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Displaying items by tag: Coast Guard

The AAIU in consultation with An Garda Síochána, the Navy, the Coast Guard, the GSI and the Marine Institute wish to advise that following initial Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) operations the wreckage of R116 has been positively located on the sea bed on the Eastern side of Black Rock, at a depth of approx. 40m.

Operations are continuing but are weather dependent.

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The AAIU wishes to extend its sincere sympathies to the families and friends of the crew of R116.

The Chief Inspector of Air Accidents, Mr. Jurgen Whyte, in consultation with the appointed Investigator-in-Charge, Mr. Paul Farrell, wishes to make the following statement.

An AAIU investigation into the circumstances of the loss of R116 is underway. As with all AAIU investigations, this Investigation will be evidence based.

The Investigation has been working with the Garda Síochána, Coast Guard, Irish Air Corps, the Irish Marine Institute, and many local persons and agencies with the primary objective of locating and recovering the missing crew members.

In addition, the AAIU is anxious to recover and examine as much wreckage as possible, and in particular to recover the combined voice and flight data recorder (“black box”). The AAIU, in accordance with international convention, has an Accredited Representative from the US National Transportation Safety Board (as state of design and manufacture); that representative has advisers from the US Federal Aviation Administration and the aircraft manufacturer. The AAIU has also received assistance, support and advice from the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch two of whose inspectors attended Blacksod.

A significant amount of wreckage has been recovered from the sea and this has been logged and will be brought to the AAIU wreckage facility in Gormanston, Co Meath, for detailed examination.

Furthermore, the AAIU has visited Black Rock Light House, on the approaches to Blacksod bay, which is close to the last recorded position of the helicopter. Some helicopter wreckage has been recovered from the general area of Black Rock Light House. This wreckage is primarily from the tail area of the helicopter. At this early stage in the investigation it is not possible to be definitive about the exact nature of damage to the recovered wreckage or indeed the circumstances of the accident. However, there appears to be marks on some of the recovered wreckage which are consistent with the tail of the aircraft contacting rocky surfaces on the Western end of Blackrock.

The Investigation has not yet definitively identified the initial point of impact.

Equipment aboard surface search vessels has detected a signal which is believed to be from the underwater locator beacon attached to the aircraft’s “Black Box”. This signal points toward an area which will be the focus of further, multi-agency investigation activities at the earliest opportunity, subject to weather.

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The Irish Coast Guard is well represented at this week's BT Young Scientist Exhibition where 60,000 visitors are expected to attend.

The six Coast Guard stations in attendance at the RDS, Dublin are distributing wristbands, pencils and competition flyers as well as staging today's 'Emergency Challenge' competition.

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Use of Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) and Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) were responsible for directly saving the lives of Five Mariners in 2016 according to an end of year commentary by the Coast Guard. One of these incidents related to a Coast Guard helicopter rescue of a lone yachtsman, whose yacht had overturned, 20 miles south of Co Wexford. A second related to the location and recovery of three fishermen whose vessel had sunk. The third incident concerned the location of a single crewed yacht which had become dis-masted off the SW Coast and was subsequently towed to Castletownbere, Co Cork.

Overall the Coast Guard coordinated some 2500 incidents through its three Marine Rescue Coordination Centres based in Valentia, Malin and its Dublin Head Quarters. A total of 405 people who were rescued or assisted were categorised as ‘lives saved’ on the basis that the intervention precluded loss of life or severe risk of loss of life. The Coast Guard noted an increase in kayaking and surfing related incidents with a total of 45 individual incidents requiring a response being recorded. Coast Guard units and helicopters assisted with the recovery of forty five (45) bodies as a result of drowning and other missing person searches.

The tragic loss of Volunteer Caitríona Lucas cast a dark shadow over all Coast Guard activities. Caitríona, who was a member of the Doolin unit, was participating in a search operation off Kilkee on September 12th when she lost her life. She was the first volunteer member of the Coast Guard to lose her life on operational service.

The Forty Three (43) nationwide Coast Guard volunteer units responded to 1042 incidents. The units provide; Search, Rescue Boat and Cliff Rescue services in addition to local community support during inclement weather or other emergencies. These Units also work closely with Coast Guard helicopters in supervising helicopter landing sites as used in provision of aeromedical support to the HSE.

