Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: Co Antrim

#Rescue - Coastguard units from Ballycastle and Coleraine were tasked on Friday night (26 May) to the aid of a dog fell more than 30 feet off a cliff near the Giant’s Causeway in Co Antrim.

The coastguard teams used their specialist rope rescue equipment to lower a technician down the cliff to secure Bell the springer spaniel and lift her up to her grateful owners.

Belfast Coastguard reminds anyone with pets on or near the water to keep them on leads, especially close to cliffs. If an accident should happen, don't attempt a rescue yourself – always call the coastguard who are trained for the purpose.

In other news from the North Coast, the iconic Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge is closed until further notice after vandals attempted to cut it down.

TheJournal.ie has more on the incident last week, as the National Trust awaits investigation by structural engineers to determine the extent of the damage to the coastal tourism attraction.

Published in Rescue

#RNLI - Red Bay RNLI has rescued three men yesterday afternoon (Sunday 1 November) after they got into difficulty on a 4m speedboat which was drifting out to sea off the North Coast.

The volunteer lifeboat crew was alerted by Belfast Coastguard just before noon and requested to go the aid of three people on a broken down vessel which was lost somewhere off Cushendun.

One of the casualties had managed to raise the alarm with a relative using his mobile phone.

The inshore lifeboat, helmed by Kevin Allen and with crew members Stephen Conway, James McLaughlin and Owen McKinley onboard, launched within minutes and made its way to towards Cushendun.

Despite an extensive search on scene the lifeboat crew could not locate any vessel in distress in the specific search area.

The lifeboat crew widened their search and requested the assistance of the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 118.

After searching for two-and-a-half hours in what were described as difficult weather conditions, the lifeboat crew finally located the vessel some four miles off Garron Point at Red Bay. The boat was drifting out in blustery sea squall conditions.

The three men, who were not in immediate danger but suffering from shock, were taken onboard the lifeboat and brought safely back to Red Bay where they were made comfortable.

Speaking following the callout, Red Bay RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Paddy McLaughlin said: "These three men were extremely lucky this afternoon as their small vessel had broken down and was rapidly drifting out to sea.

The callout was particularly challenging for the lifeboat crew as the casualties were unsure of where they were lost and it took a considerable amount of time to find them.

"Our crew is highly trained and using their navigation skills particularly, they were able to locate the casualties, all of whom were relieved to see the lifeboat, and bring them safely back to shore this afternoon."

McLaughlin added: "We would remind anyone taking to the water to carry a means of communication and plan your trip in advance so you are familiar with the area should you get into any difficulty and need to request assistance."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Rescue - A woman is in stable condition in hospital after she was rescued from a sea cliff in Islandmagee on Tuesday (27 October) an operation that "wasn’t straightforward", as the News Letter reports.

It's believed the woman had been walking along the top coastal path when she got into difficulty late on Tuesday evening.

She was airlifted from the site by helicopter tasked from Scotland after being stabilised by paramedics.

The incident comes just weeks after emergency services rushed to the aid of an elderly man who fainted on the newly reopened Gobbins cliff walk in the same area.

The new cliff path has been hailed by the Guardian as "a reboot of a magnificent feat of engineering that originally opened in 1902", with local musical hero Michael Bradley of the Undertones writing about its heart-stopping mix of beauty and danger.

Published in Rescue

#CoastalNotes - Emergency services rushed to the aid of an elderly man who fainted on the new cliff walk at The Gobbins in Co Antrim on Thursday (3 September).

As BelfastLive reports, the 79-year-old collapsed half-way along the "white-knuckle" coastal path that recently welcomed its 1,000th visitor since reopening last month for the first time since the 1950s.

The path was closed during the incident as the man recovered enough to walk away with the aid of council staff and local fire fighters. He was subsequently pronounced fit and healthy by paramedics at a waiting ambulance.

Mid and East Antrim Council has warned that the dizzying Gobbins path requires a reasonable level of fitness to traverse its series of rugged steps, tunnels, caves and tubular bridges that are not for the faint-hearted.

Published in Coastal Notes

#INLAND WATERWAYS - Officials at the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) are attempting to find the source of a pollutant that resulted in a fish kill on the Threemilewater river in recent weeks.

The Newtownabbey Times reports that more than 120 trout and salmon parr have been found dead on the short stretch of river between Mossley Mill and Doagh Road in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim.

John Webster of the Threemilewater Conservation and Angling Association speculated that the pollutant may have entered the water from any of a number of pipes that flow into the waterway near the railway line at Mossley Mill.

He described the fish kill as "an absolute diasaster", especially coming as it did at the opening of the fishing season on 1 March.

The Newtownabbey Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#ANGLING - The Irish Specimen Fish Committee's annual report for 2011 features catch details for 587 specimen fish as well as four new records, according to The Irish Times.

The report comes ahead of the committee's annual awards event at the Red Cow Moran Hotel in Dublin on Saturday 3 March, recogising those anglers who work hard to catch and record the biggest fish of each of Ireland's species.

