Staff and volunteers with the Irish Coast Guard saved 161 lives so far this year.

The Coast Guard, which is a division of the Department of Transport, saw an 8% increase in incidents in 2012, compared to the previous year.

Based on callouts up to St Stephen's Day this year, it has dealt with 1954 incidents.

The Coast Guard also assisted 2,593 people.

The Coast Guard reports dealing with 8% more incidents than last year.

As well as employed staff, the Coast Guard uses 900 volunteers to respond to emergencies.

Together with 2000 RNLI volunteers, 300 on commuinty rescue boats and 500 mountain and cave rescue volunteers, they provide year round 24-hour rescue services on the sea, on lakes, on cliffs and around the coastline.