Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: Assessment

#Rowing: Mark O’Donovan was first and Shane O’Driscoll second at the Ireland Assessment at the National Rowing Centre today – ahead of Olympic medallist Gary O’Donovan, who was the third-fastest lightweight and fourth overall. Heavyweight competitor Sam McKeown, who recently broke six minutes for 2,000 metres on the ergometer, was third and Daire Lynch, who is just moving out of junior ranks, an impressive fifth. The tests were run over six kilometres. Paul O’Donovan, the top lightweight, has exams and did not attend.

The top woman was Sanita Puspure, with Denise Walsh almost a minute further back. The women’s pair of Aifric Keogh and Aoife Feeley won their battle with the under-23 unit of Amy Mason and Tara Hanlon, but by a small margin.

Irish Assessment, National Rowing Centre (Selected Results; Six Kilometres)



Single Sculls – Heavyweight: 1 S McKeown 23 mins 57 seconds, 2 D Lynch 24:15, 3 T Oliver 24:17. Lightweight: 1 Mark O’Donovan 23:53, 2 S O’Driscoll 23:56, 3 G O’Donovan 24:09.


Single Sculls – 1 S Puspure 25:12, 2 D Walsh 26:07, 3 A Keogh, A Feeley (pair) 26:25, 4 T Hanlon, A Mason (u23 pair) 26:28, 5 E Hegarty 27:05.


Men: 1 S McKeown, T Oliver 21:29. Women: Four 24:01, 2 Puspure 25:18, 3 Walsh 26:06, 4 Pair 26:50.


Published in Rowing

# ROWING: Adam Boreham of Belfast Boat Club, a heavyweight under-23 athlete, topped the rankings in ergometer (rowing machine) times on the first day of the Rowing Ireland Assessment in Newry today. Justin Ryan of Skibbereen was the fastest lightweight, with a time of six minutes 14 seconds, seven seconds slower than Boreham for the 2,000 metres. Gareth McKillen of RBAI topped a very competitive junior grade, clocking a remarkable six minutes 22 seconds.

The fastest woman was Sanita Puspure, clocking 6:40.5, and junior athlete Bridget Jacques clocked 7:04.4. The fastest lightweight was under-23 athlete Denise Walsh. Claire Lambe and Siobhan McCrohan were exempted on sick notes.

Tomorrow’s time trial on Newry Canal, scheduled for 11 o’clock, has been brought forward at least a half an hour because of concerns about the weather.

