Published Tuesday, 24 September 2013
RNLI reported a 20% increase in lifeboat launches. (© UTV)
The charity's lifeguards were also busy on 10 beaches with 259 recorded incidents, an increase from 142 incidents in 2012.
While many people were enjoying the prolonged sunshine and the hottest summer for a number of years, Northern Ireland RNLI lifeboat crews were out helping those in trouble around the coast and inland on Lough Erne.
The busiest lifeboat station over the summer period from 1 June to 31 August was Portrush which was called out 26 times.
This was followed by Enniskillen who operate two inshore lifeboats and two Rescue Water Craft on the upper and lower lough 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 county Down answered seven calls for assistance.
The charity's lifeguards were also busy over the summer as crowds flocked to the beaches in the good weather.
The lifeguards recorded 259 incidents, up on last year's total of 142. Many of the calls were for missing children and minor first aid.
Gareth Morrison, RNLI Divisional Operations Manager said: "With more people travelling to the coast over the summer months RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews were busy keeping people safe. The commitment shown by our lifesavers that launched at all hours of the day and night in various conditions was outstanding."
RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew and lifeguards have been involved in a number of dramatic rescues this summer. Overall in Ireland RNLI lifeboats launched 571 times.
In July, 30 people were rescued by Kinsale and Courtmacsherry lifeboat crews when the tall ship Astrid was blown onto rocks and was taking on water off the Cork coast.
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.
Portrush volunteer lifeboat crew assisted a yacht that had lost its mast while out sailing on the River Bann. The yacht, with four people on board, had lost its mast and rigging due to an earlier collision with a navigation marker.
On Castlerock beach in July a family of six were rescued by RNLI lifeguards when they got caught in a strong current and were pulled out of their depth.
Mr Morrison concluded: "I would like to thank our supporters and fundraisers. Without their kind generosity and hard work we would not be able to equip and train our lifesavers or help so many people in trouble at sea and on inland waters."
© UTV News