Belfast Telegraph

More than 400 lives saved at sea in 2018

Irish Coastguard director Chris Reynolds said it was important to raise the alarm in time.

More than 400 lives were saved by the Irish Coast Guard this year, compared to 340 in 2017.

The Coast Guard’s three rescue coordination centres at Malin Head, Valentia Island and Dublin operate on a 24/7 basis.

In the past year, the three centres managed a total of 2,650 incidents which saw a rise when compared to 2017 (2,503 incidents).

Coastguard director Chris Reynolds said it was important to raise the alarm in time.

He said: “If you can raise the alarm and you can stay afloat then you have an outstanding chance of being rescued by our world-class rescue service.”

By year end, Coast Guard helicopters will have flown more than 670 missions, of which 119 were conducted on behalf of the Health Service Executive.

Helicopter services also include inland searches for missing persons and medical evacuations in support of Garda and Mountain Rescue Teams.

With a membership of around 1,000 volunteers, the coastguard units deliver rescue boat, cliff rescue and shoreline search services coupled with a capacity to support their communities during local emergencies such as inclement weather.

These community services were to the forefront during Storm Emma in March when major challenges were experienced in reaching essential services.

The Coast Guard said: “Coast Guard volunteers provided emergency transport to health care staff, conducted patient transfers and provided support to isolated homes.

“Overall, volunteer Coast Guard units were tasked on a total of 1,185 separate occasions throughout the year.”

Press Association

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