Rowing Ireland
Newry Assessment
2K Erg Test Results - 9th February 2013 - OVERALL
Category Time
Adam Boreham HM U23 06:07.0
David Neale HM 06:09.5
Matthew Wray HM U23 06:10.7
Jonathon Mitchell HM U23 06:11.9
Justin Ryan LM 06:14.0
Fionnan McQuillan-Tolan HM U23 06:15.2
Sean O Connor HM U23 06:18.1
Colm Keenan HM 06:18.4
Niall Kenny LM 06:18.4
Gareth McKillen JM 06:22.0
Paul O'Donovan LM U23 06:22.8
Paddy Hegarty JM 06:23.5
Andy Harrington JM 06:24.6
Jack Casey JM 06:24.9
Gary O'Donovan LM U23 06:25.0
Shane O'Driscoll LM U23 06:25.1
Alan Prendergast LM U23 06:33.1
Aodhan Burns LM U23 06:34.1
Eoghan Whittle JM 16 06:34.8
Aidan Kinneen JM 06:35.9
James Egan JM 06:35.9
Jack Silke JM 06:37.5
Conor Camody JM 06:37.9
Kai McGlacken JM 16 06:38.2
Andrew Bell LM U23 06:38.8
David O Malley JM 06:38.9
Brian Keohane JM 06:39.2
Sam Keogh JM 06:39.3
William Yeomans JM 06:39.7
Sanita Puspure HW 06:40.5
Daniel Buckley JM 06:41.1
James Blackwell JM 06:41.8
Philip McCullough JM 06:42.5
Rory O Sullivan JM 06:42.9
Matthew Ryan JM 06:43.6
Karl Anderson JM 06:43.6
Eoghan Fogarty JM 06:44.9
John Mitchel JM 06:46.8
David Keohane JM 06:47.4
Aidan Murray JM 16 06:48.0
Neil McCarthy JM 06:48.2
Evan Stone JM 06:48.4
Kevin Keohane JM 06:49.0
Kevin Fallon JM 06:49.3
Evan Despard JM 06:49.3
Ewan Murry JM 06:49.4
Charlie Murray JM 06:49.5
Ger McNamera JM 06:49.5
Christopher Laffey JM 06:50.0
Jack Smyth JM 06:51.7
Patrick Munnelly JM 16 06:52.4
Thomas Cregan JM 16 06:54.8
Eoghan O'Connor LM U23 06:55.3
Mark Breen JM 06:56.4
Ewan Gallagher JM 16 06:57.2
Monika Dukarska HW 06:57.8
Kevin Hogan JM 16 06:57.8
Alex Chadfield JM 06:59.3
Nathan O Reilly LM U23 07:00.3
Mike O'Hanlon JM 16 07:02.1
Andrew GOFF JM 16 07:02.8
Colin Finnrty JM 16 07:03.3
Eoghan Walls JM 16 07:03.8
Bridget Jacques JW 07:04.4
Hilary Shinnick JW 07:05.6
Stephen Murphy JM 07:07.6
Erin Barry JW 16 07:10.8
Jasmin English JW 07:15.5
Clodagh Scannell JW 07:26.8
Denise Walsh LW U23 07:26.9
Fiona Murtagh JW 07:27.3
Hannah McCarthy JW 07:30.1
Phoebe Mulligan JW 07:30.7
Leonie Hamel JW 07:31.9
Claire Beechinor JW 16 07:32.1
Sinead Dolan LW U23 07:33.6
Sarah Dolan LW 07:33.8
Amy Bulman LW 07:34.3
Zoe Hyde JW 16 07:34.4
Megan Blackburne JW 07:34.8
Eimear Lambe JW 16 07:36.4
Ruth Gilligan JW 07:40.5
Daisy Callanan JW 07:40.9
Elizabeth Clarke JW 16 07:41.8
Kara O Connor JW 16 07:41.9
Aisling Rodger JW 07:42.2
Kirstie Turner JW 07:43.8
Lauren McHugh JW 07:44.2
Sally O Brien LW U20 07:47.0
Megan McLaughlin JW 07:47.1
Sarah Murphy JW 16 07:54.0
Published in Rowing
#ROWING–Claire Lambe topped the rankings at the second on-the-water session at the National Rowing Assessment in Newry today. The UCD woman’s time of 22 minutes 29.8 seconds for the 5,000 metres ranked her at 83.5 per cent of projected gold medal winning time for an under-23 lightweight sculler. Siobhan McCrohan was actually over 23 seconds faster, and by rating 82.9 per cent as a senior lightweight woman also impressed. The fastest man on the water was lightweight sculler Mark O’Donovan, who clocked 20 minutes 21.6 seconds – faster than top heavyweight Colin Williamson.


