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Displaying items by tag: National Search and Rescue Plan

The Irish Coast Guard saved 379 lives and assisted more than 3,500 people during the course of 2019.

The figures are included in the first annual report on Ireland’s National Search and Rescue Plan, which was published yesterday (Monday 21 September).

Also noted in the report, and is available to download below, the coastguard’s three rescue co-ordination centres managed a total of 2,500 incidents in 2019, broadly similar to figures for the previous two years.

And its fleet of Sikorsky S-92 rescue helicopters flew nearly 800 missions last year — the majority of these from its Sligo and Shannon bases on the West Coast.

“Given the additional challenges imposed this year by Covid-19, the report is a strong endorsement of the commitment and dedication of all those involved in search and rescue in Ireland,” said Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton, who published the report yesterday.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the new plan provided for a National SAR Committee which for the first time brings together all key stakeholders in maritime, land and aeronautical SAR under an independent chair.

Among the key lessons from its first year is that Ireland “already had a very well established SAR system in being” when the review began in 2018 “and the fundamental integrity of this system must be protected even while seeking improvements in effectiveness, oversight and safety”.

Its work for the coming year is, among other things, to identify and monitor the system’s key performance indicators.

“The new plan represents a step change in how we do and oversee search and rescue in Ireland,” Minister Naughton said.

“One year on, I am very pleased with the progress including continued strong working relations between the Irish Coast Guard, the Irish Aviation Authority and An Garda Síochána who provide these vital services.”

Published in Rescue

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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