Minister Ahern said "I want to very sincerely thank all the volunteers here today for their dedicated, voluntary commitment to the Irish Coast Guard. I note that to date, your team has had 31 callouts in 2008. These callouts have included serious incidents involving vessels aground, cliff incidents, searches for missing persons and others in difficulty. I also want to commend the commitment to search and rescue and marine safety awareness here in the local community. The presentation today of Long Service Medals, is also a formal recognition of the dedication to service in the Coast Guard that is provided by both volunteer and full-time personnel.
The Minister urged the public to "heed the advice of the Irish Coast Guard safety message for 2008. That is, the three T's:
Take the Training
Take the right equipment - and by this I especially mean always wear a personal flotation device or lifejacket
And the last T is Tell - take a means of communications with you, keep in touch, tell someone ashore your plans and tell the Coast Guard early should trouble arise."