 Rowing Ireland
Results Time Trial 26th November 2011
Row Labels Time %GMT
Colin Williamson (QUBBC) HM 20:29.7 79.7%
David Neale (UCD ) HM 21:01.6 77.7%
Eddie Mullarkey (NUIGBC) HMU23 21:11.9 78.2%
Patrick Hughes (DUBC) HMU23 21:37.8 76.7%
Finbarr Manning (UCD ) HMU23 21:44.7 76.3%
Matthew Wray (Bann RC) HMU20 22:51.2 72.6%
Mark O'Donovan (CITRC) LM 20:21.6 81.9%
Anthony English (UCCRC) LM 20:42.3 80.5%
Nathan O'Reilly (Tideway Scullers School) LM 21:10.1 78.7%
Niall Kenny (NUIGBC) LM 21:17.4 78.3%
Colm Dowling (Lee Valley R.C.) LM 21:34.0 77.3%
Justin Ryan (UCCRC) LMU23 20:54.0 81.7%
Shane O'Driscoll (CIT) LMU23 21:00.3 81.3%
Jonathan Mitchell (QUBBC) LMU23 21:03.6 81.1%
Adam O'Donohue (Carlow RC) LMU23 22:08.0 77.2%
Colin Barrett (UCD ) LMU23 22:42.1 75.3%
Sanita Puspure (OCBC) HW 21:48.7 81.2%
Holly Nixon (Portora BC) HWU20 22:22.2 81.0%
Monika Dukarska (Killorglin RC) HWU23 22:48.4 79.5%
Siobhan McCrohan (Tribesmen RC) LW 22:06.2 82.9%
Claire Lambe (UCDBC) LWU23 22:29.8 83.5%
Sinead Dolan (DULBC) LWU23 23:31.8 79.9%
Aoife Leahy (St Michaels) LWU20 24:12.5 77.6%
Hilary Shinnick (Fermoy RC) WJ17 23:31.8 79.0%
Bernadett Walsh (Skibbereen R.C.) WJ17 23:33.2 78.9%
Bridget Jacques (BBC) WJ17 23:37.2 78.7%
Kate O'Brien (St Michaels) WJ18 23:53.4 77.8%
Sally O'Brien (Neptune R.C.) WJ18 23:54.9 77.7%
Katie Cromie (Portora BC) WJ18 23:55.2 77.7%
Fionna Murtagh (GRC) WJ17 24:00.3 77.4%
Megan McLaughlin (Cork BC) WJ16 24:06.7 77.1%
Sarah Higgins (Cork BC) WJ18 24:11.9 76.8%
Laura Connelly (Skibbereen R.C.) WJ18 24:16.0 76.6%
Sarah Allen (Bann RC) WJ18 24:16.9 76.5%
Eimear Byrne (Neptune R.C.) WJ18 24:19.9 76.4%
Sadhbh Cassidy (Neptune R.C.) WJ18 24:24.0 76.2%
Phoebe Mulligan (Portora BC) WJ17 24:35.3 75.6%
Roisin Merz (Shandon B.C.) WJ18 24:35.5 75.6%
Hanna O'Sullivan (St Michaels) WJ18 24:36.0 75.5%
Ruth Gilligan (Shannon RC) WJ17 24:42.8 75.2%
Jasmine English (MCB) WJ16 24:50.9 74.8%
Laura Coleman (Shandon B.C.) WJ18 24:56.8 74.5%
Lucie Litvack (BBC) WJ18 24:57.1 74.5%
Katherine Cremin (Muckross RC) WJ16 24:57.3 74.5%
Lauren McHugh (Shannon RC) WJ17 25:00.4 74.3%
Megan Donnegan (Castleconnell Boat Club) WJ17 25:01.3 74.3%
Aileen Crowley (Muckross RC) WJ18 25:02.2 74.2%
Claire Silke (Castleconnell Boat Club) WJ16 25:02.8 74.2%
Emily Hutchinson (Bann RC) WJ18 25:11.0 73.8%
Ella Ciallis (Skibbereen R.C.) WJ18 25:16.5 73.5%
Kara O'Connor (Muckross RC) WJ16 25:18.3 73.4%
Laura Kilbane (Cork BC) WJ16 25:18.8 73.4%
Claire Beechinor (Cork BC) WJ16 25:20.4 73.3%
Megan Donnelly (GRC) WJ16 25:26.6 73.0%
Kellie Wade (GRC) WJ17 25:27.2 73.0%
Zoe Hyde (Killorglin RC) WJ16 25:34.2 72.7%
Hanna McCarthy (St Michaels) WJ17 25:40.2 72.4%
Ruth Cummins (GRC) WJ16 25:49.9 71.9%
Meabh O'Brien (GRC) WJ16 26:47.1 69.4%
Cara Cunningham (GRC) WJ17 27:10.3 68.4%
Rebecca McKeown (BBC) WJ18 27:18.6 68.0%
Brooke Edgar (Bann RC) WJ18 27:39.4 67.2%
Published in Rowing
Tagged under

#ROWING–Paul O’Donovan was by far the fastest junior man of 65 in the first on-the-water session today at the National Assessments in Newry. In cold, sometimes choppy conditions on Newry canal, he fashioned a big lead over Henry Millar, who started just behind him. O’Donovan’s time of 21 minutes 58.5 seconds gave him a ranking of just 78 per cent of projected gold medal times on the ranking of the High Performance programme.


