The total number of incidents responded to in 2010 was 1,839 and the total number of fatalities was 49; both figures are consistent with the totals for 2009. However, a total of 3,570 persons were assisted last year, which represents a 20 percent increase on the 2009 figure.
The Manager of the Irish Coast Guard, Declan Geoghegan stated that this increase was “mainly due to the severe weather conditions at the end of 2010, when the Coast Guard provided assistance to all areas of the community including to An Garda Siochana, to local authorities but mainly to the HSE where transportation of patients, staff and GP’s to various medical centres was required for a lengthy period. The Coast Guard also provided assistance to the farming community by airlifting animal feed during the severe weather.”
There was a notable decrease in number of incidents involving leisure/recreational activities, which Mr. Geoghegan stated was “directly attributable to the major effort that was made by the Marine Safety Working Group (chaired by the Irish Coast Guard at the Department of Transport) in alerting people to the dangers of these activities. In particular, the Marine Safety Working Group last year targeted tourists and newcomers to Ireland who may be unfamiliar with our coastline and geography and the dangers associated with it.”