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Displaying items by tag: Irish Coast Guard

#COASTGUARD - Sikorsky has completed production of a new S-92 helicopter for the Irish Coast Guard under the rescue service's €500 million deal with CHC Ireland.

The US-based helicopter firm and CHC formalised the purchase on Wednesday (21 December) with Irish Coast Guard director Chris Reynolds during a hand-over ceremony at the S-92 commercial helicopter assembly facility in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.

Equipped for dedicated search and rescue (SAR) operations, the helicopter will provide coverage for deep Atlantic Ocean missions, service Ireland's offshore islands and provide rescue cover on the west coast from Cork to Galway.

The new aircraft will be based at Shannon and will replace the current coastguard SAR helicopter, a Sikorsky S-61, which has given 20 years of unbroken service.

According to Sikorsky, the S-92 is equipped with advanced systems and hardware, including an automated flight control system that enables the pilot to fly pre-programmed search patterns and perform delicate hover manoeuvres; a wireless intercom allowing a rescue swimmer to communicate with the crew; radio transceivers to communicate with ships and rescue services; a weather radar and infrared sensor; and a digital video system to record rescues.

Reynolds said the new helicopter - which joins four second-hand machines on a 10-year lease - represents a stepped improvement in Ireland's ability to care for and service its seagoing, coastal and island communities.

"I am very happy that the Coast Guard will operate what I consider to be the leading SAR helicopter in the world," he added.

As reported earlier this year on Afloat.ie, the new chopper is part of a deal that raised questions from a Fine Gael TD over allegations that a competing tender did not have a "good reputation".

Fergus O'Dowd questioning the contract with CHC Ireland after receiving documents in which Chris Reynolds said the Air Corps – whose helicopters are supplied by AgustaWestland - were uneqipped for the role and that no cost saving would be made if they took on the service.

Published in Coastguard

#MCIB - The death by drowning of a South Dublin boatman may have been avoided had he been wearing a lifejacket or buoyancy aid, according to investigators.

The report by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) into the death of Aidan Fennell off Dalkey Island on 12 October 2010 found that an epileptic episode could have caused him to fall overboard from his rowboat and become disorientated once in the water.

Fennell, 43, was considered a competent boatman and a strong swimmer used to cold water, though was prone to seizures where he could not control his muscles and lost sense with reality, on occasion becoming unconscious.

On the afternoon of 12 October last year Fennell had launched his boat from Coliemore Harbour in fair conditions, intending to ferry a German family to Dalkey Island. When they pulled out of the trip, Fennell decided to row to the island on his own, with no flotation devices on board.

He was last seen by friend Kevin O'Farrell at 2.50pm. Around half an hour later, O'Farrell became concerned as to Fennell's whereabouts when he had been out of sight for some time.

After notifying the Irish Coast Guard, the Dun Laoghaire lifeboat and coastguard helicopter Rescue 116 were dispatched to search the area. Fennell's boat was located before 4pm washed on the rocks at the southeast end of Dalkey Island, and his body was found in the water close by some 10 minutes later.

No injuries were found on Fennell's body, suggesting that he went into the water before his boat washed up on the rocks.

The report concluded that if he had fallen overboard in normal conditions "it is considered likely that he could have swum to his boat, or clung on to the oars.

"However, if he had suffered an epileptic episode... he would have had great difficulty in staying afloat, in particular without having the buoyancy assistance of a life jacket."

The full report is available to download as a PDF from the MCIB website HERE.

Published in MCIB

#WEATHER - The Irish Coast Guard has warned people to stay away from cliff paths and other coastal areas as near hurricane force winds continue to batter the country, the Irish Examiner reports.

As of this morning, Met Éireann was expecting gusts of up to 140 kilometres an hour in Connacht and Ulster.

All Irish coastal areas are expected to experience strong gales. Winds will occasionally reaching violent storm force 11 on coasts from Rossan Point to Malin Head to Fair Head this afternoon, according to meteorologists.

Published in Weather

#COASTGUARD - The Office of Public Works has given the go-ahead to a long-awaited new coastguard station for Killybegs, the Donegal Democrat reports.

The multi-million-euro three-storey station - replacing the current 20-year-old building, which is deemed no longer suitable to demands - will be constructed at the Rough Point and will include a boat house and pollution control centre.

The Irish Coast Guard unit at Killybegs has 25 volunteer members, and also operates as a mountain and cliff rescue service. The unit serves one of Ireland's busiest ports.

The Donegal Democrat has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

#BUDGET - Coastguard and lifeboat services, mountain rescue and the Commissioners of Irish Lights will not face any further funding cuts in the latest Budget, according to the Minister for Transport.

The Irish Times reports that, following the reduction of his department's budget, Minister Leo Varakdar stated that substantial cuts have already occurred in the maritime safety sector.

Moreover, he announced an increase in the maritime budget from €70.5 million to €80.3 million, due to provisions for the new Irish Coast Guard helicopter contract.

Earlier this week, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney, underlined the importance of the marine sector to Ireland's coastal communities.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Minister Coveney announced a round of expenditure estimates on Monday which include increased funding for investment in processing, aquaculture and fishery harbours.

