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Displaying items by tag: Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard has issued a statement marking three years since the loss of four crew of the helicopter Rescue 116 off Co Mayo.

Capt Dara Fitzpatrick, Capt Mark Duffy, and winch crew Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith died when their Sikorsky S-92 hit Blackrock island off north Mayo in the early hours of 14 March 2017. The bodies of Ormsby and Smith have not been found to date.

The coastguard said: “As our frontline and emergency service workers yet again distinguish themselves during this current crisis, we remember Dara, Mark, Paul and Ciarán who we lost three years ago today. Four of Ireland’s finest stepped out into the darkness to come to the aid of strangers.

“Two brave souls were brought home, two remain lost to the sea, but all four will be forever remembered for the sacrifice they made. Our thoughts today are with the families, friends and colleagues of Dara, Mark, Paul and Ciarán.

“Go Mairidís Beo.”

Last night, Belfast Coastguard paid respects to their colleagues in the Republic, stating: “Three years on the sense of loss and disbelief is still very much real for us all. Tonight especially, we remember the crew and their families.”

And in a touching tribute following a tidal cutoff rescue yesterday (Friday 13 March), the crew of the helicopter now using the Rescue 116 callsign left a special signature of a heart in the sky to remember those lost.

Afloat.ie reported on Thursday (12 March) that a senior counsel has been appointed to chair a review into aspects of the State investigator’s final report on the 2017 helicopter crash.

Published in Coastguard

The Irish Coast Guard’s Shannon-based helicopter launched to rescue two seriously injured crew from a Dutch supertrawler on Friday morning (6 March), as the Irish Examiner reports.

Rescue 115 was dispatched yesterday to the Zeeland, a 6,000-tonne fishing factory, following the incident overnight some 170 nautical miles west of Loop Head.

With winds reaching storm Force 8 at sea, the decision was made to bring the Zeeland closer to the Shannon Estuary to allow the coastguard helicopter to approach in improved weather conditions.

The Zeeland pictured in the Netherlands in 2015 (Photo: Moolen/Shipspotting)The Zeeland pictured in the Netherlands in 2015 | Photo: Moolen/Shipspotting

Both injured crew were assessed and treated on the vessel before being airlifted to University Hospital Limerick. Their condition is not known at this time.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

Calls have been made for people rescued from the water while going against safety advice and weather warnings to be “handed the bill” for their rescue, after two surfers were saved off the Sligo coast during Storm Jorge at the weekend.

The Irish Times reports that the two surfers were winched aboard the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118 on Saturday morning (29 February) after one had lost his surfboard and another on shore had attempted to rescue him.

Storm conditions such as those presented by Storm Jorge — which prompted a Status Red marine warning for all Irish coastal waters — create the swells sought after by the big wave surfers regularly attracted to the Sligo coast, particularly at Mullaghmore, over the winter months.

But the situation on Saturday did not sit well with members of the public commenting online, who branded the surfers’ actions as “selfish” and “nonsense” and demanded they foot “the bill” for the launch of emergency services, or even face criminal prosecution.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Weather

Following January’s film on Ireland’s offshore fishing industry, the latest episode of TG4 documentary series Tabú reaches into the heart and soul of the Irish Coast Guard — as told by the coastguard members in their own words.

In the aftermath of the loss of Rescue 116 and volunteer Caitríona Lucas, An Garda Cósta - Ár n-Insint Féin, which screens this coming Wednesday 4 March, explores how they continue to serve in spite of the tragedies.

Focusing on operations after the biggest tragedy that has happened to any Blue Light service in Ireland, the hour-long film reveals the anguish of the search, along with the coping mechanisms of “the coastguard family”.

And according to the producers, the documentary also reveals the dangers of the job and how they stay on the right side of risk.

Produced and directed by Darina Clancy for Midas Productions, Tabú: An Garda Cósta - Ár n-Insint Féin broadcasts Wednesday 4 March at 9.30pm on TG4.

Published in Coastguard

RTÉ News reports that one man has died as the search continues for a second man after a fishing vessel is understood to have sunk off Hook Head last night (Saturday 4 January).

