Irish Coast Guard saved 290 lives in 2015

The organisation says it has seen a 10% increase in helping people who got into difficulty on the shoreline

The Irish Coast Guard says it saved 290 lives this year.

The 2015 statistics show that is a rise of 12% compared to 2014.

75 bodies were also recovered during the year.

The most significant rise has been a 10% increase in helping people who got into difficulty on the shoreline, sometimes being swept into the sea by breaking waves.

The Coast Guard has attributed the small increase in activity this year to increased tourism in the summer; more people participating in outdoor and water-based activities; the storms that have hit the country this month; and extra work carried out by helicopters to assist the national ambulance service.

The Coast Guard is also providing gardaí with more help in their search for missing people, in order to search coastal and remote areas. There has been a 5% rise in such missions this year.

Coast Guard director Chris Reynolds said, "I want to particularly recognise the many volunteers who responded with such professionalism, whether that be the Coast Guard directly, RNLI, Community Rescue Boats (CRBI) or Mountain Rescue teams".

However the organisation has warned that while hoax calls have fallen by 58%, nuisance calls have risen by 10% this year.

Earlier this week the Coast Guard said it had completed a thousand helicopter missions this year - making it the busiest year since the helicopter service started in the early 1990s.