The Coast Guard Helicopter service, operating out of bases in Sligo, Shannon, Waterford and Dublin, provide day and night Search and Rescue (SAR) services throughout the year. Coast Guard helicopters also provide day and night aeromedical support to the HSE augmenting the day time service provided by the Air Corps. As part of this service Coast Guard helicopters conducted sixty one (61) patient transfers from offshore islands. Separately the Coast Guard transferred Nine (9) patients to UK for emergency procedures mainly relating to organ transplant. Coast Guard helicopters assisted the HSE/National Ambulance Service on 258 occasions in 2016.

Coast Guard Helicopters conducted Twenty (20) Long Range offshore missions, involving casualty evacuations at ranges exceeding 100 miles from land. The longest of these missions was conducted at a range of 150 miles West of Loop Head, Co Clare on March 7th, when an injured crewman was airlifted for transfer to hospital. Overall Coast Guard Helicopters completed 886 missions which included thirty six (36) casualty evacuations at sea.

Coast Guard helicopters flew twenty three (23) suspected pollution investigation missions – arising from satellite based reports.

Coast Guard volunteer units including, Dingle, Castletownbere, Killybegs and Westport participated in eighty six (86) mountain rescue missions in conjunction with Mountain Rescue Ireland, of which seventy seven (77) involved casualty recovery by Coast Guard Helicopters.

RNLI lifeboats were requested to launch on 837 occasions marginally higher that the corresponding figure for 2015. The Coast Guard enjoys a close and valued relationship with the RNLI and acknowledges the responsibility undertaken by the RNLI, and commends the dedication and commitment of the RNLI and its Volunteers.

During the year the Coast Guard completed a MOU (memo of understanding) with CFT (Comhairle Fo Thuinn - Irish Underwater Council) with regard to provision of qualified divers at search operations. A Coast Guard spokesperson also thanked the Naval Service and Gardaí for the ongoing provision of Diving teams to search operations throughout the year. In all twenty one (21) specific diving related searches were conducted by Gardaí, Navy and CFT Dive teams.

The Coast Guard also agreed a MOU with Dublin Fire Brigade with regard to coordination of Search and Rescue operations on the lower River Liffey.

An unfortunate side effect to EPIRBs and PLBs is the number of false activations arising from alerts being raised by equipment which the owner’s had assumed were properly disposed of when no longer in use. In a majority of cases owners can be quickly tracked enabling the alert to be cancelled but such errors can result in the unnecessary activation of response units. In all the Coast Guard received eighty nine (89) EPIRB/PLB alerts which were subsequently classified as being false or in error, many of which related to equipment no longer in use. The Coast Guard has appealed to all EPIRB users to deregister and properly dispose of disused EPIRBs.

In relation to drownings, adult males continue to be the most vulnerable group. Preliminary casualty assessment shows that well over 50% of people requiring assistance were not wearing Lifejackets.

The Coast Guard attaches great importance to Prevention as the primary strategy in reducing loss of life at sea and its most recent campaign focused on the theme of ‘No Lifejacket – No Excuse’. In 2017 a new departure will see the launch of a safety message based on the importance of retaining the ability to stay afloat coupled with a capacity to raise the alarm utilising the theme ‘Stay Afloat – Stay in Contact’.

During the year Coast Guard units continued to deliver a primary school water safety programme where the importance of wearing Lifejackets/ Personal Flotation Devices is emphasised. This strategy was backed up by patrols conducted by Coast Guard units where compliance with lifejacket/PFD requirements were checked and monitored.

The Coast Guard congratulated BIM on their safety initiative aimed at encouraging the fishing community to wear lifejackets at all times. The leisure community were also congratulated for their very high levels of compliance with basic water safety.

The Coast Guard reminds the public to raise the alarm if they think they are in trouble, as it might be too late when you are in trouble. The core message from the Coast Guard is;

If you see anybody in trouble at sea, on the coast or on cliffs call 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.

