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Displaying items by tag: Blessington

#Rowing: The agm of Rowing Ireland was businesslike and brief – coming in under an hour.

 Neville Maxwell, the chair of the high performance committee, praised the “energy and enthusiasm” of high performance director Antonio Maurogiovanni. “He wants a system which is open and transparent,” he said.

 Maxwell said that there was a move away from lightweight rowing and it was essential to build a programme which would last. Finding new sources of income was very important.

 Leo Gibson replaced outgoing treasurer Dan Buckley, who has stepped down. The Old Collegians man spoke of the hope of drawing down Large Scale Sports Infrastructure grants.

 Rowing Ireland president Eamonn Colclough said the priority was to finance work on the National Rowing Centre, with the hope of replacing the slips and, perhaps, the buoyed course. Next in priority would be Lough Rinn and then the proposed new Blessington course.

 Colclough said that he hoped there was a big uptake on the package deal which will give Irish spectators a good way to travel to the World Rowing Championships in Linz in Austria in August/September. “I would love to hear The Fields of Athenry ring out over the waters in Linz,” he said.

 Rowing Ireland is preparing to facilitate clubs using Lough Rinn by taking over the insurance requirements asked for by Leitrim County Council. The Council will “spend hundreds of thousands of euro” on developing the course and surrounds, Colclough told the agm.

 The fixtures calendar for 2020 emerged in a very similar form to the one proposed. Erne Head moved to a week earlier than scheduled and will now take place on March 7th and the Castleconnell Sprint Regatta takes a similar step to May 9th. Carlow’s Dambuster Head is set to take place on  February 1st.

 Galway Regatta (June 6th) and Shandon Masters Regatta (August 15th) were late additions to the draft calendar put before delegates.  

Awards

President’s: Seamus Scully, Carlow

Connacht: Paul Gallen

Leinster: Gerry Conway, Frank Moore, Willie Ryan, Mick Carney, Andrew Coleman

Munster: Brian Sheppard

Ulster: Jeremy Johnston

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The Dambuster Head of the River, scheduled for this Saturday, January 26th, at Blessington Lakes, has been cancelled. The organisers, Carlow Rowing Club, say that they had to take into account the forecast of strong winds. As the week wore on, the weather forecast worsened. Today (Thursday), the prediction was for winds of 33 kilometres at the venue on race day.  

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Metro Regatta has been cancelled. The weather forecast was for winds to rise to 20 to 25 kilometres in the afternoon at Blessington – with gusts. The organisers felt that these conditions might have made it unsafe to row. The cancellation is the third of a major regatta, following Skibbereen and Lough Rinn.  

Published in Rowing
Tagged under

#Rowing: The Dam Buster Head of the River, scheduled for this Saturday, December 16th, has been cancelled. The weather forecast for Blessington was not good, and the organisers chose to abandon the event because of safety concerns. It was the inaurgural Dam Buster Head, run by Carlow Rowing Club.  

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Neptune Head of the River, scheduled for Saturday, November 5th on Blessington Lakes has been cancelled. The organisers say that the forecast of high winds at the venue meant they could not continue with the event. A big part of the entry consisted of junior crews – there were 20 entries in the men’s junior 18 single sculls.

Published in Rowing
28th January 2016

Neptune Head Set to Go Ahead

#Rowing: The organisers of the Neptune Head of the River this Saturday, December 30th, have decided to go ahead with the event. The weather forecast is for winds of 12 to 20 kilometres per hour at Blessington, which would leave the course rowable. The course has to be laid, and there is a chance that the event could yet be cancelled, but only if the weather forecast changes significantly. 

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The Neptune Head of the River, scheduled for this Saturday, November 7th, has been cancelled. The weather forecast for the course at Blessington predicted gusts of up to 40 kilometres per hour, forcing the organisers to take the option of calling off the event.

Published in Rowing

#ROWING: Commercial won the battle of the men’s quadruples at Dublin Metropolitan Regatta. The established unit were tested by Skibbereen down the Blessington course, but won well. The experienced oarsman in the Old Collegians boat, with Albert Maher joining Sean Jacob, Dave Neale and Eimantas Grigalius, finished third. The NUIG/Grainne Mhaol men’s senior eight set a good time while winning the Division One final, despite being clearly superior to their intermediate opposition. UCD provided the top women’s pair and four. The women’s single had a strange set of finals. Elise Maurin won her heat but the progression by fastest time (of which she was unaware) consigned her to the B Final – which she won in a much faster time than set by junior competitor Erin Barry in winning the A Final.

