LIFEBOAT crews in Scotland rescued 1007 people last year, saving 29 lives, new figures have revealed.

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboats attended 996 "shouts", launching nearly three times a day to attend emergencies during 2013.

These included the Super Puma helicopter which crashed off Shetland in August claiming four lives, when RNLI crews from Aith and Lerwick gave assistance.

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Scotland's busiest station was Broughty Ferry, near Dundee, where the charity's two lifeboats were called out 105 times, half in darkness. Of the 32 people rescued, five people's lives were saved.

The second busiest station was Arbroath, with 53 shouts, one more than Oban.

Andy Clift, the RNLI's regional operations manager for Scotland, said: "These figures illustrate the immense commitment exhibited by the RNLI's volunteers.

"Day after day they are available to respond to emergencies along the coastline and out to sea, and night after night they are also available with a large proportion of shouts taking place in darkness.

"They also spend a considerable amount of time in carrying out exercises and training to ensure their skills are up-to-date."

Queensferry was the busiest inshore lifeboat station with 49 shouts and 128 people rescued.

RNLI volunteers at Tobermory spent 950 hours on shouts, by far the longest time at any of Scotland's 47 lifeboat stations.

One of those incidents was a 31-hour operation on June 14/15 when a cargo ship ran aground on Mull.

There has been a decrease in recent years in the number of fishing boats that require RNLI help, with 115 incidents last year, down from 122 in 2012, however, more members of the public have required help.

Mr Clift said: "During stormy weather, the RNLI urges the public to avoid areas, whether they be a harbour, pier, promenade or cliff top, where they could get swept off their feet."

It is the first time since 2008 that there have been fewer than 1000 shouts for the RNLI in Scotland.

The busiest year was 2009 with 1121 launches and the record number of people rescued was in 2012 with 1055.