RNLI lifeboat call-outs rise by 20% in NI over hot summer
Northern Ireland's hottest summer in years led to a 20% increase in lifeboat call-outs, compared to the same period last year.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) said its boats were launched 138 times during June, July and August.
The charity said its volunteer crews were "kept busy" as crowds flocked to the beaches to enjoy the sunny weather.
RNLI lifeguards also responded to 259 incidents on Northern Ireland beaches, rising from 142 last summer.'Commitment'
Many of the beach call-outs were from people asking for help to find missing children and also for lifeguards to administer minor first aid.
The busiest lifeboat station over this year's summer period was Portrush, County Antrim, where crews were called out 26 times between 1 June and 31 August.
Busiest lifeboat stations
- Portrush - 26 launches
- Enniskillen - 24 launches
- Bangor - 15 launches
- Red Bay - 14 launches
- Donaghadee - 13 launches
- Larne - 11 launches
- Kilkeel - 9 launches
- Newcastle - 7 launches
Gareth Morrison, RNLI divisional operations manager, said: "With more people travelling to the coast over the summer months RNLI volunteer lifeboat crews were busy keeping people safe.
"The commitment shown by our lifesavers that launched at all hours of the day and night in various conditions was outstanding."Hottest July
The UK summer of 2013 was the warmest, driest and sunniest summer since 2006, according to the Met Office.
Northern Ireland also experienced its hottest July since records began more than a century ago.
The average daily high temperature for the month was 21.8 degrees - more than three degrees above average.
It was also the sunniest July in Northern Ireland since 1989.