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Displaying items by tag: Coast Guard

Late Irish Coast Guard volunteer Caitriona Lucas will be remembered when three mountaineers tackle the five highest peaks in Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales over a three-day period this month.

As The Sunday Independent reports, the team for the fourth Caitriona Lucas Challenge set out on June 15th, weather permitting.

The group includes Ms Lucas’s husband Bernard, who initiated the annual challenge named after his late wife.

As with the three previous challenges, funds will be raised for the Burren Chernobyl Project.

Ms Lucas, an advanced coxswain with Doolin Coast Guard, lost her life off the Clare coast during a search for a missing man in September, 2016.

She was the first Irish Coast Guard volunteer to die on duty.

Bernard Lucas and Deirdre Linnane from Co Clare and Cormac Coyne from the Aran island of Inis Oírr hope to make an overall ascent of 5,296 metres over 72 hours, starting with Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, moving on to England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike in Cumbria and continuing to Ben Nevis in Scotland, Slieve Donard in Co Down, and finishing with Kerry’s Carrauntouhill.

The trio expect to be joined by experienced supporters for Carrauntouhill on June 18th – the late Ms Lucas’s birthday.

The first Caitriona Lucas challenge took place in 2018, and involved climbing 26 mountains across 32 counties in just ten days.

The following year, 2019, Lucas and five colleagues travelled to Greenland for the Arctic Circle trail, and he and two colleagues made a successful ascent of Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain at 5,895 meters last year.

Details of the challenge are on idonate.ie and read The Sunday Independent here

Published in Coastguard

The Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) is a Division within the Irish Maritime Directorate of the Department of Transport. Its mission is to deliver a world-class search and rescue, maritime casualty, and pollution response service.

The IRCG currently have six vacancies for Sector Officers in their Coast Guard Units & Support (CGU&S) section in various locations nationwide.

The Sector Officer is a new grade within the IRCG. The duties of the role will include supporting the Coastal Guard Units by conducting routine inspection of vehicles, buildings, boats, and equipment. The role will also involve working closely with Coast Guard Units, Coast Guard and Maritime Administration personnel and other internal/external stakeholders.

For more information and to apply, visit: https://bit.ly/AO_Ad_SOICG

Full details on the role including eligibility requirements are available on www.publicjobs.ie

Closing date: 3 pm on Thursday 16th May 2024.

We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity and encourage applications under all nine grounds of the Employment Equality Act.

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Bristow Ireland, the company taking over the new Irish Coast Guard search and rescue (SAR) helicopter contract says, it has reached an agreement with trade union Unite to ensure the “smooth transition of special helicopter engineers” to the company.

“It captures agreed terms and conditions of employment, giving engineers a clear view of their employment with Bristow while also ensuring a process for dispute resolution,”the company says.

“The agreement has been accepted by the group of specialist helicopter engineers represented by Unite. They will start to transition from the current operator to Bristow this autumn, ensuring Bristow remains poised to deliver the next generation of SAR operations in Ireland later this year,” it says.

Bristow HR director, Emma Lawson, who has been “spearheading the development of the framework with Unite”, it is a “key milestone in the transition to the next generation of Irish SAR operations”.

“These skilled engineers are joining Bristow knowing they have the support of the company and their union in their continued career delivering a life-saving service,” she said.

Bristow says it plans to upskill the engineers, building on their existing experience to support a new generation of aircraft when the transition gets underway.

The company reached agreement earlier this year with Fórsa and the Irish Airline Pilots’ Association, covering technical crew, as in winch operators/winchmen, and flight crews (pilots) respectively.

The company will use a new fleet of six specialist AW189 helicopters.

“All the engineers will receive dedicated type-rating training on this advanced aircraft as they transition, ensuring Bristow delivers the right support for people and communities across the country,”the company says.

Bristow is preparing to make a transition to the new contract in the fourth quarter of this year. It will deliver nationwide all-weather 24-hour coverage, 365 days a year.

“Under the new contract, Bristow will create or sustain more than 150 jobs ranging from specialist ground support, engineering, flight operations, and in-country maintenance and support capabilities, ensuring its teams and aircraft stand at full readiness to respond to tasking from the Irish Coast Guard,”the company says.

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Three European agencies have initiated the first Coast Guard “capacity building” and training exchange at European level.

The European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA), the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) are working on an initiative to bolster the development of an academy and training network.

They also aim to implement an exchange programme between administrations from different countries.