 Rowing Ireland
Results Time Trial 26th November 2011 PROVISIONAL
Row Labels Time %GMT
Paul O'Donovan (Skibbereen R.C.) MJ18 21:58.5 78.0%
Cathal Phelan (Offaly RC) MJ17 22:27.3 76.4%
Aodhan Burns (Skibbereen R.C.) MJ18 22:38.7 75.7%
John Mitchel (Lee R.C.) MJ17 22:39.0 75.7%
Paudie Leonard (Skibbereen R.C.) MJ18 22:45.1 75.4%
Chris Black (Bann RC) MJ18 22:46.2 75.3%
Joel Cassells (Bann RC) MJ18 22:46.9 75.3%
Andrew Griffin (Neptune R.C.) MJ18 22:54.2 74.9%
Kevin Molloy (Athlone B C) MJ18 22:55.1 74.8%
Barry Crowley (Lee R.C.) MJ18 22:56.8 74.7%
David Quinlan (Castleconnell Boat Club) MJ18 22:57.5 74.7%
James Egan (St.Joseph's) MJ17 23:05.3 74.3%
Paddy Hegarty (Skibbereen R.C.) MJ17 23:06.6 74.2%
Lloyd Seaman (Portora BC) MJ18 23:07.4 74.2%
Mathew Ryan (Skibbereen R.C.) MJ17 23:10.4 74.0%
Henry Millar (Portora BC) MJ18 23:10.5 74.0%
Aaron McGrath (Carlow RC) MJ17 23:13.0 73.9%
Patrick Boomer (MCB) MJ18 23:16.1 73.7%
Joe Nelson (Portora BC) MJ18 23:19.4 73.5%
Andy Harrington (Shandon B.C.) MJ17 23:19.7 73.5%
Mathew Kelly (Col.Iognaid) MJ18 23:21.0 73.4%
Kevin Synnott (Lee R.C.) MJ18 23:21.4 73.4%
Dylan Aherne (ULRC) MJ18 23:21.5 73.4%
Eddie Beechinor (Lee R.C.) MJ18 23:24.1 73.3%
Andrew Bell (Col.Iognaid) MJ18 23:24.4 73.3%
William Yeomans (comm rc) MJ17 23:30.8 72.9%
Colm O'Riada (comm rc) MJ18 23:37.4 72.6%
Kevin Keohane (Presentation College Cork) MJ17 23:38.5 72.5%
Daniel Buckley (Lee R.C.) MJ17 23:42.7 72.3%
Jack Casey (Shandon B.C.) MJ17 23:45.3 72.2%
David O'Malley (St Michaels) MJ16 23:48.0 72.1%
Gearoid Moore (St Michaels) MJ18 23:48.1 72.1%
Shane Walsh (GRC) MJ18 23:51.7 71.9%
Thomas English (Neptune R.C.) MJ18 23:58.3 71.5%
Chris Alcorn (Bann RC) MJ18 24:00.1 71.5%
Niall Crowley (Presentation College Cork) MJ17 24:07.4 71.1%
Aidan Kinneen (St.Joseph's) MJ17 24:07.4 71.1%
Eric McEvoy (St.Joseph's) MJ17 24:08.5 71.0%
Conor Carmody (Shannon RC) MJ16 24:09.5 71.0%
PROVISIONAL Rowing Ireland
Results Time Trial 26th November 2011
Row Labels Time %GMT
Killian Doyle (Carlow RC) MJ18 24:15.0 70.7%
Brian Keohane (presentation College Cork) MJ16 24:15.2 70.7%
James Healy (St Michaels) MJ18 24:17.8 70.6%
Gareth McKillen (RBAIRC) MJ17 24:23.6 70.3%
Aaron Cusack (Castleconnell Boat Club) MJ18 24:37.8 69.6%
Anthony Noone (Col.Iognaid) MJ18 24:40.0 69.5%
Ross Maxwell (GRC) MJ16 24:40.2 69.5%
Turlough Eccles (Neptune R.C.) MJ16 24:56.2 68.8%
Jack Smyth (St.Joseph's) MJ16 25:00.8 68.6%
Dylan Grace (Shannon RC) MJ18 25:09.0 68.2%
Martin Laffey (GRC) MJ17 25:12.4 68.0%
Jack Silke (St.Joseph's) MJ17 25:12.4 68.0%
Cathal Kileen (Castleconnell Boat Club) MJ16 25:14.0 68.0%
Eoghan Whittle (Castleconnell Boat Club) MJ16 25:15.5 67.9%
Evan Despard (St Michaels) MJ17 25:16.5 67.9%
Charlie Murray (Cork BC) MJ16 25:51.8 66.3%
Eoghan Fogarty (Neptune R.C.) MJ17 26:00.1 66.0%
Kai McGlacken (Col.Iognaid) MJ16 26:03.0 65.8%
Published in Rowing
Tagged under

