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Displaying items by tag: Coastguard

The government today (27 July 2021) agreed to commence the formal procurement process for a new Coast Guard aviation service in October next. The service is currently contracted to CHC Ireland and may be extended up to June 2025 at the latest. The decision was based on a detailed appraisal and business case prepared by KPMG for the Department of Transport, and was brought to Government by the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, T.D.

The business case brought to Government set out the strategic case for a new service, considered the range of options for how such a service could be delivered, including the potential for the Air Corps to provide an element of the service as a “hybrid” option alongside another civil operator. It also sets out an implementation plan to achieve the desired service.

The detailed appraisal included a financial and economic appraisal of short-listed options, with an assessment of costs, benefits, affordability, deliverability, risks and sensitivities associated with the options. The approval of the business case is one of the key steps required in the Public Spending Code (PSC). Details of the procurement will be announced in October when the formal Pre-Qualification requirements for tendering will be published.

Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan T.D proceeding to tender based on a business caseMinister for Transport, Eamon Ryan T.D proceeding to tender based on a business case

Commenting on the decision, Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan T.D. said: “After a lengthy deliberative process, I am glad we now have a decision to proceed to tender based on a business case which has considered all relevant aspects involved including its core SAR role but also the important secondary benefits to be derived from the service including supports to the island communities and the Health Service Executive. The report considered all the various options for how the service can be best delivered, the demand drivers and the changing technological and market environment in which this procurement will be set. This is a costly but vital service to the State and it is important that we optimise the benefits to be derived from it”.

The Minister for Defence and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney, T.D welcomed the decision and the fact that it provides for the possibility of the Air Corps providing a new fixed wing element as part of the Coast Guard’s overall aviation service: “My Department and the Air Corps, working in close consultation with the Irish Coast Guard over the next two and a half months, will look at how the Air Corps might provide a dedicated fixed wing element of the service which meets the requirements and parameters which are now clearly set out in the business case”.

Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton T.D. also welcomed the decision and thanked those stakeholders across the SAR system and the relevant Departments and state entities who have informed the deliberations on this process to date. “The decision paves the way for the procurement of this vital element of our Search and Rescue system over a 10 year period. The timelines and procurement strategy agreed today will ensure a seamless transition from the existing contract with CHCI. It will also offer the potential to avail of developments in technology since the last contract was let in 2010 and to build on the experience and lessons learnt over the last 10 years.”

She added: “The process of consultation and deliberation started over 18 months ago and has included extensive discussions with state and voluntary organisations involved and reliant to one degree or another on the Irish Coast Guard’s aviation service. Their views have helped to inform and shape the scope and nature of the new service which KPMG’s business case has appraised and costed”.

The formal procurement documentation will describe the expectations and requirements for the pre-qualification stage of the procurement. This will be published by end October next when the formal procurement is launched.

Based on the business case analysis, the new service is expected to benefit from some new elements including a dedicated fixed-wing component to provide the IRCG with an on-call pollution monitoring, high endurance search and top cover capability. It also has the potential to allow a more innovative helicopter fleet. The helicopter element will include night vision capability from the outset. From a competitive perspective, the procurement will benefit from a more extensive range of potential helicopter solutions than would have been on the market in 2010.

The current service already provides significant secondary services to the HSE and the National Ambulance Services and medical evacuation services to the island communities. The service scoped in the business case will continue to deliver these ancillary services and has the potential to deliver more supports to the HSE and additional fire-fighting capability to the Department of Housing / Fire Services. These aspects will be subject to further discussion with those services as the procurement strategy advances.

The cost of the existing contract is in the region of €60m a year. The analysis concludes that the estimated costs for a new service could be similar although the precise costings set out in the business case are premised on a number of different assumptions and based on a different model to the current one. The costings are confidential and commercially sensitive. The actual cost will only be known once the tenders have been received, evaluated and Government awards the tender – expected to be in March 2023.

Published in Coastguard
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Bangor Coastguard Rescue Team didn't have far to travel to answer a report today (21st June) of a vessel aground on the rocks at Brompton on the opposite side of Bangor Bay from the Belfast Lough station.

Winds were strong from the North with rough seas and breaking waves.

The team managed to contact the owner, who arrived a short time later.

All belongings, engine and fuel were removed from the vessel by the owner, and the hope was that it could be refloated at the next high tide.

Published in Coastguard
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In early June, an inflatable kayak that had been seen washed onto rocks at Orlock near Groomsport on the North Down coast sparked a full search of the area by Bangor Coastguard Rescue Team, Portaferry CRT, the Donaghadee Saxon Lifeboat and the Bangor B Class Atlantic 8 Lifeboat.

