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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 February 2006, 10:28 GMT
'Busiest year' for lifeboat crews
RNLI has urged all water users to think and act responsibly
More than 230 people were rescued from Northern Ireland waters last year, according to the latest figures.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution said its 300 volunteer crew members launched 208 times in often difficult and sometimes dangerous sea conditions.

The busiest station was Enniskillen which launched 35 times and rescued 56 people, followed by Portrush, launching 34 times and rescuing 32 people.

In 2005 The RNLI's UK and Irish boats were called out a record 8,273 times.

Colin Williams, the RNLI's divisional inspector for Ireland, said without the huge commitment and dedication of volunteers "we would be unable to carry out our increasingly demanding task of saving lives at sea".

"It is important that we continue to monitor the number and types of rescues that the RNLI's crews take part in, to ensure that we match the demands of sea users with the correct level and type of lifeboat cover around the coast."

The RNLI has urged all water users to think and act responsibly in the coming months.

"The use of inflatable toys, airbeds and small dinghies in the sea remains a concern," said Mr Williams.

"They may be great fun in a pool, but in the sea they are potentially deadly. We strongly advise people not to use them."

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