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#Coastguard - Irish Coast Guard helicopters were called on for two separate evacuations from fishing vessels yesterday morning (Monday 16 January).

In the first incident, Waterford-based Rescue 117 airlifted a fisherman who had suffered an injury on board his vessel to University Hospital Waterford.

On the same morning, Rescue 115 from Shannon was tasked to retrieve a casualty from a fishing vessel some 120 miles west of Kerry Head and transport him to University Hospital Limerick.

MEDICO Cork, based at Cork University Hospital’s A&E department, provided advice for both coastguard medevacs.

Published in Coastguard

#Coastguard - Safety inspectors have found no issues with the Irish Coast Guard helicopter fleet after a recent incident abroad involving an aircraft of the same model.

According to The Irish Times, the Irish fleet of Sikorsky S92s was grounded in rotation for tail rotor inspections after an incident with a helicopter on a North Sea rig in late December.

Published in Coastguard

#Coastguard - Stay Back, Stay High, Stay Dry is the message from the Irish Coast Guard to the public over the Christmas holiday period.

Many people will be engaging in outdoor activities along the coastline, be it on exposed coasts, cliffs, piers, harbour walls, beaches, promenades or other coastal areas.

And with the risk of stormy weather returning for Christmas Day tomorrow, after yesterday’s blustery conditions from Storm Barbara, the coastguard asks that anyone planning activities on or near the water to first check that it is safe to do so, and to be mindful of the risks and life threatening dangers that can arise without warning.

Christmas Day swims are a popular pursuit, and the coastguard is urging the public to only participate in organised swims where medical support and lifeguards are available.

Lone swimming should be avoided and all swimmers should be cognisant that time in the water should be kept to a minimum as even the most experienced of swimmers can easily succumb to cramp or cold water shock.

A general improvement in weather conditions is forecast from St Stephen’s Day — but spring tides that generate higher tides will peak in the latter part of the week and pose an additional risk.

The three Coast Guard Rescue Co-ordination Centres based in Malin, Valentia and Dublin, along with the coastguard helicopter service and volunteer units, will remain operational over the holiday period.

The Irish Coast Guard wishes to remind the public that if you see anybody in danger at sea, on the coast or on cliffs, call 112 and ask for the coastguard.

Anyone finding themselves involved in an emergency can use phone apps to help give their location to rescue personnel, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Coastguard

With the festivities in full swing and when Storm Barbara moves on many people will take to the nation’s beaches and cliffs to take in the fresh air and clear the cobwebs. This can be a busy time of the year for Irish Coast Guard personnel from crews in the air to crews on the coast and not forgetting our control room staff taking in the 112/ 999 emergency calls.

The information communicated in that emergency call is critical; we need to know what has happened and where; the “where” can be tricky. People with the best of intentions can give the location they started off from or are travelling to which could be 10km away from where the actual emergency is. Unlike travelling to a street address access to a cliff or beach tends to be a challenge. Arriving at the right location can save time for our Coast Guard Rescue Teams, time that could save someone’s life.

To do this we’d like you to help us. Tell us your numbers.. not your favourite lottery ones but your GPS co-ordinates, this will give us your location and we can plan the best and quickest way to get to you. . From Smart Phones these numbers can be easily attained from apps of which they are lots of. Let’s just look at the standard ones that comes with both iPhone and Android.

You’ll see two sets of numbers that give you your longitude and latitude, these are the ones we need. The default setting for Google maps gives you a different gps format (degrees and decimal minutes) than the iPhone Compass (degrees, minutes and seconds). Let’s leave it simple, tell us which phone app you’re using and we’ll work it out. Phone signal can drop in some coastal areas so be prepared for plan b, to get to the nearest house to phone for help.

For iPhone users its quick. Open the Compass app and you have your GPS co-ordinates at the bottom (53° 21’ 44”, 6° 3’ 16”).

For Android users, the quickest way is to simply open google maps drop the red pin beside your location which should be showing on the map and the GPS co-ordinates eg (53.353353, -6.163957) will appear in a dialogue box.

Published in Coastguard

#Coastguard - Coastguard volunteers are calling for the service to be designated as a ‘standalone primary response agency’, as the Irish Examiner reports.

A four-person delegation representing some 1,000 volunteers with the Irish Coast Guard pleaded their case with front bench TDs at Leinster House last week for the search and rescue side of the service to be safeguarded along the lines of the Garda, ambulance and fire services.

Among their complaints, the volunteers cite political manoeuvring at the expense of the service, along with “decisions being made by managers” in the Department of Transport “who have no direct involvement with the emergency services”.

