RNLI lifeboats brought 1,041 people to safety in 2012 during 939 launches throughout the year.

The number of launches was down slightly on the previous year, while the number of people rescued was up.

Just over half of the lifeboat launches in 2012 were to assist power, sail and pleasure craft, while 14% were to commercial fishing boats and other commercial vessels.

Lifeboats launched 73 times to stranded or grounded vessels and also dealt with 122 callouts to people who were ashore but needed help.

These included people taken ill or injured on islands, cliffs or shorelines, or medical evacuations, which is a regular occurrence for the lifeboats at Arranmore Island in Co Donegal and the Aran Islands in Co Galway.

The busiest lifeboat in the Republic was Dún Laoghaire, which launched 46 times and rescued 71 people.

Crosshaven, Baltimore and Howth lifeboats all launched at least 40 times.

The RNLI provides search and rescue service from the coast to 100 nautical miles off shore, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

95% of its crew members are volunteers.