Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat Crew brought 22 people to safety on 17 callouts in 2012

Irish lifeboats from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) launched 939 times in 2012 bringing 1,041 people to safety. The figures are being released by the charity following returns of service from all 44 lifeboat stations in Ireland.  The figures also show that the majority of callouts were to pleasure craft, which accounted for 482 of the callouts, while launches to fishing vessels were 115.


Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat had 17 Shouts in 2012, 5 of those at night, and brought 22 people to safety.  Volunteer crew spent 312 hours afloat, 183hrs of that time callouts and the remainder on training exercises.


On our sister lake on the Shannon, Lough Ree, the RNLI’s newest lifeboat station at Coosan Point, Athlone, (currently on a one year trial from last June), had a busy first six months launching 14 times and bringing 18 people to safety.


The charity’s lifeboat crews also had 122 callouts to people classed as ´ashore`.  This figure incorporates launches to people who are ill or injured on an island, cliff or the shoreline, where access by lifeboat is the fastest or safest way to reach the casualty. It also includes medical evacuations from the islands off the coast of Ireland by lifeboat, which is a vital part of the service given by lifeboat stations such as Arranmore Island in county Donegal and the Aran Islands off county Galway.


In comparison with the 2011 statistics, 2012 saw a slight drop in lifeboat launches from 983 to 939 but a rise in people rescued from 906 to 1,041, an increase of 135 in the twelve month period.


RNLI Operations Manager for Ireland, Martyn Smith, says: ‘The figures show that our volunteers dedicate a huge amount of their time to saving lives at sea. To know that they are on call every day of the year is reassuring for all of us who venture out to sea and on loughs around Ireland.


‘While many callouts can be challenging, our volunteer lifeboat crews take the responsibility of bringing loved ones home very seriously.  As the figures show, last year they were able to do that for 1,041 people.  Not every callout is to save a life but the comfort and reassurance our volunteer crews bring to those in trouble is something the RNLI is very proud of and will continue to provide through the generosity of the public. I would like to say a huge “thank you” to all those who support the RNLI, whether by giving up their time or by making a donation.’



Key RNLI figures in 2012


  • On average 20 people a week were rescued by RNLI lifeboat crew in Ireland
  • Altogether Irish lifeboat crews spent over ten thousand hours at sea on callouts.
  • 51% of lifeboat launches were to power, sail and manual pleasure craft
  • 14% of lifeboat launches were to commercial craft (fishing boats and other commercial vessels)
  • 200 of the lifeboat launches were to boats with mechanical failure
  • 73 callouts were to stranded or grounded vessels



  • The RNLI provides a 24/7 search and rescue service every day of the year to 100 nautical miles out from the coast of Ireland and the UK. The Irish Coast Guard initiate and co-ordinate civil maritime search and rescue (SAR) in Ireland SAR regions from Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCC). During maritime emergencies on cliffs, beaches, and the shoreline or at sea both of these authorities call on RNLI lifeboats and/or lifeguards, which are declared search and rescue assets. The RNLI responds within agreed criteria.


  • 95% of the RNLI’s crew members are volunteers. The RNLI in Ireland has 2,000 volunteer crew members, 500 volunteer shore crew and station management, 3,000 volunteer fundraisers.

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