The new timing system for heats worked well and the regatta ran exactly to schedule in excellent conditions.

Dublin Metropolitan Regatta, Blessington, Saturday

Men

Eight – Division One – A Final: NUIG/Grainne Mhaol (sen) 6:11.863, 2 Rudergesellschaft Wiking Berlin (inter) 6:21.173, 3 UCD (inter) 6:22.163; 4 St Michael’s (jun 18A) 6:41.850.

Div Two – A Final: 1 Cork BC (Club Two) 6:15.297, 2 NUIG (Club Two) 6:15.873, 3 Commercial (Club Two) 6:22.777; 4 UCD (Nov) 6:21.543; 5 Col Iognaid (jun 16) 6:40.310.

Four – Division One – A Final: 1 NUIG/Grainne Mhaol (sen) 6:21.603, 2 Commercial (sen) 6:28.590, 3 Carlow (sen) 6:39.810.

Four, coxed – Div One – A Final: 1 Rudergesellschaft Wiking Berlin (inter) 6:48.173, 2 Skibbereen (inter) 6:51.123, 3 UCD A (inter) 6:52.57; 5 UCD A (Club One) 7:09.843, 6 Athlunkard (jun 18A) 7:12.387. B Final: CAI (jun 18A) 8:37.280. Div Two – A Final: 1 Skibbereen (Club Two) 7:06.850, 2 NUIG A (Club Two) 7:18.223, 3 Col Iognaid A (jun 16) 7:27.490. B Final: 1 UCD (Club Two) 7:22.253; 3 Lee (jun 18B) 7:46.653.

Pair – Division One – A Final: 1 Carlow (sen) 7:00.373, 2 St Michael’s (sen) 7:01.760, 3 Carlow (inter) 7:09.357; 4 St Michael’s A (jun 18A) 7:12.590. B Final: 1 UCD A (inter) 7:14.300, 2 St Michael’s (Club One) 7:17.827.

Sculling,

Quadruple – Div One – A Final: 1 Commercial (sen) 6:31.557, 2 Skibbereen (sen) 6:34.490, 3 Old Collegians (sen) 6:36.673; 5 Cork BC (jun 18A) 6:49.217. Div Two – A Final: 1 Cork BC 6:59.537, 2 Lee (jun 16) 7:04.77, 3 Cork BC (jun 18B) 7:06.493. B Final: Graiguenamanagh (jun 18B) 7:39.147; 2 Commercial (club two) 7:46.617. C Final: Neptune (nov) 8:33.443.

Double – Div One – A Final: 1 Old Collegians (sen) 7:07.373, 2 UCD/Portadown (sen) 7:11.603, 3 St Michael’s (inter) 7:13.740; 4 Garda (Club One) 7:15.670. B Final: Lee (jun 18A) 7:59.930. Div Two – A Final: 1 Shandon B (Club Two) 7:30.470, 2 Waterford (Club Two) 7:46.707, 3 Three Castles (jun 16) 7:47.227; 5 St Michael’s (jun 18B) 7:57.393. B Final: Skibbereen (jun 18B) 8:08.357.

Single – Div One – A Final: 1 Skibbereen (E Rowan, sen) 7:23.600, 2 Portadown (S McKeown, sen) 7:23.817, 3 Garda (D Kelly, inter) 7:33.333. B Final: 1 Shandon (S O’Sullivan; jun 18A) 7:40.700; 5 Garda (R Allen; Club One) 7:47.357. C Final: 1 UCD (R O’Sullivan; Club One) 7:46.767. Div Two – A Final: 1 Skibbereen (K Mannix, jun 18B) 7:48.270, 2 Commercial (E Meehan, jun 16) 7:54.950, 3 Graiguenamanagh (A Lennon, jun 18B) 7:57.740; 5 Shandon (D Smith, Club Two) 8:00.627. B Final: Castleconnell (A Mozdzer, Club Two) 8:04.933. C Final: Graiguenamanagh (K Scully, jun 18B) 8:05.560.