Those in line for awards include Terry Jackson, who caught a 2.1kh roach/rudd hybrid in the River Lagan; Dutchman Jan Vrieswijk who landed a 1.33kh blackmouth dogfish in Red Bay, Co Antrim; and Noel Lane for his 2.83kg thin-lipped mullet from Cork Harbour.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling
The body of a woman found washed up on a beach in Scotland's Mull of Kintyre is believed to be that of Northern Irish woman Karen Coyles, who disappeared from her home in Ballycastle, Co Antrim on 11 September.
The Irish Times reports that a tourist found the body yesterday afternoon. It is believed to have been in the water for some time.
A postmortem will be carried out today on the body, the identity of which has yet to be confirmed.
A major search and rescue operation had been launched for Coyles, 47, whose car was found at McQuillan's GAA club where she is captain of the camogie team.

The body of a woman found washed up on a beach in Scotland's Mull of Kintyre is believed to be that of Northern Irish woman Karen Coyles, who disappeared from her home in Ballycastle, Co Antrim on 11 September.

The Irish Times reports that a tourist found the body yesterday afternoon. It is believed to have been in the water for some time.

A postmortem will be carried out today on the body, the identity of which has yet to be confirmed.

A major search and rescue operation had been launched for Coyles, 47, whose car was found at McQuillan's GAA club where she is captain of the camogie team.

Published in News Update
Killer whales and a humpback whale have been spotted off the coast of Northern Ireland in recent weeks, according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).
Irish Weather Online quotes the IWDG's Pádraig Whooley, who said three killer whales - or orcas - had been seen off Rathlin Island in Co Antrim on 10 June. Two more were later spotted between the Down coast and the Isle of Man.
Then on 14 June a humpback whale was sighted off Bangor - only the third time the species has been seen in Northern Irish waters.
"Any sighting today of a humpback whale sends out a very strong conservation message." said Whooley.

Killer whales and a humpback whale have been spotted off the coast of Northern Ireland in recent weeks, according to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).

Irish Weather Online quotes the IWDG's Pádraig Whooley, who said three killer whales - or orcas - had been seen off Rathlin Island in Co Antrim on 10 June. Two more were later spotted between the Down coast and the Isle of Man.

Then on 14 June a humpback whale was sighted off Bangor - only the third time the species has been seen in Northern Irish waters.

"Any sighting today of a humpback whale sends out a very strong conservation message," said Whooley.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Spring cleaners at Sixmilewater River in Co Antrim got the surprise of their lives last weekend when a Second World War mortar shell was discovered in the riverbed.
Volunteers for Big Spring Clean Week had already picked it up from the water, thinking it at first to be a piece of metal piping, before they realised what they really had on their hands.
The Belfast Telegraph reports that the shocking find sparked a security alert for most of the day. The nearby Dublin Road was closed while army bomb disposal experts removed the device for examination.
The bomb was described a being 20 inches long, "torpedo-shaped" and "pale green".
It joined a list of random items including a bicycle, three scooters, golf clubs and a taxi sign that were retrieved from a single 100m stretch of the river near the Antrim Forum.

Inland Waterways Spring cleaners at Sixmilewater River in Co Antrim got the surprise of their lives last weekend when a Second World War mortar shell was discovered in the riverbed.

Volunteers for Big Spring Clean Week had already picked it up from the water, thinking it at first to be a piece of metal piping, before they realised what they really had on their hands.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that the shocking find sparked a security alert for most of the day. The nearby Dublin Road was closed while army bomb disposal experts removed the device for examination.

The bomb was described a being 20 inches long, "torpedo-shaped" and "pale green".

It joined a list of random items including a bicycle, three scooters, golf clubs and a taxi sign that were retrieved from a single 100m stretch of the river near the Antrim Forum.

Published in Inland Waterways
The 2011 Portrush Open Surfing Championships take place this weekend from 9-10 April.
Ireland's best surfers are expected to take part in the two days of competition, which will also be the decicing contest for selecting surfers to represent Ireland at the European Championships in Bundoran later this year.
Causeway Coast Surf Club chairman Gerard McAuley told the Coleraine Times: “The Portrush Open is now Ireland’s best surf contest. As surfing becomes more and more popular, we are expecting large numbers of competitors and spectators to attend."
Top internationals Cain Killcullen, Aaron Reid and Ronan Oertzen are set to clash with the likes of local prospect 'Long' John McCurry in the men's open, while Easkey Britton is setting her sights on the women's open title.
The weekend will also feature events such as art exhibitions and a packed entertainment programme for competitors and spectators alike.
For more details visit www.northcoastni.com or www.causewaycoastsurfclub.co.uk.
The Coleraine Times has more on the story HERE.

The 2011 Portrush Open Surfing Championships take place this weekend from 9-10 April.

Ireland's best surfers are expected to take part in the two days of competition, which will also be the decicing contest for selecting surfers to represent Ireland at the European Championships in Bundoran later this year.

Causeway Coast Surf Club chairman Gerard McAuley told the Coleraine Times: “The Portrush Open is now Ireland’s best surf contest. As surfing becomes more and more popular, we are expecting large numbers of competitors and spectators to attend."

Top internationals Cain Killcullen, Aaron Reid and Ronan Oertzen are set to clash with the likes of local prospect 'Long' John McCurry in the men's open, while Easkey Britton is setting her sights on the women's open title.

The weekend will also feature events such as art exhibitions and a packed entertainment programme for competitors and spectators alike.

For more details visit www.northcoastni.com or www.causewaycoastsurfclub.co.uk.

The Coleraine Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing
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

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
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

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