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The RNLI’s 44th lifeboat station in Ireland has officially been put into service and become a declared search and rescue asset on Lough Ree. The new lifeboat station is based at Coosan Point in Athlone. The RNLI will operate a B class Atlantic 75 lifeboat from temporary station facilities with the cost of the set-up estimated to be around €150,000.
Last year saw RNLI lifeboats in Ireland launch 980 times to a variety of callouts. More than 900 people were rescued over the course of the year by volunteer lifeboat crews who spent 9,826 hours on service at sea. In Mayo, the RNLI in Achill launched 14 times during 2011 and assisted eight people. In Ballyglass, six all weather lifeboats were launched, five inshore, and a total of nine people were assisted.