The kayak was in very good condition and had not been there for long. On arrival at the location, the team took photographs and sent them to Belfast Coastguard after which a full search was requested.

Belfast Coastguard also made a Facebook appeal for the owner and as the search unfolded the owner was located safe and well. The kayak had been lost earlier in the evening due to an incident, but no one was injured.

The team took the kayak back to the car park for collection by the owner who was given advice. Bangor CRT emphasises, " If you lose an object in or near the sea report it to the Coastguard. Thanks to the members of the public that rang 999".

Published in Coastguard
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Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat in County Waterford launched yesterday (Sunday, June 6) to a report of a 4m angling vessel with four people on-board, which had lost its propeller and was drifting onto Falskirt Rock, three miles South West of Dunmore East.

At 1:30 pm the Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat launched at the request of the Irish Coast Guard to assist a 4m vessel that was in danger of going onto rocks. The boat with four people on board was located drifting only 50m from Falskirt Rock.

12 mins after launch the Trent Class Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat ‘Elizabeth and Ronald’ arrived on scene to find the vessel with four people onboard, close to going aground. The volunteer RNLI crew quickly got all four transferred to the lifeboat and took the vessel under tow back to the safety of Dunmore East harbour at 2:30 pm.

Karen Harris, RNLI Deputy Launch Authority for Dunmore East RNLI, said: ‘Conditions were good today and thankfully all four were wearing life jackets, they did the right thing in calling for help early. The area around Falskirt Rock can be very dangerous, so a speedy response by our volunteer crew ensured a safe recovery of the four people. I would like to remind people that the water is there to be enjoyed but please remember to always wear a lifejacket, have a means of calling for help, check the weather forecast and be sure to tell someone where you are going and when you will be back. If you see someone in trouble on the water dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Valentia RNLI volunteers in county Kerry launched their all-weather lifeboat yesterday (Saturday 05 June) to assist a 43ft fishing vessel with three people on board, which required assistance.

At 08.55 am the Valentia Coast Guard requested Valentia RNLI’s volunteer crew to launch the all-weather lifeboat and to go to the aid of three people on board the fishing vessel, with a fouled propeller close to the rocks at the Blasket Islands. Weather conditions at the time were described as good visibility, a two-metre swell with a force two to three southerly wind.

At the location, the RNLI crew came alongside the vessel to assess the situation and moved the vessel to a safer location. The crew ensured all occupants on board were safe. After initially trying to defoul the vessel it was decided the best option was to set up a tow. The vessel was then towed safely back to Valentia Marina.

The Valentia RNLI lifeboat towing the fishing vessel to Valentia MarinaThe Valentia RNLI lifeboat towing the fishing vessel to Valentia Marina

Speaking following the call out, Colum O’Connell Valentia RNLI Lifeboat Operational Manager said: Although the crew on board the fishing vessel were experienced, they knew it was the right decision to call for help to prevent the situation from getting worse'.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Courtmacsherry All Weather Trent Class RNLI Lifeboat was called out this morning Sunday at 11 am, to go to the aid of a 75-foot fishing vessel that had got into difficulties 27 miles off the Old Head of Kinsale in West Cork.

The lifeboat under Coxswain Mark Gannon and a crew of 6 were underway from their moorings in the harbour within minutes of being alerted by the Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre in Valentia and proceeded at full speed to the area of the causality.

Conditions at sea today were very difficult with Force 7/8 winds and high sea swells. The fishing vessel with five crewmembers on board had put out a distress signal when its hull was breached in difficult sea conditions and was taking in water.

Also launched was the Coast Guard Rescue 117 Helicopter from Waterford. Just after 12 noon, the Coast Guard Helicopter dropped an emergency salvage pump and winchman on to the fishing vessel deck and the Courtmacsherry Lifeboat readied their emergency salvage pump, and plans were finalised to pump the water from the stricken vessel in order for it to continue being operational.

The seven Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat crew members under Coxswain Mark Gannon after they arrived into Kinsale Harbour with the fishing vesselThe seven Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat crew members under Coxswain Mark Gannon after they arrived into Kinsale Harbour with the fishing vessel

As the water was pumped from the casualty, the Lifeboat stood by alongside in readiness for evacuation of the crew or any other assistance if required. With the pumping of the water being successful, and the seas very difficult, the Lifeboat escorted the causality at a safe speed back into the safe surrounds of Kinsale Harbour, arriving just after 4 pm.

A relieved fishing vessel Skipper thanked all the rescue services for their help in today’s rescue.