In conclusion Acting Coast Guard Director Eugene Clonan thanked all the staff and volunteers who have contributed to the many missions that were undertaken in 2016. He concluded; “I would also like to thank the Naval Service, Air Corps, RNLI, Community Rescue Boats, Gardaí, Mountain Rescue teams, the National Ambulance Service, Fire Service, Irish Under Water Council and other statutory and voluntary services, who we have worked together so well throughout the year. I want to particularly recognise the many volunteers who responded with such professionalism, whether that be in the Coast Guard, RNLI, Community Rescue Boats (CRBI) or Mountain Rescue teams. Sadly – at this time we remember the family of Caitríona Lucas and recall Caitríona as a person who so embodied the volunteer ethos.”

Published in Coastguard
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The Shannon based Coast Guard helicopter has completed the evacuation of a crewman from an Irish fishing vessel located 160 miles West of Loop Head, Co Clare. The injured man has been taken on-board the Coast Guard helicopter, R115 and will be transferred to University Hospital Limerick where is due to arrive at midday. The operation was coordinated by the Coast Guard Marine Rescue Centre in Valentia who were initially alerted by the fishing vessel, via HF (hi frequency long range) radio.

Weather conditions on scene were described as challenging with North Westerly winds exceeding 30 Knots but well within the operating limits of the Coast Guard helicopter.

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The Irish Coast Guard, a Division of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has vacancies for Watch Officers at its three Rescue Coordination Centres in Dublin, Malin Head, Co Donegal and Valentia, Co Kerry. The IRCG provides a nationwide maritime emergency service as well as a variety of services to shipping and other government agencies.

Watch Officers are responsible for watch-keeping on the emergency frequencies and are required to act as Marine Alert, Notification and Search and Rescue Mission Coordination Officers. They also process marine communication traffic and respond to ship casualty, pollution incidents and vessel traffic monitoring.

The Closing date for receipt of completed applications is 3.00pm on Thursday, 5th January, 2017

For more information and to make an application please visit www.publicjobs.ie.  

Download the press advertisement PDF below.

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The Howth–based Coast Guard boat “Sean A Dunne” was joined by some unexpected visitors today in the form of a school of Bottlenose Dolphins.

The Coast Guard crew of four from Howth station were on routine exercise in the Irish Sea off Donabate, Co Dublin in what was flat calm clear conditions.

The dolphins joined the crew surfing the bow waves of the Coast Guard boat before heading back to deeper waters.

 

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Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport is inviting nominations in respect of the National Marine Gallantry and Meritorious Service Awards 2016. The purpose of this awards scheme is to recognise outstanding acts of courage, heroism, skill and initiative in the context of marine emergency incidents. The scheme also recognises exceptional dedication to duty in the execution of Ireland’s marine emergency response. The Marine Gallantry award is presented in the form of a medal (called the Michael Heffernan Medal for Marine Gallantry, in memory of an individual who lost his life during a marine incident a number of years ago). Three levels of medal may be awarded, based on the level of gallantry involved. The medal is awarded in gold, silver or bronze.

A second award, Marine Meritorious Service Medal, may be awarded where outstanding meritorious service has been provided to, or within the remit of, the Irish Coast Guard. The person must have demonstrated exceptional dedication to duty, coupled with skill and initiative, in the execution of the service being provided.

A Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation may be awarded for meritorious service where outstanding dedication to duty over a career of service can be demonstrated, or for an act of particular meritorious dedication, showing skill and initiative, but which is not of an order for receipt of a Meritorious Service Medal.

The National Marine Gallantry and Meritorious Service Awards Committee is chaired by Mr Bryan Dobson of RTE. Members of the Committee include representatives of the following, the Irish Sailing Association, Irish Water Safety, Irish Harbour Masters Association, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport as well as other independent members. The National Marine Gallantry and Meritorious Awards Committee will adjudicate upon the nomination received.

The first award ceremony took place in February 1999 and the awards ceremony was last held on 23rd October 2014. In this round of Awards, nominations may be considered in respect of events occurring during the period 31st August 2014 to 31st August 2016.

Details of the Awards scheme, including nomination form, are available on the Department’s website www.dttas.ie/maritime/english/marine-awards. Completed nomination forms should be submitted by Friday 9th September 2016. The submission should be comprehensive and include all relevant information (e.g. eye-witness statements, official reports, maps, charts, photographs, newspaper cuttings etc.).

