Shetland’s two lifeboats were launched a total of 25 times last year, almost half of them during the hours of darkness.
Lerwick lifeboat was called out on 18 occasions, nine of them at night, while the Aith lifeboat was launched seven times, four of them in darkness.
The Lerwick crew spent a total of 1,108 hours at sea, including 459 in service and 649 on exercise, while the corresponding Aith hours were 496, 82 and 413.
According to the latest statistics released by the RNLI there were more than 1,000 launches in total by Scotland’s 45 main lifeboats, an average of 20 a week. A total of 916 people were rescued. The busiest stations were Oban and Broughty Ferry with 46 call-outs each, followed by Troon with 41, Mallaig with 30 and Buckie with 24.
The RNLI’s Scottish divisional inspector Paul Jennings said: “The annual statistics reveal once again the devotion to duty by our volunteer crews throughout Scotland.
“Apart from the shouts, the crews spend a great deal of time in exercising and improving their skills so that they are in a position to help anyone in all types of weather and in all types of situation.
“It is particularly notable that during December we had four spells of stormy weather with winds from force 10 to 12 and yet our crews still launched, as they always do whatever the weather.”