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat Deputy Launch Authority and LPO Vincent O Donovan said “Great credit is due to all our volunteer crew members who rushed to answer the callout this morning and headed into very rough seas to help others in distress. Vincent praised both the Coastguard Rescue 117 helicopter crew and the crew of the Lifeboat in carrying out a very professional rescue involving salvage pumps in rough seas and strong winds.

The Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat volunteer Crew involved in today’s callout were Coxswain Mark Gannon, Mechanic Chris Guy and crewmembers Mark John Gannon, Dara Gannon, Denis Murphy, Ciaran Hurley and Evin O Sullivan.

The Lifeboat returned to its base in Courtmacsherry just after 5 pm and has refuelled and restocked, in readiness of whenever the next call to action may occur. This is the 13th callout of 2021 for the Courtmacsherry RNLI Lifeboat station.

The Gannon family, Coxswain Mark, his son Mark John and brother Dara, all part of the Lifeboat crew today.The Gannon family, Coxswain Mark, his son Mark John and brother Dara, all part of the Lifeboat crew today.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard are expecting a busy May Bank Holiday weekend on the coasts and inland waters, with more people enjoying the warmer weather and the brighter evenings. The two organisations are asking people to plan ahead for any water based or coastal activities by taking some simple steps. The call comes following an increase in the number and a broadening in the type of incidents requiring RNLI and Coast Guard intervention.

Key water safety tips to remember when beside or on the water are: 

  • Check the weather and tide and familiarise yourself with local currents before you participate in any open water or coastal activity.
  • Always carry a reliable means of raising the alarm with you.
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back.
  • Wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid on or near the water.
  • Never ever swim alone and always ensure that somebody ashore is monitoring your progress.

RNLI Lifesaving Manager Sean Dillion said, ‘Our volunteer lifeboat crews around the coast and on our inland waters are expecting a busy season as more people are out enjoying the water. Many of the callouts we deal with could have been avoided with some simple preparation and planning. We want people to be safe on the water and enjoy themselves. Whatever activity you are planning please take a few minutes to check the relevant safety advice and always dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard if you see someone in trouble on the water.’

Coast Guard, Head of Operations Gerard O’Flynn added: “Don’t assume that just because we have clear skies and warmer temperatures it is safe to engage in all coastal activities. Please familiarise yourself with weather and tidal information and take the time to observe prevailing conditions before you commence”.

He added that the Coast Guard has noted (on year to date basis), a very significant increase in the number of incidents being coordinated, in comparison with previous years. Activity levels have not only exceeded 2020 but are also at a five-year high.

For anyone intending to take a walk along the coast, it is important to check the times of high tide to avoid being stranded on a cove or sandbank that becomes cut off by the rising tide.

Open water swimming has become increasingly popular and there has been a notable increase in the number of people taking part, whether with a short dip or going for longer swims. Wear a brightly coloured swim cap to be visible and consider using a tow float. Never swim alone and always ensure that your activity is monitored by a colleague ashore. Water temperatures are still relatively cold at around 10 degrees making Cold Water Shock a danger. It is also important to acclimatise when entering the water.

If going on the water make sure the craft and equipment are in good condition, especially if this is the first time back on the water. Always wear a Lifejacket or PFD (Personal Floatation Device) and carry a reliable means of calling for help should the need arise. Check the weather and tides or currents before setting off.

Published in Coastguard
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Portaferry Coastguard Rescue Team had a busy evening yesterday (27th April) with a callout to Kirkistown Spit, near the village of Cloughey on the east Co Down coast

The crew were on station training when called to the scene where two people had been cut off by the rising tide. It became clear that the female was up to chest depth and in immediate danger.

Coastguard Rescue officers entered the water and helped the two people back ashore, and the female was checked by paramedics before making her way home.

Also present were Bangor Coastguard Rescue Team and Portaferry RNLI crew, who stood by for safety cover.

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Reviewing the equipment on my Sigma 33. Scribbler, before launching this year, I've been wondering about flares.

I don't have any needing disposal at present, but I've been following the debate in the UK where the Royal Yachting Association has said that "it is worth looking again at effective alternatives that might replace them altogether".

I looked up the coastal safety website of the MCA there – the Maritime and Coastguard Agency – which didn't mention flares. The RYA has highlighted that.

The yachting association takes the view that anyone carrying flares who is not compelled to do so – and that's only for over 45-footers in the UK – should pay for their disposal.