Published in Budget

#NEWS UPDATE - The search was set to resume this morning for a missing man feared drowned in Cork city, the Irish Examiner reports.

Search efforts were mounted last night after the man's family notified gardaí. The man, believed to be in his 60s, is thought to have disappeared from Ballincollig Regional Park in the west of the city, where his car and phone were found.

Waterford's Irish Coast Guard helicopter joined the search along with gardaí and the Crosshaven coastguard, concentrating on the River Lee where water levels were high due to heavy rain.

Published in News Update
A man has died after the car he was in went into the water at Howth Harbour on Sunday morning, The Irish Times reports.
Members of the public alerted the Irish Coast Guard after seeing the car driving onto the west pier.
Despite a rapid response from the coastguard and Howth RNLI lifeboat, a search of the surface showed no sign of the car.
Garda divers later made the grim discovery and recovered the man's body.
A man has died after the car he was in went into the water at Howth Harbour on Sunday morning, The Irish Times reports.

Members of the public alerted the Irish Coast Guard after seeing the car driving onto the west pier.

Despite a rapid response from the coastguard and Howth RNLI lifeboat, a search of the surface showed no sign of the car.

Garda divers later made the grim discovery and recovered the man's body.
Published in News Update
#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Evening Herald has highlighted the work of a new union of wildlife protection groups which is training volunteers to act the event of serious environmental threats to Ireland's sea bird population.
Wildlife rescue volunteer Pauline Beades from Garristown in north Co Dublin has been working with Ireland's animal groups to change the official approach to wildlife - particularly birds - that get caught in oil spills.
The Irish Seal Sanctuary, Birdwatch Ireland, the ISPCA, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), Coastwatch and Irish Wildlife Trust have written a joint "letter of comfort" for the Irish Coast Guard, which is the State body charged with dealing with coastal oil spills.
The groups have pledged to work together in the event of any oil spill that involves a threat to marine wildlife.
Their response plan involves an initial wave of volunteers walking beaches to gather affected animals and providing first aid, followed by transfering them to veterinarians in specialised field hospitals, as well as facilities for longer-term care.
Last weekend Beades helped train volunteers in Limerick, who also attended lectures and demonstrations from visiting wildlife rescue experts from Europe to prepare for any potential sea-borne wildlife emergency.

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Evening Herald has highlighted the work of a new union of wildlife protection groups which is training volunteers to act the event of serious environmental threats to Ireland's sea bird population.

Wildlife rescue volunteer Pauline Beades from Garristown in north Co Dublin has been working with Ireland's animal groups to change the official approach to wildlife - particularly birds - that get caught in oil spills.

The Irish Seal Sanctuary, Birdwatch Ireland, the ISPCA, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), Coastwatch and Irish Wildlife Trust have written a joint "letter of comfort" for the Irish Coast Guard, which is the State body charged with dealing with coastal oil spills.

The groups have pledged to work together in the event of any oil spill that involves a threat to marine wildlife.

Their response plan involves an initial wave of volunteers walking beaches to gather affected animals and providing first aid, followed by transfering them to veterinarians in specialised field hospitals, as well as facilities for longer-term care.

Recently Beades helped train volunteers in Limerick, who also attended lectures and demonstrations from visiting wildlife rescue experts from Europe to prepare for any potential sea-borne wildlife emergency.

Published in Marine Wildlife

 

#RESCUE - Galway Bay FM reports that a man was rescued from the Galway Docks last night after his boat started taking on water.
The Irish Coast Guard and Galway RNLI lifeboat were alerted and came to his assistance when his 8-foot RIB broke down near Nimmo's Pier around 5pm.
The man was taken safely on board and the RIB was towed to the slipway at the new Ocean Sports Centre. No serious injuries were reported.
#RESCUE - Galway Bay FM reports that a man was rescued from the Galway Docks last night after his boat started taking on water.

The Irish Coast Guard and Galway RNLI lifeboat were alerted and came to his assistance when his eight-foot RIB broke down near Nimmo's Pier around 5pm.

The man was taken safely on board and the RIB was towed to the slipway at the new Ocean Sports Centre. No serious injuries were reported.

 

Published in Rescue
#RESCUE - A fisherman on a Spanish vessel is in hospital after being airlifted from some 150 nautical miles southwest of Co Cork early yesterday, The Irish Times reports.
The skipper of the fishing vessel Albelo Primero radioed the Irish Coast Guard's Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre on Wednesday night, reporting that a 33-year-old crewman had taken ill and required emergency medical attention.
The man was airlifted by coastguard helicopter to Cork Airport and transfered by ambulance to Cork University Hospital.
The Irish Times said his condition is not understood to be life-threatening.
#RESCUE - A fisherman on a Spanish vessel is in hospital after being airlifted from some 150 nautical miles southwest of Co Cork early yesterday, The Irish Times reports.

The skipper of the fishing vessel Albelo Primero radioed the Irish Coast Guard's Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre on Wednesday night, reporting that a 33-year-old crewman had taken ill and required emergency medical attention.

The man was airlifted by coastguard helicopter to Cork Airport and transfered by ambulance to Cork University Hospital.

The Irish Times said his condition is not understood to be life-threatening.
Published in Rescue
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