RNLI announces 2011 rescue statistics

Dun Laoghaire ALB exercising with Air Corps 277

Dun Laoghaire lifeboats assist 27 people while RNLI

crews rescue more than 900 people in Ireland in 2011

The two lifeboats based at Dun Laoghaire had a relatively quiet year in 2011 according to figures released by the RNLI this week.  The All-Weather (ALB) and Inshore lifeboat (ILB) launched 37 times and assisted 27 people over the course of the year.  In total, RNLI lifeboats in Ireland launched 980 times to a variety of callouts in which 905 people were rescued by volunteer lifeboat crews who spent over 9,826 hours on service at sea.

The year was nevertheless a busy period for the volunteers at Dun laoghaire with weekly training both at station and on residential courses at the dedicated RNLI Lifeboat College at its Poole, Dorset Head-Quarters.  The year also saw the formal dedication of the brand-new IB-1 type D-Class ILB by Pat & Kathy Kenny and the retirement of long-serving coxswain Ken Robertson who was succeded by Mark McGibney in June. The New Year is already off to a busy start with a afternoon joint-exercise with our colleagues from the Irish Air Corps whose AW-139 SAR equipped helicopters are back-up for the Irish Coastguard.

The busiest month for rescues in the Ireland Division was July with 155 launches followed by August with 124 calls for assistance. February 2011 was the busiest February for Irish launches in the RNLI’s history, as were May and October 2011.

Over a third of the RNLI’s callouts for last year were also carried out in darkness. The statistics show that launches to vessels suffering machinery failure still account for the largest number of callouts (187) followed by vessels reported to be in trouble (78), grounded (74) and capsizing (73).

Commenting on the 2011 statistics RNLI Deputy Divisional Inspector Gareth Morrison said: ‘Our lifeboat volunteers continue to show selfless dedication and commitment to saving lives. Some stations are extremely busy while others have less callouts but spend long hours at sea in awful conditions. There were some outstanding rescues last year including that to Rambler 100, in which Baltimore RNLI recovered 16 crew-members off the upturned hull of the racing boat during the Fastnet race. Sadly there were also long searches for missing loved ones.

‘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 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 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 43 lifeboat stations in Ireland is estimated at €160,000.

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The RNLI in Dun Laoghaire Lifeboats have been based on Dublin Bay for more than 200 years and this service is one of the oldest in the world. The RNLI is a charity operated locally by volunteers with the support of professional staff experts. The RNLI has one primary aim: to save lives at sea.
For Emergencies at sea: Dial 999 or 112 and ask for Marine Rescue
For routine calls: Dun Laoghaire Station: + 353 1 280 2667
RNLI Divisional BaseAirside
Co Dublin
Telephone + 353 1 8951800
Fax + 353 1 8951801
Location The Lifeboat Station
Harbour Road
Dun Laoghaire
Co. Dublin