Irish Coast Guard has completed 1,000 helicopter missions in 2015

The number is the highest since the Coast Guard’s helicopter service commenced in 1991

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The Coast Guard says it has completed a thousand helicopter missions this year.

That is the busiest its been since the service started in the early 1990s.

Two helicopter missions were completed last night, pushing the number of operations to 1,000.

One of last night's missions saw the Sligo Coast Guard helicopter assisting a young boy with leg injuries, who ambulances were not able to reach due to flooding.

The other saw a young pregnant woman from Inish Mór brought to Galway University Hospital by Shannon Coast Guard.

The west coast helicopters were in particular demand in 2015, transporting critically ill patients from rural areas to the major trauma centres at Cork and Galway University Hospitals.

The Coast Guard service is operated from four bases – Dublin, Shannon, Sligo and Waterford - that are open 24 hours a day, all year round.

The Coast Guard is on standby for emergencies over Christmas. Spokesman Stephen O'Gara says anyone involved in water sports needs to take extra care and let others know the details of their trip: