The Irish Coast Guard recorded its busiest year in 2012 since its formation, working with the RNLI, CRBI and the other first response agencies; the Coast Guard has been involved with nearly 2000 incidents nationally.
The Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) makes up one arm of the Irish Maritime Safety Services, the other being the Irish Maritime Safety Directorate. Both arms are poised to merge into a reformatted agency for all maritime safety matters.
During 2013 a major national maritime safety programme is being developed and will be rolled out by Government.
Each year the Coast Guard co-ordinates thousands of incidents at sea and on the cliffs and beaches of Ireland. This page of the Afloat.ie website aims to reports of coastgaurd operations, and provide an insight into the work of the Coastguard, an agency that safeguards our Nation's maritime interests.
The aim of the Irish Coast Guard is 'To reduce the loss of life within the Irish Search and Rescue Region and on rivers, lakes and waterways and to protect the quality of the marine environment within the Irish Pollution Responsibility Zone, Harbours and Maritime Local Authority areas and to preserve property'
These attributes make the Coast Guard a unique agency offering maritime safety and environmental stewardship.
The Coastguard co-ordinates Search and Rescue (SAR) through its Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (MRCC) in Dublin (located in Leeson Lane off Leeson Street) and Maritime Rescue Sub-Centres (MRSC) at Malin Head, Co. Donegal and Valentia Island, Co. Kerry. Each MRCC or MRSC is responsible for SAR operations and the day to day running of its allocated Division.
The Coastguard, within in its area of responsibility and accountability, administers a search and rescue, medical advice and evacuation system which ensures efficient and effective mobilisation, availability and appropriate use of declared facilities and facilities of opportunity.
Within each Coast Guard Division there are many declared SAR resources such as;
• Coast Guard Volunteer Coastal Units (CG CU's) capable of search, cliff and coastal rescue
• Lifeboats provided by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Community Inshore Rescue Organisations
• Three Search and Rescue helicopters under contract to the IRCG (Dublin, Shannon & Waterford) and one based in Sligo.
The Coast Guard is one of the States four emergency service organisations in Ireland (excluding specialist organisations such as Mountain and Cave Rescue etc). The other services being An Garda Siochana, the Fire Service and the Ambulance Service.
The director of the Irish Coastguard is Chris Reynolds
The Coastguard also aims to promote safety standards and as far as possible prevent the loss of life at sea and on inland waters and other areas and to provide an effective emergency response service.
Search & Rescue
The IRCG, having been delegated the responsibility to provide search and rescue and preventative services for the Ireland internationally assigned search and rescue region, the littoral area, rivers, lakes, waterways, mountains, caves and offshore islands use search and rescue units and other available facilities for providing assistance to persons who are, or appears to be in distress.
The Coast guard is also responsible for developing and co-ordinating responses
• to spills of oil and other hazardous substances within the Irish Pollution Responsibility Zone; and also for
• to marine casualty incidents; and
• to monitor/intervene in marine salvage operations.
Coastguard Safety Warning - Remember - If you spot someone in trouble at sea or on the cliffs or coast or even if you 'think' that someone may be in trouble, dial 112/999 and ask for the Coast Guard, or if you are in trouble at sea, call on VHF Channel 16, MF 2182 KHz or use DSC