More than 1,000 Irish Coast Guard helicopter missions were conducted in 2015, the highest number of search and rescue operations for the service since it began in 1991.

Two helicopter missions were completed last night, bringing the total number for this year to 1,000.

Teams in Sligo assisted a young boy with leg injuries, while the Shannon Coast Guard Helicopter transported a pregnant woman from Inish Mór to Galway University Hospital.

This surpasses last year's total of 914.

The Irish Coastguard says many of the services were carried out during difficult weather conditions, at night and into the Atlantic Ocean.

As of this morning, the Shannon Helicopter Rescue 115 has completed 330 missions, Dublin Rescue 116 completed 148, Waterford Rescue 117 179 and Sligo Rescue 118 343.

Helicopters based on the west coast also saw a busy year assisting the National ambulance Services - in particular transporting patients from rural areas to hospitals in Cork and Galway.