#ROWING–Sanita Puspure and Kate O’Brien posted outstanding times in the ergometer test at the National Assessment in Newry. Puspure’s mark of six minutes 37.2 seconds was 22.5 seconds inside the cut-off mark for senior women set by the High Performance programme. O’Brien, who has just turned 17, clocked 6:59.4 – the cut-off for junior women was 7:48.8.

Rowing Ireland
2000m Assessment
26th Nov 2011
Sex W
NOV 2k Score (Multiple Items)
2000m Time
Row Labels Total
Sanita Puspure (OCBC) 6:37.2
Alice O'Sullivan (ULRC) 7:07.5
Monika Dukarska (Killorglin RC) 6:58.6
Jessica O'Keeffe (St Michaels) 7:14.3
Holly Nixon (Portora BC) 7:02.9
Siobhan McCrohan (Tribesmen RC) 7:09.5
Karen Corcoran-O'Hare (Shandon B.C.) 7:43.0
Claire Lambe (UCDBC) 7:12.5
Sinead Dolan (DULBC) 7:41.6
Aoife Leahy (St Michaels) 7:50.3
Kate O'Brien (St Michaels) 6:59.4
Rebecca McKeown (BBC) 7:11.9
Katie Cromie (Portora BC) 7:12.3
Aileen Crowley (Muckross RC) 7:25.5
Sarah Allen (Bann RC) 7:30.2
Hanna O'Sullivan (St Michaels) 7:30.5
Brooke Edgar (Bann RC) 7:34.1
Laura Connelly (Skibbereen R.C.) 7:34.9
Emily Hutchinson (Bann RC) 7:35.5
Lucie Litvack (BBC) 7:37.7
Laura Coleman (Shandon B.C.) 7:38.3
Eimear Byrne (Neptune R.C.) 7:39.6
Ella Ciallis (Skibbereen R.C.) 7:40.5
Roisin Merz (Shandon B.C.) 7:42.1
Sally O'Brien (Neptune R.C.) 7:43.7
Sarah Higgins (Cork BC) 7:44.6
Sadhbh Cassidy (Neptune R.C.) 7:47.9
Saoirse Horgan (Shandon B.C.) 7:55.9
Holly Lingwood (Shandon B.C.) 8:09.6
Hilary Shinnick (Fermoy RC) 7:10.9
Bridget Jacques (BBC) 7:14.0
Hanna McCarthy (St Michaels) 7:34.7
Leonie Hamel (Cork BC) 7:36.5
Lauren McHugh (Shannon RC) 7:38.6
Cara Cunningham (GRC) 7:43.2
Kellie Wade (GRC) 7:43.2
Phoebe Mulligan (Portora BC) 7:43.9
Fionna Murtagh (GRC) 7:44.7
Bernadett Walsh (Skibbereen R.C.) 7:44.9
Ruth Gilligan (Shannon RC) 7:45.6
Megan Donnegan (Castleconnell Boat Club) 7:46.6
Ellie Sherin (St Michaels) 7:49.5
Rachel McGowan (Shannon RC) 7:51.3
Alison Mc Devitt (Castleconnell Boat Club) 8:09.9
Rowing Ireland
2000m Assessment
26th Nov 2011
2000m Time
Row Labels Total
Claire Beechinor (Cork BC) 7:38.7
Laura Kilbane (Cork BC) 7:51.1
Kara O'Connor (Muckross RC) 7:51.3
Megan McLaughlin (Cork BC) 7:52.6
Ruth Cummins (GRC) 7:52.9
Jasmine English (MCB) 7:53.7
Zoe Hyde (Killorglin RC) 7:53.8
Katherine Cremin (Muckross RC) 7:57.9
Meabh O'Brien (GRC) 8:01.4
Claire Silke (Castleconnell Boat Club) 8:01.7
Rachel Nixon (Portora BC) 8:06.2
Erin Coll (Shannon RC) 8:06.6
Aoife Cushen (Col.Iognaid) 8:09.6
Ailish Griffin (Castleconnell Boat Club) 8:12.3
Megan Donnelly (GRC) 7:58.1
Published in Rowing

The Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard is Ireland's fourth 'Blue Light' service (along with An Garda Síochána, the Ambulance Service and the Fire Service). It provides a nationwide maritime emergency organisation as well as a variety of services to shipping and other government agencies.

The purpose of the Irish Coast Guard is to promote safety and security standards, and by doing so, prevent as far as possible, the loss of life at sea, and on inland waters, mountains and caves, and to provide effective emergency response services and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The Irish Coast Guard has responsibility for Ireland's system of marine communications, surveillance and emergency management in Ireland's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and certain inland waterways.

It is responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue and counter-pollution and ship casualty operations. It also has responsibility for vessel traffic monitoring.

Operations in respect of maritime security, illegal drug trafficking, illegal migration and fisheries enforcement are co-ordinated by other bodies within the Irish Government.

On average, each year, the Irish Coast Guard is expected to:

  • handle 3,000 marine emergencies
  • assist 4,500 people and save about 200 lives
  • task Coast Guard helicopters on missions

The Coast Guard has been around in some form in Ireland since 1908.

Coast Guard helicopters

The Irish Coast Guard has contracted five medium-lift Sikorsky Search and Rescue helicopters deployed at bases in Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo.

The helicopters are designated wheels up from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours and 45 minutes at night. One aircraft is fitted and its crew trained for under slung cargo operations up to 3000kgs and is available on short notice based at Waterford.

These aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains of Ireland (32 counties).

They can also be used for assistance in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and aerial surveillance during daylight hours, lifting and passenger operations and other operations as authorised by the Coast Guard within appropriate regulations.

Irish Coastguard FAQs

The Irish Coast Guard provides nationwide maritime emergency response, while also promoting safety and security standards. It aims to prevent the loss of life at sea, on inland waters, on mountains and in caves; and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The main role of the Irish Coast Guard is to rescue people from danger at sea or on land, to organise immediate medical transport and to assist boats and ships within the country's jurisdiction. It has three marine rescue centres in Dublin, Malin Head, Co Donegal, and Valentia Island, Co Kerry. The Dublin National Maritime Operations centre provides marine search and rescue responses and coordinates the response to marine casualty incidents with the Irish exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Yes, effectively, it is the fourth "blue light" service. The Marine Rescue Sub-Centre (MRSC) Valentia is the contact point for the coastal area between Ballycotton, Co Cork and Clifden, Co Galway. At the same time, the MRSC Malin Head covers the area between Clifden and Lough Foyle. Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) Dublin covers Carlingford Lough, Co Louth to Ballycotton, Co Cork. Each MRCC/MRSC also broadcasts maritime safety information on VHF and MF radio, including navigational and gale warnings, shipping forecasts, local inshore forecasts, strong wind warnings and small craft warnings.

The Irish Coast Guard handles about 3,000 marine emergencies annually, and assists 4,500 people - saving an estimated 200 lives, according to the Department of Transport. In 2016, Irish Coast Guard helicopters completed 1,000 missions in a single year for the first time.