Women

Eight – Division One – A Final: 1 Skibbereen (jun 18A) 7 mins 6.773 secs, 2 Trinity (sen) 7:13.667, 3 St Michael’s (jun 18A) 7:15.690; 4 Trinity B (Club One) 7:55.210. Division Two – A Final: 1 Commercial (Club Two) 7:32.520, 2 Shandon (jun 16) 7:43.393, 3 NUIG (Club Two) 7:44.207; 4 Galway (Jun 18B) 7:46.857. B Final: 1 Commercial (jun 16) 7:59.867; 2 Trinity (nov) 8:10.273.

Four – Div One – A Final: 1 UCD (sen) 8:25.937, 2 Skibbereen (jun 18A) 8:26.170, 3 NUIG (sen) 8:33.670.

Four, coxed – Div One – A Final: 1 UCD B (inter) 7:20.803, 2 UCD A (inter) 7:24.170, 3 NUIG (inter) 7:28.417. Div Two – A Final: 1 NUIG (Club Two) 8:01.323, 2 Commercial (Club Two) 8:16.833, 3 Athlunkard (Club Two) 8:28.237.

Pair –Div One – A Final: 1 UCD (sen) 8:31.340, 2 Commercial B (inter) 8:34.460, 3 Bann (jun 18A) 8:39.267. B Final: 1 St Michael’s (jun 18A) 9:05.617; 2 Athlunkard (Club One) 9:31.823.

Sculling

Quadruple – Div One – A Final: Lee (jun 18A) 7:10.203, 2 Skibbereen (jun 18A) 7:14.900, 3 Bann (jun 18A) 7:15.943; 4 Carlow (Club One) 7:32.560. Div Two – A Final: 1 Commercial (jun 16) 7:38.500, 2 Shandon A (jun 16) 7:46.817, 3 Garda (Club Two) 7:50.140; 5 Cork BC (jun 18B) 7:54.523. B Final: Commercial A (nov) 7:57.957.

Double – Div One – A Final: 1 Skibbereen (jun 18A) 7:35.167, 2 Bann (jun 18A) 7:42.297, Skibbereen (sen) 8:12.747; 4 Castleconnell (Club One) 8:14.730. Div Two – A Final: 1 Bann (jun 18B) 8:00.347, 2 Garda (Club Two) 8:12.923, 3 Carlow (jun 18B) 8:48.290; 5 Castleconnell (jun 16) 9:10.130. B Final: Castleconnell (jun 18B) 9:00.677.

Single – Division One – A Final: 1 Bann (E Barry; jun 18A) 9:06.307, 2 Lee (C Synnott; jun 18A) 9:09.533, 3 Bann (B Mullin; jun 18A) 9:20.487. B Final: 1 New Ross (E Maurin; sen) 9:00.437; 2 St Michael’s (A O’Sullivan; inter) 9:01.187, 3 Fermoy (S Bouanane; Club One) 9:19.283. C Final: Skibbereen (B Walsh; sen) 9:41.843.

Div Two – A Final: 1 Bann (H Scott; jun 16) 9:02.560, 2 Bann (F Chestnutt, jun 18B) 9:12.593, 3 Garda (S Kenny, Club Two) 9:20.207. B Final: Castleconnell (R Kilkenny; Club Two) 11:35.533. C Final: Fermoy (A Collins; Club Two) 9:39.823.

Published in Rowing

#ROWING: Eric Rowan of Skibbereen beat Sam McKeown of Portadown by less than a quarter of a second in the A Final of the men’s Division One single sculls at Dublin Metropolitan Regatta today. Rowan had a marginal lead over McKeown for much of the race, but the big Portadown eked out a lead coming up to the line, only for Rowan to finish better. The Division Two men’s eights A Final was also very close, with Cork Boat Club passing NUIG to win. NUIG/Grainne Mhaol came out on top in the men’s Division One fours, and Carlow in the pairs.

The junior women of Skibbereen were the best women’s eight on the day, while Aoife Casey and Emily Hegarty – also juniors – were the fastest women’s double. Conditions were excellent, with bright sunshine and a light headwind.

