Belfast Telegraph

Busy year for Coast Guard service

The Coast Guard has had it busiest year in more than a decade, new statistics have revealed.

Rescuers responded to 2,628 incidents during the past 12 months - a 3% rise on the same period the previous year.

The increase has been attributed to storms during the early part of the year; prolonged warm weather in the summer and more holidaymakers staying at coastal resorts.

Coast Guard assistant director Eugene Clonan said: "I would like to thank all the staff and volunteers who have contributed to the many missions we have undertaken this year, and wish them all the best for the festive season."

There were 69 incidents involving merchant vessels and 245 call-outs to people on pleasure crafts requiring assistance.

There was also an increase in the number of distress calls to help people on punts as well as for surfers and kite-surfers.

There were 47 fatalities overall.

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