"It is not our intention to prevent those who carry flares as part of their safety equipment from doing so, but in every other area of society, the holders of hazardous waste, which out-of-date flares are classified as, are expected to dispose of it legally and responsibly." The RYA is warning that if a boatowner carries flares, they'd better budget for the cost of eventual disposal.

The RYA is warning that if a boatowner carries flares, they'd better budget for the cost of eventual disposal

That echoes the UK Department of Transport which closed a consultation on flares last month, making it clear that it favours the 'polluter pays principle to dispose of flares.

In March last year, the UK MCA renewed its advice to yacht owners to carry flares for use in an emergency, rather than using Electronic Visual Distress Signals. It says it has been spending €250,000 sterling a year for a free flares disposal service, the contract for which will expire in December. But its figures show that when it started disposing of flares free it dealt with 60,000 a year but that number has dropped to less than 12,000.

As what happens in the UK often impacts here, I asked our Department of Transport, it having responsibility for the Coast Guard here - What are the existing provisions/arrangements for the safe disposal of out-of-date flares by owners of yachts/motorboats in the leisure sphere?

Marine Notice No.13, amended last October, detailing its scheme for the safe disposal of 'time-expired' flares

The Department's Press Office sent me Marine Notice No.13, amended last October, detailing its scheme for the safe disposal of 'time-expired' flares and listing eight chandlers in Clare, Cork, Donegal and Dublin where they may be taken.

They are Derg Marine in Killaloe; CH Marine in Skibbereen and Cork City; Union Chandlery, Cork; Swan Net Gundry, Castletownbere; Atlantic Marine Supplies and Swan Net Gundry in Killybegs; O'Sullivan Marine in Rathcoole, Dublin and Solas Marine in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

Download the full notice here

That is good to know. My concern about flares is eased.

Podcast below

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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Yesterday afternoon (11th April) Portaferry Coastguard Rescue Team had what turned out to be an Accident Prevention call out.

At Cloughey on the east coast of the Ards Peninsula in Co Down, a dog had entered the water to chase seagulls, (maybe bored with Lockdown?) but ended up quite a distance from the shore.

The owner was thinking of going into the water to rescue the dog, but he did the correct thing and stayed out of the water. Instead, he dialled 999 to ask for help. When the Team arrived, the dog was swimming ashore back to its owner. After some doggie treats and a stern telling off, it was on its way home to dry off.

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boot Düsseldorf, the International Boat Show

With almost 250,000 visitors, boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair and every year in January the “meeting place" for the entire industry. Around 2,000 exhibitors present their interesting new products, attractive further developments and maritime equipment. This means that the complete market will be on site in Düsseldorf and will be inviting visitors on nine days of the fair to an exciting journey through the entire world of water sports in 17 exhibition halls covering 220,000 square meters. With a focus on boats and yachts, engines and engine technology, equipment and accessories, services, canoes, kayaks, kitesurfing, rowing, diving, surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, SUP, fishing, maritime art, marinas, water sports facilities as well as beach resorts and charter, there is something for every water sports enthusiast.

boot Düsseldorf FAQs

boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair. Seventeen exhibition halls covering 220,000 square meters. With a focus on boats and yachts, engines and engine technology.

The Fairground Düsseldorf. This massive Dusseldorf Exhibition Centre is strategically located between the River Rhine and the airport. It's about 20 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from the city centre.

250,000 visitors, boot Düsseldorf is the world's largest boat and water sports fair.

The 2018 show was the golden jubilee of the show, so 2021 will be the 51st show.

Every year in January. In 2021 it will be 23-31 January.

Messe Düsseldorf GmbH Messeplatz 40474 Düsseldorf Tel: +49 211 4560-01 Fax: +49 211 4560-668

The Irish marine trade has witnessed increasing numbers of Irish attendees at boot over the last few years as the 17-Hall show becomes more and more dominant in the European market and direct flights from Dublin offer the possibility of day trips to the river Rhine venue.

Boats & Yachts Engines, Engine parts Yacht Equipment Watersports Services Canoes, Kayaks, Rowing Waterski, Wakeboard, Kneeboard & Skimboard Jetski + Equipment & Services Diving, Surfing, Windsurfing, Kite Surfing & SUP Angling Maritime Art & Crafts Marinas & Watersports Infrastructure Beach Resorts Organisations, Authorities & Clubs

Over 1000 boats are on display.

©Afloat 2020

At A Glance – Boot Dusseldorf 

Organiser
Messe Düsseldorf GmbH
Messeplatz
40474 Düsseldorf
Tel: +49 211 4560-01
Fax: +49 211 4560-668
Web: https://www.boot.com/

The first boats and yachts will once again be arriving in December via the Rhine.

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