Dublin Metropolitan Regatta, Blessington, Saturday

Men

Eight – Div Two – A Final: 1 Cork BC (Club Two) 6:15.297, 2 NUIG (Club Two) 6:15.873, 3 Commercial (Club Two) 6:22.777; 4 UCD (Nov) 6:21.543; 5 Col Iognaid (jun 16) 6:40.310.

Four – Division One – A Final: 1 NUIG/Grainne Mhaol (sen) 6:21.603, 2 Commercial (sen) 6:28.590, 3 Carlow (sen) 6:39.810.

Four, coxed – Div One – A Final: 1 Rudergesellschaft Wiking Berlin (inter) 6:48.173, 2 Skibbereen (inter) 6:51.123, 3 UCD A (inter) 6:52.57; 5 UCD A (Club One) 7:09.843, 6 Athlunkard (jun 18A) 7:12.387. B Final: CAI (jun 18A) 8:37.280.

Pair – Division One – A Final: 1 Carlow (sen) 7:00.373, 2 St Michael’s (sen) 7:01.760, 3 Carlow (inter) 7:09.357; 4 St Michael’s A (jun 18A) 7:12.590. B Final: 1 UCD A (inter) 7:14.300, 2 St Michael’s (Club One) 7:17.827.

Sculling,

Single – Div One – A Final: 1 Skibbereen (E Rowan, sen) 7:23.600, 2 Portadown (S McKeown, sen) 7:23.817, 3 Garda (D Kelly, inter) 7:33.333. Div Two – A Final: 1 Skibbereen (K Mannix, jun 18B) 7:48.270, 2 Commercial (E Meehan, jun 16) 7:54.950, 3 Graiguenamanagh (A Lennon, jun 18B) 7:57.740; 5 Shandon (D Smith, Club Two) 8:00.627. B Final: Castleconnell (A Mozdzer, Club Two) 8:04.933. C Final: Graiguenamanagh (K Scully, jun 18B) 8:05.560.

Women

Eight – Division One – A Final: 1 Skibbereen (jun 18A) 7 mins 6.773 secs, 2 Trinity (sen) 7:13.667, 3 St Michael’s (jun 18A) 7:15.690; 4 Trinity B (Club One) 7:55.210.

Four, coxed – Div One – A Final: 1 UCD B (inter) 7:20.803, 2 UCD A (inter) 7:24.170, 3 NUIG (inter) 7:28.417. Div Two – A Final: 1 NUIG (Club Two) 8:01.323, 2 Commercial (Club Two) 8:16.833, 3 Athlunkard (Club Two) 8:28.237.

Sculling

Quadruple – Div One – A Final: Lee (jun 18A) 7:10.203, 2 Skibbereen (jun 18A) 7:14.900, 3 Bann (jun 18A) 7:15.943; 4 Carlow (Club One) 7:32.560. Div Two – A Final: 1 Commercial (jun 16) 7:38.500, 2 Shandon A (jun 16) 7:46.817, 3 Garda (Club Two) 7:50.140; 5 Cork BC (jun 18B) 7:54.523. B Final: Commercial A (nov) 7:57.957.

Double – Div One – A Final: 1 Skibbereen (jun 18A) 7:35.167, 2 Bann (jun 18A) 7:42.297, Skibbereen (sen) 8:12.747; 4 Castleconnell (Club One) 8:14.730.

Div Two – A Final: 1 Bann (jun 18B) 8:00.347, 2 Garda (Club Two) 8:12.923, 3 Carlow (jun 18B) 8:48.290; 5 Castleconnell (jun 16) 9:10.130. B Final: Castleconnell (jun 18B) 9:00.677.

Published in Rowing

#ROWING: The St Michael’s senior men’s eight were the fastest crew at the Neptune Head of the River at Blessington today, setting a time of 12 minutes and nine seconds in the first of the two heads. Lisa Dilleen was the outstanding woman competitor, winning the senior single sculls. The conditions were variable, with the second head going off in heavy rain and a headwind – only for the weather to clear as the head went on.