“The exchange programme facilitates the exchange of theoretical and practical knowledge and best practices among authorities engaged in coast guard functions,”they state.

“ By doing so, the project contributes to preparing staff for joint missions and operations, benefiting EU member states, European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries and Schengen associated countries' coast guard authorities and entities,”they state.

This programme is also very relevant for the EU Maritime Security Strategy and Action Plan[1], which seeks to strengthen Europe's autonomy amid growing threats to maritime security.

The first exchange took place in Sarzana, Italy, with participants from the Icelandic Coast Guard and the Portuguese Maritime Life Saving Institute in the Italian Coast Guard's Rescue Swimmer Course, with a week dedicated to theoretical and practical lessons.

Overall, there were 86 candidates that were assigned to an exchange and 34 candidates to reserve lists. The next exchanges for this semester involve authorities from Croatia, Finland, France, Italy, Romania, Portugal, Poland and Spain

"The programme sets sail on a journey of collaboration, learning, and empowerment, striving to shape the future of coast guard functions across Europe,” EFCA executive director Susan Steele says.

More information is on the Coast Guard Portal here

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As the Easter weekend approaches, the Coast Guard, RNLI, and Water Safety Ireland are urging the public to take precautions to stay safe during water activities. With longer and brighter evenings, more people are expected to visit the coast or engage in water-based activities. Knowing basic water safety advice could help prevent accidents or tragedies.

Mixed weather conditions are expected over the weekend, with sunny periods followed by rain and showers. Water temperatures are relatively cold at this time of year, and inexperienced or occasional open water swimmers should take care to acclimatise slowly and manage their time in the water carefully. It is crucial to always be alert to the risk of cold water shock.

The organisations are encouraging people to follow some basic precautions to reduce the risk of accidents when visiting the coast or engaging in water activities. Some of these precautions include wearing a lifejacket, checking weather forecasts, staying away from the edge, and avoiding alcohol before or during water activities.

If sailing or motorboating:

  • Always wear an appropriate lifejacket
  • Always carry a means of calling and signalling for help
  • When engaging on any type of boating activity; Ensure there is an emergency action plan in place, and everybody has an onboard briefing
  • Get the right level of training for your craft
  • Always check the weather and tide times
  • Make sure someone on the shore knows where you are going and who to call if you don’t return on time.
  • Always operate your boat at a speed that is appropriate to the weather conditions and to the environment you are operating in.

Attention is also drawn to the Code of Practice for the Safe Operation of Recreational Craft a valuable source of information, advice and best practice operational guidance for owners, masters, operators and users of a range of pleasure and recreational craft operating in Irish coastal and inland waters. It can be viewed at www.safetyonthewater.gov.ie

Gerard O’Flynn, Coast Guard Operations Manager said: ‘After a protracted period of broken weather and with the advent of longer evening daylight from Sunday, many people are looking forward to getting out and about along the coast or on the water. Always check the weather forecast, ensure that you have a means of communication, plan your activity and ensure that a colleague is aware of your plans and expected return time. Please also be alert to the risk of becoming isolated by incoming tides on beaches or coastal area particularly if setting out during lower tides.’

Roger Sweeney, Water Safety Ireland’s Deputy CEO said: ‘Over the course of five Easter holiday periods, 12 people drowned accidentally, mainly while swimming, angling, or after falling in while walking. To stay safe, keep cold water swims brief and shallow, wear a lifejacket when angling on the shoreline or riverbanks, and stay away from the water's edge when out walking. With nearly one million children on school holidays, and many visiting friends and family living on farms and near lakes, rivers, canals, and beaches, constant adult supervision is essential for their safety.’

Linda-Gene Byrne, RNLI Water Safety Lead added: ‘We are approaching the time of year when we will see boats back on the water and many are now looking forward to a season of sailing. While we want everyone to enjoy themselves, we want them to do so safely. Mechanical failure is the single biggest cause of rescue call outs to sailing and motor cruisers, accounting for nearly 20% of all our lifeboat launches. Knowing your boat, carrying spares and being able to fit them could make the difference between having to call for help and being able to help yourself.’

If you see somebody in trouble on the water or along the coast or think that they are in trouble, use marine VHF radio Ch 16 or dial 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.

Published in Coastguard

Minister of State with responsibility for the Irish Coast Guard Jack Chambers will turn the sod on a new Coast Guard station for Westport in south Mayo on Thursday (March 27).

Members of the Coast Guard will join the junior minister to break ground on the new project at the Quay at Cloonmonad, Westport.