2014 Award Recipients
Mr Tony McNamara and Mr. Patrick McNamara - Marine Ministerial Letters of Appreciation for Meritorious Service
Mr Ben Graham, Mr David Grant and Mr. Alexander May - Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation for Meritorious Service
Drogheda Coast Guard Unit - Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation for Meritorious Service
Mr Michael O’Regan and the crew of the Goleen Coast Guard Unit - Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation for Meritorious Service
Mr Jim Griffin – Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation for Meritorious Service
Mr Damien Dempsey – Marine Ministerial Letter of Appreciation for Meritorious Service
Mulroy Coast Guard Unit – Michael Heffernan Bronze Medal for Marine Gallantry

Published in News Update

I reported in detail the two battles which the people of Valentia fought against the Department of Transport and the Coast Guard to prevent the closure of the Coastal Radio Station on the Kerry island.
Valentia is fortunate to be linked by a bridge to the mainland, but has still suffered from emigration and deprivation which neglect by the State can cause to isolated communities.
I have a great respect for island people. They have to overcome difficulties and obstacles in their daily lives that those living ashore will not encounter.
Those battles and, at the same time, that of the people of Malin at the other end of the country, to prevent the closure of the Malin Head Coastal Radio Station came to my mind in the context of a technological development which changed the world and started in Valentia.
The Department, of which the Coast Guard is part - an indication of the unfortunate dispersal of maritime matters amongst too many Government Departments in Ireland - wanted to centralise operations in Dublin. In the course of my reportage, I discovered that their proposed location was in the constituency of their then Minister. Curious! Another proposed retrenchment from the regions into Dublin. There was little to justify the plan.
The people of Valentia mounted a particularly strong case against the proposal, backed by research and technological facts. Malin also produced a strong case. I wonder about the attitude of officials based in Dublin who come up with proposals like this.

These topics came up for discussion again when I attended the 150th anniversary of the laying of the first successful TransAtlantic communications cable from Valentia to Newfoundland. The laying of the cable began on July 13, 1886 when the biggest ship in existence at the time, the Great Eastern, sailed from Valentia. It arrived in Newfoundland on July 27, 1886 having laid 2,000 miles of cable weighing 9,800 tons across the Atlantic.
“The Valentia cable of 1866 changed the world,” writes Dr. Donard de Cogan in his book - ‘They talk along the deep,’ the story of cable history which was launched at the island ‘cable festival.’ “To put a cable across the ocean in the 19th century was cutting edge. These people were stretching beyond the technology of that time.” So says Bernard S.Finn. Curator Emeritus of the Electricity Collections at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, Washington D.C.
In this edition of my programme, I talk to Anthony O’Connell, Director of Valentia Island Development Company, about the island community’s attempts to gain UNESCO recognition for the island as a World Heritage Site, a case based on the technological breakthrough which started there. Ireland has only two out of 1,000 World Heritage Sites in Europe. England, Spain and Italy have between 30 to 40 World Heritage sites each! It is a revelation to hear of the extensive research and campaign work done by the people of Valentia.
On reflection, the Department of Transport and Coast Guard were unwise to take on the people of Valentia!
• Listen to the programme above

Published in Island Nation
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A father and son were rescued today, having being washed overboard from their kayak, thanks to the vigilance of Beach Lifeguards based at Tracht / Kinvarra.

Lifeguards Mark Buckley and Niall Hanley contacted the Coast Guard shortly after 3pm this afternoon when they became concerned about two kayakers who had set out earlier from Tracht beach. Valentia Coast Guard station immediately launched a search operation; tasking Galway Bay RNLI, R115 the Shannon based Coast Guard helicopter, and Doolin Coast Guard unit. Less than one hour after the alert was raised R115 located the casualties. They were then recovered by Galway Bay lifeboat who confirmed that casualties were safe and well.

Coast Guard Watch officers on duty in Valentia were highly complementary of the two local Lifeguards highlighting their vigilance, timeliness of their report and for piecing together information on the casualties. Galway Bay RNLI were also complimented for the successful rescue.

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Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

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