Neptune Head of the River, Blessington (Selected Results)

Overall: 1 St Michael’s senior eight 12 mins 9 secs (first head), 2 UCD/Neptune sen eight (1st hd) 12:10, 3 UCD, Lee, Neptune sen eight (1st) 12:16, 4 UCD, Neptune sen eight (2nd) 12:52, 5 Carlow sen four (1st) 12:56, 6 Old Collegians, UCD, Commercial sen eight (2nd) 12:56.

Men

Eight, Senior: 1 St Michael’s (first head) 12:09, 2 UCD, Neptune (1st) 12:10, 3 UCD, Lee, Neptune (1st) 12:16. Club Two: Commercial (1st) 13:24. Junior 16: Commercial (1st) 13:54. Junior 18: Portora A (2nd) 13:54. Masters: Commercial, Old Collegians (2nd) 14:17.

Four – Senior: 1 Carlow (1st) 12:56, 2 UCC (1st) 13:13, 3 NUIG, St Joseph’s (1st) 13:35. Intermediate: 1 Trinity A (1st) 13:07, 2 Trinity B (1st) 13:17, 3 Trinity B (2nd) 13:55, 4 Neptune (1st) 13:57. Club Two: NUIG (1st) 14:39. Junior 18: Portora (1st) 14:51.

Pair – Senior: 1 NUIG A (1st) 14:01, 2 NUIG, Lee (1st) 14:22, 3 NUIG B (1st) 14:36.

Sculling, Quadruple – Club Two: Offaly (2nd) 17:25. Junior 16: Three Castles (1st) 14:36.

Double – Senior: 1 UCC (2nd) 14:39, 2 Castleconnell (2nd) 14:39, 3 Garda (1st) 14:57.

Single – Senior: 1 Univ of Limerick (D Quinlan) (1st) 15:15, 2 Castleconnell (A Prendergast, 2nd) 15:22, 3 NUIG (L Keane, 1st) 15:23. Intermediate: 1 Garda (D Kelly, 1st) 15:36, 2 St Michael’s (D O’Connor, 2nd) 15:38, 3 Garda (Kelly, 2nd) 15:39, 4 Commercial (F Groome, 1st) 15:40. Junior 18: 1 Portora (E Murray, 1st) 15:54, 2 Belfast BC (A Murray, 1st) 16:08, 3 Carlow (O Nolan, 1st) 16:19.

Women

Eight – Senior: 1 Trinity (1st) 13:46, 2 Trinity (2nd) 14:07, 3 Commercial, Trinity (1st) 14:18. Intermediate: Trinity (1st) 14:11. Club Two: 1 Carlow (1st) 15:59, 2 Commercial (1st) 19:50, 3 Commercial (2nd) 21:29. Junior 18: 1 Portora A (1st) 14:36, 2 Neptune (1st) 14:56, 3 Carlow (1st) 15:14.

Four – Intermediate: 1 UCC (1st) 15:49, 2 NUIG A (1st) 15:53, 3 Trinity (2nd) 16:02. Club Two: Trinity (1st) 16:54. Junior 18: St Michael’s (2nd) 16:21.

Pair – Senior: 1 Portora A (2nd) 16:36, 2 Portora B (2nd) 17:17, 3 UCC (2nd) 18:13.

Sculling, Quadruple – Club Two: 1 Carlow (2nd) 16:40, 2 Garda (1st) 17:14, 3 Cork (1st) 17:46. Junior 16: Offaly (1st) 16:56.

Double – Senior: 1 Trinity (2nd) 15:55, 2 Belfast BC (2nd) 16:30, 3 Garda (2nd) 19:01.  

Single – Senior: 1 Gráinne Mhaol (L Dilleen, 1st) 15:55, 2 Gráinne Mhaol (Dilleen, 2nd) 16:01, 3 Trinity (R Morris, 1st) 16:39. Intermediate: 1 St Michael’s (H O’Sullivan, 1st) 17:33, 2 Belfast BC (S Quinn, 1st) 17:41, 3 Neptune (L Leahy-Bailey, 1st) 19:04. Junior 18: 1 St Michael’s (S Murphy, 1st) 17:39, 2 Carlow (A Byrne, 2nd) 18:04, 3 Belfast BC (O Blundell, 1st) 18:10.

Published in Rowing
Page 1 of 2

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

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