Three thousand people assisted by Valentia Coastguard in 2004

Valentia Coastguard assisted in the rescue of nearly three thousand people last year. It`s the highest number of people saved nationally out of the three centres. The statistics show last year was a very busy one for the station in South West Kerry. Nationally incidents involving pleasure boating in 2004 increased by 11 per cent. Valentia Coastguard assisted 182 pleasure craft and 145 fishing vessels off the coast in the year.Marine Minister Pat the Cope Gallagher says people need to be aware of the dangers involved when going out on the water. He says they need to be fully trained in their pursuits and be fully aware of safety procedures. Also in 2004, 226 coastguard units were tasked by Valentia and the helicopter was sent to 148 incidents. The station also handled a massive volume of commercial communications. Overall Valentia Coastguard station was involved in 635 incidents and 284 RNLI lifeboats were tasked, as well as 35 community inshore rescue boats.