Larne RNLI launches six times during summer

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Larne RNLI launched six times during the summer months, three times each from its all-weather and inshore lifeboats.

The figures cover the period June 1 to August 31.

Among the shouts for Larne RNLI was a callout to go to the assistance of two people aboard a 28ft yacht, a mile north-east of Ballygally Head which was encountering fuel problems.

Across Northern Ireland this summer, RNLI lifeboats launched 106 times, a slight drop on last year’s total of 115. Crews were involved in many different types of callouts to a range of casualties.

Many of the launches were due to people getting into difficulty due to tides, problems with a vessel’s engines or machinery and an increasing range of leisure activities.

However there were also a number of tragedies and many of the RNLI’s lifeboat crews were involved in searching for missing loved ones or in bringing them home.

The busiest station in the north and overall in Ireland was Enniskillen, which operates two inshore lifeboats on Lough Erne and two Rescue Water Craft.

It was followed in Northern Ireland by the lifeboat crews in Portrush and Bangor who launched 18 times each. The next busiest station was Newcastle which launched 11 times followed by Portaferry RNLI which launched nine times. Lifeboat crews at Donaghadee, Kilkeel and Red Bay all launched seven times each while Larne RNLI launched six times.

Owen Medland, RNLI training divisional inspector said: “This has been another busy summer for the RNLI despite the unpredictable weather. There have been some stories of incredible bravery and also some stories of devastating loss.

“In all cases our lifeboat volunteers have shown extreme professionalism and commitment.

“Each and every callout is different and conditions, location, duration and activity can all vary. In many cases our volunteers are involved in callouts that go on for a number of hours throughout the night and then will have to go to work.”

There are 44 RNLI lifeboat stations in Ireland with three operating inland at Enniskillen, Lough Derg in Dromineer and Lough Ree. Lifeboat crew at these stations operate 56 lifeboats and two rescue water craft.