind turbine on the Strangford Lough.

Overall in Ireland RNLI lifeboats launched 571 times.

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