Yes, Irish Coast Guard helicopters evacuate medical patients from offshore islands to hospital on average about 100 times a year. In September 2017, the Department of Health announced that search and rescue pilots who work 24-hour duties would not be expected to perform any inter-hospital patient transfers. The Air Corps flies the Emergency Aeromedical Service, established in 2012 and using an AW139 twin-engine helicopter. Known by its call sign "Air Corps 112", it airlifted its 3,000th patient in autumn 2020.

The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which is responsible for the Northern Irish coast.

The Irish Coast Guard is a State-funded service, with both paid management personnel and volunteers, and is under the auspices of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. It is allocated approximately 74 million euro annually in funding, some 85 per cent of which pays for a helicopter contract that costs 60 million euro annually. The overall funding figure is "variable", an Oireachtas committee was told in 2019. Other significant expenditure items include volunteer training exercises, equipment, maintenance, renewal, and information technology.

The Irish Coast Guard has four search and rescue helicopter bases at Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo, run on a contract worth 50 million euro annually with an additional 10 million euro in costs by CHC Ireland. It provides five medium-lift Sikorsky S-92 helicopters and trained crew. The 44 Irish Coast Guard coastal units with 1,000 volunteers are classed as onshore search units, with 23 of the 44 units having rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) and 17 units having cliff rescue capability. The Irish Coast Guard has 60 buildings in total around the coast, and units have search vehicles fitted with blue lights, all-terrain vehicles or quads, first aid equipment, generators and area lighting, search equipment, marine radios, pyrotechnics and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Community Rescue Boats Ireland also provide lifeboats and crews to assist in search and rescue. The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the Garda Siochána, National Ambulance Service, Naval Service and Air Corps, Civil Defence, while fishing vessels, ships and other craft at sea offer assistance in search operations.

The helicopters are designated as airborne from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours, and 45 minutes at night. The aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, on inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains and cover the 32 counties. They can also assist in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and can transport offshore firefighters and ambulance teams. The Irish Coast Guard volunteers units are expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time of departing from the station house in ten minutes from notification during daylight and 20 minutes at night. They are also expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time to the scene of the incident in less than 60 minutes from notification by day and 75 minutes at night, subject to geographical limitations.

Units are managed by an officer-in-charge (three stripes on the uniform) and a deputy officer in charge (two stripes). Each team is trained in search skills, first aid, setting up helicopter landing sites and a range of maritime skills, while certain units are also trained in cliff rescue.

Volunteers receive an allowance for time spent on exercises and call-outs. What is the difference between the Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI? The RNLI is a registered charity which has been saving lives at sea since 1824, and runs a 24/7 volunteer lifeboat service around the British and Irish coasts. It is a declared asset of the British Maritime and Coast Guard Agency and the Irish Coast Guard. Community Rescue Boats Ireland is a community rescue network of volunteers under the auspices of Water Safety Ireland.

No, it does not charge for rescue and nor do the RNLI or Community Rescue Boats Ireland.

The marine rescue centres maintain 19 VHF voice and DSC radio sites around the Irish coastline and a digital paging system. There are two VHF repeater test sites, four MF radio sites and two NAVTEX transmitter sites. Does Ireland have a national search and rescue plan? The first national search and rescue plan was published in July, 2019. It establishes the national framework for the overall development, deployment and improvement of search and rescue services within the Irish Search and Rescue Region and to meet domestic and international commitments. The purpose of the national search and rescue plan is to promote a planned and nationally coordinated search and rescue response to persons in distress at sea, in the air or on land.

Yes, the Irish Coast Guard is responsible for responding to spills of oil and other hazardous substances with the Irish pollution responsibility zone, along with providing an effective response to marine casualties and monitoring or intervening in marine salvage operations. It provides and maintains a 24-hour marine pollution notification at the three marine rescue centres. It coordinates exercises and tests of national and local pollution response plans.

The first Irish Coast Guard volunteer to die on duty was Caitriona Lucas, a highly trained member of the Doolin Coast Guard unit, while assisting in a search for a missing man by the Kilkee unit in September 2016. Six months later, four Irish Coast Guard helicopter crew – Dara Fitzpatrick, Mark Duffy, Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith -died when their Sikorsky S-92 struck Blackrock island off the Mayo coast on March 14, 2017. The Dublin-based Rescue 116 crew were providing "top cover" or communications for a medical emergency off the west coast and had been approaching Blacksod to refuel. Up until the five fatalities, the Irish Coast Guard recorded that more than a million "man hours" had been spent on more than 30,000 rescue missions since 1991.

