A TOTAL of 70 people were aided by the RNLI on Lough Erne last year, more than in any other part of the North last year.
Despite being located in a landlocked county, Fermanagh’s Carrybridge crew came to the aid of 50 people in 2017, more than any other station in the north.
That includes Donaghadee, who aided 46 people, Portaferry who aided 44, and Bangor who aided 39. Carrybridge’s lifeboat was launched 41 times, the second highest number of launches after Portrush at 42.
When combined with Enniskillen RNLI, which was launched 15 times and aided 20 people last year, the figures prove once again what is widely known locally, that the seemingly calm waters of the Erne can be deceptively dangerous.
Commenting on the figures, Mike Grocott, RNLI area lifesaving manager, said: “RNLI lifesavers across Northern Ireland are dedicated to providing a professional rescue service to those who need it and last year, together our lifeboat crews and lifeguards responded to 476 calls for help.
“Despite their commitment, tragically in Ireland and the UK, at least one person dies from drowning each day.
“We believe that one drowning is one too many and we would encourage people to think ahead and to take the necessary precautions to keep them and their family safe.”
Mr Grocott said around half of people who died in the water unexpectedly, often as a result of slips, trips or falls, meaning they weren’t properly prepared to get wet.
“To prevent this happening, it is crucial people plan their activity, but also think about what they’d do in an emergency should something unexpected happen.”
Other advice includes wearing the appropriate safety gear, making sure all your equipment is in working order, and making sure to carry a means of calling for help should something go wrong while on the water.
To find out how you can stay safe while enjoying your water activity, visit RespectTheWater.com
Posted: 8:08 pm April 8, 2018