The proposed building will consist of a two-storey accommodation block and a single-storey boathouse with vehicle storage along with changing rooms, a meeting room and staff facilities.

Westport’s Coast Guard unit currently operates from a small, temporary facility. Completing the new building will take 18 months.

Mayo Fine Gael TD Michael Ring had said the new building is “vital” for the success of the Coast Guard’s ongoing work as a unit.

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The Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) is a Division within the Irish Maritime Directorate of the Department of Transport. Its mission is to deliver a world-class search and rescue, maritime casualty, and pollution response service.

The IRCG currently have vacancies for Function Support Officers in their Coast Guard Units & Support (CGU&S) section, based in Department of Transport, Leeson Lane, Dublin 2.

The Function Support Officer is a new grade within the IRCG. The duties of the role will include assisting and supporting the Operations and Training Officer to further develop search, cliff, boat and drone functions. The role will also involve working closely with volunteer Coast Guard Units, Coast Guard and Maritime Administration personnel and other internal/external stakeholders.

Closing date: 3 pm on Thursday 4th April 2024.

We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity and encourage applications under all nine grounds of the Employment Equality Act.

For more information and to how to apply, visit: https://bit.ly/AO_Ad_FSOICG

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Bristow Ireland says it won’t comment on a new legal challenge pursued by CHC Ireland over the new Irish Coast Guard search and rescue (SAR) helicopter contract.

As The Irish Independent reports, CHC Ireland claims that there has been a “modification” of the contract awarded to Bristow Ireland, which is due to be implemented in the coming year.

The fresh challenge, which may come before court later this month, claims that the minister failed to conduct a new procurement procedure for the modified contract.

Details of the latest challenge reported in The Irish Independent says modifications differ materially from the contract that was awarded to Bristow last year.

CHC Ireland, the current holder of the SAR contract, claims that Bristow does not have to build a new hangar in Shannon airport as proposed in the original tender, and that staff were told this in a meeting on February 20th last.

CHC also claims the modifications mean Bristow is no longer required to operate the service from Shannon airport as of October 31st next.

It also claims Bristow is no longer required to complete the appropriate transfer of personnel who are currently employed by CHC under EU “transfer of undertakings” obligations.

CHC Ireland claims these modifications are highly material and would have a bearing on price and would undermine scores awarded in the tender process.

The new proceedings have been admitted to the Commercial Court, and Bristow has been joined as a notice party in the proceedings.

Last year, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan awarded the new ten-year contract valued at 670 million euro excluding VAT to Bristow Ireland.

The transport department said that under the new contract, Bristow Ireland Ltd would operate six AW189 helicopters from four dedicated bases in Sligo, Shannon, Waterford and Dublin.

The new contract which is due to be fully operational by 2025 includes providing for two King Air fixed wing aircraft at Shannon, for five years- allowing for the possibility that the Air Corps, Ireland’s air defence wing, may then assume responsibility for the fixed wing element.

CHC Ireland issued legal proceedings last year over “a number of flaws” in relation to the tender competition, and these proceedings are still in train.

Asked for a comment on the new challenge, a spokesperson for Bristow Ireland said “regarding the recent announcement about legal action, we don’t comment on ongoing litigation matters”.

“We are confident in our world-class service and being selected to provide this critical life-saving service on behalf of the Irish Coast Guard,” the Bristow Ireland spokesperson said.

Asked to comment about the claims in relation to a hangar at Shannon, the spokesperson said: “Bristow has a robust transition plan in place”.

“ We are in the early phases of the plan. We have not provided specific details about those plans publicly,”the spokesperson said.

“ I can say we are in regular communication with all the airports selected as part of our winning bid to deliver aviation services to the Irish Coast Guard. We’ll provide updates and progress toward the transition when necessary and appropriate throughout the process,”the spokesperson said.

Read The Irish Independent here

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The Irish Coast Guard has released images of the new livery for its next generation of search and rescue aircraft.

The livery has been designed for the AW189 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, which will be provided under the new ten-year contract for search and rescue with Bristow Ireland Ltd.

Transition for the new service, which Bristow will take over from CHC Ireland, is due to start later this year.

A fleet of six search and rescue (SAR) configured AW189 helicopters located in Dublin, Shannon, Sligo and Waterford, and the first ever fixed wing service on private contract will be provided by 2EXCEL Ireland (2EI) located at Shannon airport.

