While many people are looking forward to a few days off and a rest over the festive season, volunteer lifeboat crews along the West coast are on call 24-7, in case of emergencies on the water.

Last year, Irish lifeboats launched over 1,000 times - in Mayo, Achill RNLI launched 31 times saving 20 people, while Ballyglass RNLI launched nine time, rescuing five people.

However, while more people than ever need the help of the RNLI, donations and legacies are decreasing, and the charity has now launched a major fundraising appeal called The Perfect Storm, to ensure its lifesaving work can continue.

 Agatha Hurst is Press Officer and a volunteer with the Ballyglass RNLI Lifeboat.

She said that while people look forward to spending time with their families over Christmas, RNLI volunteers will be ensuring their lifejackets are ready and will be prepared to drop everything to save lives at sea.

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