A man in his 60s was recovered in the early hours of this morning (Sunday 5 January) but died at University Hospital Waterford.

The Irish Coast Guard and RNLI lifeboat crews are involved in the search for a second individual believed to have been on the trawler south of Dunmore East.

Published in Fishing

It’s hoped that five of the 23 Irish Coast Guard units whose boats were pulled from service over lifejacket safety issues could resume operations within days, as BreakingNews.ie reports.

Last month all coastguard rescue boat operations were suspended as the IRCG launched a probe into a malfunction of its standard issue lifejackets.

Community rescue boats, RNLI lifeboats and the Naval Service were called upon to provide cover for the 23 stations around Ireland that have been affected. The suspension does not apply to the IRCG’s shoreline and cliff rescue teams.

Management has now told volunteers that a new lifejacket, the Crewsaver 380N, is being introduced on a phased basis to replace the potentially affected Rescue 400.

Subject to testing and other operational requirements, this could see rescue boats back in service at the ‘priority’ stations of Mulroy and Greencastle (Co Donegal), Drogheda and Kilkee as soon as this Thursday 5 December. BreakingNews.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

The Irish Coast Guard’s Dun Laoghaire unit has been chosen to pilot drone operations covering the East sector.

Training is set to commence early in the new year using DroneSAR, a software platform developed by a Donegal-based team to employ commercially available drones as part of search and rescue missions.

Once this training has been completed, the coastguard crew say they will be available to assist with missing person searches.

The news comes just months after the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency announced its own 12-month drone trial to support its search and rescue actions on the Essex coast.

Published in Coastguard

Extra pressure will be put on the Irish Coast Guard’s helicopter rescue services this winter as the State’s air ambulance plans to shut down for 16 days between now and next February.

As RTÉ News reports, “mounting staffing and training problems” will force the Air Corps to ground the Athlone-based AC112 air ambulance it has been using since 2012 for a total of 16 days — four each month from now until February.

The Department of Defence confirmed in a statement that the coastguard “will provide reserve cover to the national ambulance service” in line with the establishment of the Emergency Aeromedical Service (EAS) in 2015.

The Irish Community Rapid Response air ambulance based in Rathcoole, Co Cork will also be available “and the potential for it to provide increased support is also being explored”.

The statement added: “The priority is to provide the best service possible using all available resources during the four-day periods each month when the Air Corps are not available for EAS taskings.

“This interruption is regrettable but necessary from a safety and governance perspective.”

The coastguard’s helicopter fleet was previously trialled as an air ambulance service, and subsequently engaged in night-time cover.

But the arrangement was scaled back two years ago over concerns with pilot doing double duty for patient transfers.

Published in Coastguard

All Irish Coast Guard rescue boat operations are suspended as of yesterday (Friday 15 November) as the organisation launches a probe into a malfunction in its standard issue lifejackets.

RTÉ News reports that the coastguard’s rescue boats in 23 stations around Ireland have been withdrawn from service amid concerns over the Rescue 400 lifejacket used by its personnel.

“Specifically, the 275N section of the lifejacket failed to fully function when activated,” said an email to IRCG officers in charge as seen by media yesterday.

The suspension does not affect the Irish Coast Guard’s shoreline and cliff rescue teams.

Community rescue boats, RNLI lifeboats and the Naval Service are reportedly providing on-the-water cover in affected areas.

Published in Coastguard

Four people have been rescued from an island off the Sligo coast after their vessel washed up on rocks.

Bundoran RNLI’s volunteer crew launched to the incident at Inishmurray Island yesterday afternoon (Sunday 3 November) along with the Irish Coast Guard’s Sligo-based helicopter Rescue 118, which airlifted the casualties to hospital

The RNLI says the lifeboat made efforts to recover their boat from the rocks but due to a three-metre swell, it was decided to leave it in place.

Later, volunteer helm Rory O’Connor said: “The four casualties were lucky on this occasion and we are thankful that they alerted the coastguard when they did. This was another callout with a good outcome.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!

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