For the first time, the Irish Coast Guard will also have dedicated Fixed Wing service provided by 2EXCEL Ireland (2EI) located at Shannon Airport. The Fixed Wing capability will enhance the Coast Guard’s capacity to coordinate Search and Rescue missions and conduct environmental and ship casualty monitoring of Ireland’s Exclusive Economic Zone, an area encompassing approximately 132,000 square miles. For the first time, the Irish Coast Guard will also have dedicated Fixed Wing service provided by 2EXCEL Ireland (2EI) located at Shannon Airport. The Fixed Wing capability will enhance the Coast Guard’s capacity to coordinate Search and Rescue missions and conduct environmental and ship casualty monitoring of Ireland’s Exclusive Economic Zone, an area encompassing approximately 132,000 square miles

“The fixed wing capability will enhance the Coast Guard’s capacity to coordinate search and rescue missions and conduct environmental and ship casualty monitoring of Ireland’s Exclusive Economic Zone, an area encompassing approximately 132,000 square miles,” the Irish Coast Guard and Department of Transport said.

Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Jack Chambers, said, “The Irish Coast Guard is an essential state service, and this new contract represents an exciting time for the organisation”.

“The new service will be introduced gradually over a phased basis with particular attention being paid to enable a smooth transition from the current operator to Bristow Ireland Ltd,”he said.

The new 10-year contract was awarded to Bristow Ireland Limited (BIL) by the Department of Transport in August 2023 and provides for year-round, day and night Search and Rescue helicopter services. This service will be delivered through a fleet of six search and rescue (SAR) configured AW189 helicopters located in Dublin, Shannon, Sligo and Waterford. The new 10-year contract was awarded to Bristow Ireland Limited (BIL) by the Department of Transport in August 2023 and provides for year-round, day and night Search and Rescue helicopter services. This service will be delivered through a fleet of six search and rescue (SAR) configured AW189 helicopters located in Dublin, Shannon, Sligo and Waterford

“The release today of this livery for the new specialist aircraft which will replace the existing fleet marks another important step on the transition of our Coast Guard to the new service provision,” he said.

Earlier this month, Bristow was awarded an air operators’ certificate by the Irish Aviation Authority for the new contract.

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Bristow Ireland Ltd has taken another step towards fulfilling its Irish Coast Guard contract with approval of an air operator certificate by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA).

The air operator certificate is a “fundamental requirement to provide search and rescue in Ireland," Neil Ebberson, Bristow director of government services said.

"It was awarded after the successful completion of a lengthy application and assessment process run by the IAA, and ensures the highest standards of professionalism and safety are met in the country,” he said.

Bristow Ireland was required to demonstrate that its AW189 helicopters will meet the Irish regulator's requirements for safe and compliant operations as part of the approval procedure.

It also had to submit detailed documentation to show that it can safely manage continued airworthiness; demonstrate that it can safely operate the AW189 to the required standards; and carry out a proving flight with the AW189 in Ireland.

Ebberson said that Bristow’s fixed-wing partners, TOEXCEL Ireland Ltd, are “working in parallel for the award of a fixed-wing air operator certificate.

“We are looking forward to reporting more progress as we move towards the initial transition to the new service in late 2024,”Ebberson said.

Bristow is due to take over the Irish Coast Guard helicopter search and rescue contract from CHC Ireland next year. It has air operating certificates covering 11 jurisdictions.

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Irish Lighthouses

Irish Lights is a maritime organisation delivering essential 24/7 safety and navigation services around the coast of Ireland 365 days. Its focus is reliable and cost-effective services which protect people, property and the marine environment, and support marine industry and coastal communities.

Irish Lights is responsible for providing marine aids to navigation under the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention. This remit includes: providing and maintaining over 300 general aids to navigation, managing about 4,000 local aids to navigation and marking or removing dangerous wrecks outside harbour areas around Ireland. Irish Lights also provides contract commercial services for ship charter, buoy and marine data services and supports tourism and heritage activities.

Emergency Response: If you notice any aid to navigation is not functioning correctly please contact our 24-hour emergency number 01 280 1996

Great Lighthouses of Ireland

St John's Point, Co Donegal 
Fanad Head, Co Donegal
Rathlin West Light, Co Antrim
Blackhead, Co Antrim
St John’s Point, Co Down
Wicklow Head, Co Wicklow
The Great Light and Titanic Walkway, Belfast
Hook, Co Wexford
Ballycotton, Co Cork
Galley Head, Co Cork
Valentia Island, Co Kerry
Loop Head, Co Clare
Clare Island, Co Mayo
Fastnet Rock Boat Tours