Several investigations were initiated into each incident. The Marine Casualty Investigation Board was critical of the Irish Coast Guard in its final report into the death of Caitriona Lucas, while a separate Health and Safety Authority investigation has been completed, but not published. The Air Accident Investigation Unit final report into the Rescue 116 helicopter crash has not yet been published.

The Irish Coast Guard in its present form dates back to 1991, when the Irish Marine Emergency Service was formed after a campaign initiated by Dr Joan McGinley to improve air/sea rescue services on the west Irish coast. Before Irish independence, the British Admiralty was responsible for a Coast Guard (formerly the Water Guard or Preventative Boat Service) dating back to 1809. The West Coast Search and Rescue Action Committee was initiated with a public meeting in Killybegs, Co Donegal, in 1988 and the group was so effective that a Government report was commissioned, which recommended setting up a new division of the Department of the Marine to run the Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (MRCC), then based at Shannon, along with the existing coast radio service, and coast and cliff rescue. A medium-range helicopter base was established at Shannon within two years. Initially, the base was served by the Air Corps.

The first director of what was then IMES was Capt Liam Kirwan, who had spent 20 years at sea and latterly worked with the Marine Survey Office. Capt Kirwan transformed a poorly funded voluntary coast and cliff rescue service into a trained network of cliff and sea rescue units – largely voluntary, but with paid management. The MRCC was relocated from Shannon to an IMES headquarters at the then Department of the Marine (now Department of Transport) in Leeson Lane, Dublin. The coast radio stations at Valentia, Co Kerry, and Malin Head, Co Donegal, became marine rescue-sub-centres.

The current director is Chris Reynolds, who has been in place since August 2007 and was formerly with the Naval Service. He has been seconded to the head of mission with the EUCAP Somalia - which has a mandate to enhance Somalia's maritime civilian law enforcement capacity – since January 2019.

  • Achill, Co. Mayo
  • Ardmore, Co. Waterford
  • Arklow, Co. Wicklow
  • Ballybunion, Co. Kerry
  • Ballycotton, Co. Cork
  • Ballyglass, Co. Mayo
  • Bonmahon, Co. Waterford
  • Bunbeg, Co. Donegal
  • Carnsore, Co. Wexford
  • Castlefreake, Co. Cork
  • Castletownbere, Co. Cork
  • Cleggan, Co. Galway
  • Clogherhead, Co. Louth
  • Costelloe Bay, Co. Galway
  • Courtown, Co. Wexford
  • Crosshaven, Co. Cork
  • Curracloe, Co. Wexford
  • Dingle, Co. Kerry
  • Doolin, Co. Clare
  • Drogheda, Co. Louth
  • Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
  • Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
  • Fethard, Co. Wexford
  • Glandore, Co. Cork
  • Glenderry, Co. Kerry
  • Goleen, Co. Cork
  • Greencastle, Co. Donegal
  • Greenore, Co. Louth
  • Greystones, Co. Wicklow
  • Guileen, Co. Cork
  • Howth, Co. Dublin
  • Kilkee, Co. Clare
  • Killala, Co. Mayo
  • Killybegs, Co. Donegal
  • Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford
  • Knightstown, Co. Kerry
  • Mulroy, Co. Donegal
  • North Aran, Co. Galway
  • Old Head Of Kinsale, Co. Cork
  • Oysterhaven, Co. Cork
  • Rosslare, Co. Wexford
  • Seven Heads, Co. Cork
  • Skerries, Co. Dublin Summercove, Co. Cork
  • Toe Head, Co. Cork
  • Tory Island, Co. Donegal
  • Tramore, Co. Waterford
  • Waterville, Co. Kerry
  • Westport, Co. Mayo
  • Wicklow
  • Youghal, Co. Cork

Sources: Department of Transport © Afloat 2020

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating