|The RNLI at work|
RTE News reports that the RNLI provides search and rescue service from the coast to 100 nautical miles off shore, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 95 percent of its crew members are volunteers.
In 2012, the busiest spot in Ireland for the RNLI was Dún Laoghaire, which launched 46 times and rescued 71 people.
Crosshaven, Baltimore and Howth lifeboats all launched at least 40 times during 2012.
Just over half of the lifeboat launches in 2012 were to assist power, sail and pleasure craft, while 14 percent were to commercial fishing boats and other commercial vessels.
In 2012, lifeboats launched a total of 73 times to aid stranded or grounded vessels, and also dealt with 122 callouts to people who were ashore but needed help.
Incidents included people who had fallen ill or injured on islands, cliffs or shorelines, or medical evacuations, which is a regular occurrence for the lifeboats at Arranmore Island in Co Donegal and the Aran Islands in Co Galway.