In other coastguard news, volunteers from the Doolin unit were involved in the recovery of the body of a woman following a three-day search off the Cliffs of Moher. The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

#WaterfrontProperty - Sutton’s former coastguard station has been utterly transformed into a fashionable home for the future, as The Irish Times reports.

Nadia and Mack Lennon purchased 1 Martello Terrace in the North Co Dublin suburb in 2014 and since then have overseen its conversion from a virtual museum of the area’s coastal heritage — as maintained by its previous owner, a pillar of the sailing community — to a modern open-plan family home.

Yet even as the Lennons use terms like “nostalgic coastal” and “bourgeois eclectic” to describe their vision, the house — now on the market for €995,000 through Gallagher Quigley — retains a number of its original features, as well as some rescued from other parts of coastal Dublin.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Waterfront Property

This afternoon at 3.30pm the Irish Coast Guard emergency operations centre in Dublin received a call reporting a missing jet skier. The Coast Guard team in Howth, Coast Guard Rescue 116 Helicopter and the Howth RNLI lifeboats were immediately tasked.

Search teams combed the water and coastline. About 30 minutes later the Coast Guard Helicopter located the jet skier with his submerged craft North of Ireland's Eye. The Howth lifeboats brought the casualty back to shore to a waiting ambulance. The jet skier who was wearing a Life Jacket didn't have serious injuries.

During the rescue a sighting of someone possibly in the water off Balscaden was reported. Rescue teams were again dispatched and after a search nothing was located.

Finally as teams were wrapping up it was noted that waves were breaking on the East Pier in Howth with people out walking in danger of getting washed over by breaking waves. A Coast Guard team spoke to members of the public and advised them against walking down the pier until after the weather conditions passed, one person was assisted back to safety from beyond the breaking waves. Coast Guard personnel maintained a position on the pier until the high tide receded.

Published in Coastguard

#Coastguard - Early this morning the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter completed the medical evacuation of an injured crewman from a large tanker some 350km off Eagle Island in Co Mayo.

The overnight operation was jointly co-ordinated with the UK Coastguard who had initially been alerted by the tanker, which is on a transatlantic voyage to the Orkney Islands.

Weather conditions on scene were described as reasonable with northwesterly winds of up to 40km per hour.

The injured crewman was airlifted by Rescue 118 shortly before 8am, and the helicopter was due back in Sligo before 10.30am for transfer of the casualty to Sligo University Hospital.

Published in Coastguard

The new Coastguard station at Greystones harbour will not be built, according to Wicklow Councillor Derek Mitchell who says that after 12 years of discussions, planning and building at the harbour the Coastguard has decided to pull out.

The Coastguard have told Wicklow County Council that ‘it is deemed no longer viable to pursue the development at this site due to lack of funding in meeting the requirements’, Councillor Mitchell told Afloat.ie

‘I am very annoyed the Coastguard say it is not viable to build the station at this site in Greystones. The Council has given them a valuable site specially constructed on the new pier and built a special slipway for them. It is incredible that after 12 years discussions, planning and building the harbour they pull out' he said.

Councillor Mitchell also said 'I gather that the problem is that the building is costly because the site will be subject to storm waves, however the Greystones Sailing Club and four other clubs have been constructed with this in mind. They should put the boat on the calm marina and build a simpler less costly building. To my mind getting the boat going is much easier and safer from the marina than slip launching from the outer basin which can be rough in easterly winds’. 

Published in Greystones Harbour

#Rescue - Howth’s coastguard and lifeboat teams launched to the rescue of a lone kayaker off the North Dublin headland yesterday morning (Wednesday 28 September).

After a concerned onlooker called 999 when spotting that the kayaker was on the water with no life jacket, Howth Coast Guard and Howth RNLI’s inshore lifeboat were both tasked to the scene near Ireland’s Eye.

In the meantime the kayaker had proceeded around the back of the island and out of visibility from the caller on land. While the kayaker didn’t appear in difficulty, there were concerns for their safety.

A coastguard mobile unit proceeded to the end of the pier while the lifeboat launched on service to the far side of Ireland’s Eye, where the crew located a female on an open-deck kayak struggling in the water. She was brought back ashore by the lifeboat without incident.

“If she fell in the water, she had no means of staying afloat as she had no life jacket and only had a phone to call for help, there can be very limited if any phone signal once you go on the water,” according to an Irish Coast Guard spokesperson.

“The kayaker hadn’t checked the weather, which was unsuitable for the craft she was in. The lessons learnt are you need to have an emergency plan if going on the water – VHF radio, flares, whistle, weather information.

“Equally if not more important, you need a life jacket, no excuse.”

The rescue came just hours after Larne RNLI launched to assist two kayakers in difficulty off the Co Antrim coast, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Rescue
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