The RNLI says 69 lives were saved off the Donegal coast by its volunteer crews last year, and many more were brought safely ashore after getting into difficulty.
There were 69 launches in total by the three Donegal lifeboat stations.
Arranmore launched 34 times, saving 24 people, Lough Swilly launched 21 times, saving 23 people and Bundoran launched 14 times, saving 22 people.
The figures have been published as the RNLI launches its Mayday funding campaign, highlighting the fact that the service is totally funded by voluntary donations.
John mc Carter is Operations Manager with Lough Swilly Lifeboat - He says many families are intact today because of the RNLI..............
RNLI statement in full -
As the RNLI announces its 2018 annual rescue figures, the charity is calling on the people of County Donegal to support their volunteer lifeboat crews as Mayday, the charity’s national annual fundraising campaign, is launched.
Volunteer lifeboat crews at the RNLI’s three lifeboat stations in County Donegal launched 69 times in 2018 bringing 69 people to safety. Arranmore RNLI launched 34 times bringing 24 people to safety while Bundoran RNLI launched 14 times, coming to the aid of 22 people. The lifeboat crew at Lough Swilly meanwhile, launched 21 times, rescuing 23 people. These rescues are only possible because of the donations made to the charity by supporters.
For the month of May, the RNLI’s Mayday campaign is asking people to ‘do their bit, fund our kit’ with the lifesaving charity hoping to raise €780,000 to fund the crucial kit volunteer lifeboat crews rely on, like lifejackets, helmets and the RNLI’s iconic yellow wellies.
Joe Joyce, Lough Swilly RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer said: ‘Our crews drop everything when their pagers go off to launch the lifeboat and head out to help those in trouble. Our lifeboat crew kit gives our volunteers the confidence to face all weathers and conditions, night or day. The right kit is vital in helping to make sure we do what we are trained to do and that we bring everyone home safely.
‘Last year, RNLI crews in County Donegal launched 69 times and rescued 69 people. The RNLI’s Mayday fundraiser is our own call for help, and we are asking people to ‘do their bit to fund our kit’ throughout May.
‘We hope people will answer the RNLI’s Mayday appeal and do something, no matter how big or small, to raise funds for the lifeboat crews. Every piece of kit on a volunteer has been funded through the generosity of people.’
Anyone who wants to get involved should visit RNLI.org/Mayday to register for a free Mayday pack. The pack provides a host of fundraising ideas, such as encouraging friends and colleagues to plan a wear-yellow fundraiser, getting sponsored to run, walk or cycle, cooking up some yellow-themed bakes to sell or even getting together to lift the weight of a 32 tonne Tamar class lifeboat.
The charity is also encouraging people to show support on their social media, joining the conversation using the hashtag #MaydayEveryDay, or by donating online or buying a yellow welly pin badge.