RNLI Lifeboat crews in Galway rescued 85 people last year, operating out of three stations in the county, and the lifesaving charity is expecting an even busier time this summer.
Lifeboats were launched from Galway City, Clifden, and the Aran Islands on 89 occasions in 2020, with 24 of those launches occurring during the night.
The charity is highlighting these figures as it launches its Mayday mile fundraiser campaign to raise vital funds for this lifesaving service.
Nationally, over half (53%) of the charity’s 945 lifeboat launches took place in the months of June, July and August, when COVID-19 restrictions were at their loosest in Ireland.
Last year, with the country dealing with restrictions put in place to fight the pandemic, lifeboat crews were still busy, bringing 1,145 people to safety.
The volunteer charity is preparing for an extremely busy summer, as the return of the warm weather will coincide with the ending of what will hopefully be the last pandemic lockdown.
Galway RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Mike Swan said “Last year was an extremely busy one and with restrictions still in place, we are expecting another summer of increased lifeboat activity.”
“Our lifeboat crews will be on call as always and we are very grateful for the support we get from the public, which goes to fund our lifeboats, training and equipment.”
“The Mayday Mile is a fun activity that anyone can do, covering any distance they like. In signing up online and taking part you are helping to save lives at sea and are supporting the volunteer lifeboat crews.”
Last year saw Galway lifeboat stations take part in an all-night search for two missing paddle boarders in Galway Bay which thankfully resulted in their safe return after two local fishermen located them.
Lifeboats have been called out to swimmers, kite surfers, and those cut off by tide, as more people chose to exercise on or near the water in a year of restrictions and measures to deal with the pandemic.
The RNLI’s Mayday campaign begins on Saturday 1 May and runs throughout the month.
Lifesavers are calling on supporters to join the Mayday Mile and cover the distance for the charity in any way they chose to raise vital funds to help lifeboat crews continue their work.
To sign up for the Mayday Mile, or to make a donation in support of the RNLI’s lifesavers, visit RNLI.org/supportMayday