Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: Finn Lynch

As Ireland tries to boost its Olympic sailing team from currently one dinghy (Annalise Murphy in the Radial) with two more (a men's Laser and a 49er), the final Olympic qualifier for the men's Laser class has been confirmed for France in April 2021 (French Olympic Week, April 17-24 in Hyeres).

There are still two nation places up for grabs and three Irish men are chasing a final berth. Ireland is up against Italy, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands so it is likely to go right down to the wire before we know who ultimately claims the place. 

Finn Lynch, Liam Glynn and Ewan McMahon are all looking for the single berth and whoever finishes on top in the Cote D'Azur will be deemed to have been selected.

Since late summer performance sailing has been back in regatta mode with the team competing across Europe in Poland and Italy. 

After training from the Irish Sailing Performance HQ in Dun Laoghaire all summer, once restrictions lifted the Lasers and Laser Radials headed to Lake Garda in Italy for training, and then on to the Italian National Championships – the first time the team had competed since Covid restrictions began. Murphy won this competition overall and from there the team headed to the European Championships in Gdansk, Poland.

As Afloat reported previously, Finn Lynch had a great regatta finishing in 13th position in Gdansk, a personal best for the Dun Laoghaire ace but there was a disappointment overall for Tokyo qualified Murphy. There was another personal best for Lynch's rival Glynn too, who finished 43 from 126.

Howth's Eve McMahon at only 16-years-old had her first senior European championships, qualifying for the Gold Fleet and finishing in 45th - a great marker of future potential.

More on Finn Lynch's plans here

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

2016 Irish Rio representative Finn Lynch believes that he can take one of the final two qualification spots for Tokyo 2021 in the Men's Laser class if he focuses on improving areas that prevented him from doing so at the last two qualification regattas. 

"There’s a bunch of good people who still haven’t qualified. There are five or six nations with guys who can have regattas in the top ten but I’m not really focusing on that. I’m focussing on trying to improve on the things that held me back on the last two qualification regattas. And If I can do that, there’s no reason that I cannot get a spot", he told the Irish Laer Class AGM last week.

Lynch gave his online interview coming off the back of the European Championships in Poland last month where he showed the depth of his Olympic ambitions and secured a personal best of 13th from a fleet of 126. It's a highly creditable result that will boost the 24-year-old's confidence in his race for one of the final Olympic berths.

Finn Lynch took a 13th overall - and a personal best - at the 2020 Laser EuropeansFinn Lynch took a 13th overall - and a personal best - at the 2020 Laser Europeans

Presumably, Lynch's training will focus on some uneven performances where the Irish ace has shown himself well able to win world championship races but, unfortunately,  just not managed to string together a consistent series to seize one of the prized Olympic berths.

As Afloat reported previously, the World Sailing Championships at Aarhus, Denmark, in August 2018 was the first opportunity to qualify for Tokyo, but Irish crews in three events did not pass the test then. Despite winning Race 7 in the Gold fleet, Lynch missed qualification by about 20 points as he carried two mid-forties results after he was disqualified from Race 8 for a premature start. Yet, in all this, his score sheet showed three top ten results, an otherwise very positive result. At the next qualification opportunity, the 2019 World Championships in Japan, Lynch ended the championship in 40th overall in the 148-boat fleet, 11th unqualified country and some 56-points off the tally required.

Prior to that, in the early part of 2019, the dedicated Olympic solo sailor had overall placings within the top ten at three major international events, and at Genoa 2019 he was an overall leader at one stage, and a slight turn of fortune would have seen him in the medals. His solid Laser performance moved him up to 15th in the world rankings in April 2019, so Lynch really does have the turn of speed required.

Fast forward to today and the scenario is that Slovenia, Switzerland, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland are in the running for the final places with Ireland finishing behind all of these at the 2019 World Championships, so the race is well and truly on to take one of these final European places. 

Portuguese winter training camp

During the special AGM interview section, Lynch also gave details by Zoom of his planned extended training camp in Portugal under coach three-time Olympic medallist Vasilij Žbogar.

Lynch says he is 'really excited' about the plan for this winter. The National Yacht Club sailor will be training with the Norwegian team and aims to stay in warmer climes until the final Tokyo qualification regatta, the venue for which is as yet unconfirmed due to COVID-19.

"It's just a rumour but it could now be Hyeres Regatta next April or it could be Palma or Hyeres or maybe a different World Cup," he told Jim McMahon, Secretary of the Irish Laser Class during the online Q & A.

Also looking to secure Ireland's place in the forthcoming regatta are trialists Bangor's Liam Glynn and Howth's Ewan McMahon and whoever can secure the place at next Spring's Regatta automatically becomes the Irish nominee for Tokyo.

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

Finn Lynch showed the depth of his Olympic ambitions when he continued up the scoresheet in Poland today to finish with a personal best of 13th from a fleet of 126 at the Laser European Championships.

It's a remarkable comeback from the National Yacht Club sailor who sailed a strong final series to close out the six-day championships in his highest position of the week.

The result easily trumps his 27th scored at the May 2019 Euros in Porto and also the 55th overall scored at the 2018 La Rochelle Euros.

As Afloat reported this week, Lynch went from 37th on day one before moving up to 25th after two races sailed in the opening qualifiers. He then dropped to 42nd overall after four races sailed but by Saturday, the Rio 2016 rep was back up into the thirties and yesterday he had recovered to 18th. It was clear he was on a comeback, sealing his best ever Euro result today just three tantalizing places outside the coveted top ten.

The result, of course, shows the real potential of the County Carlow native if he can iron out some troubling inconsistencies. However, the overall scoresheet also provides a snapshot of the size of the challenge Lynch faces if he is to secure one of the final berths for Tokyo 2021. Rivals for the last Euro Olympic berth, Spain and Italy, finished just ahead of him and Belgium and Greece just behind, so the battle ahead is clear. 

Confidence boost

While there is no doubt just how tight the margins are for the last Olympic qualification event next year, this Polish result at least will give Lynch the confidence to continue pushing forward for what amounts to his last chance at becoming a double Olympian in this quadrennial.

Belfast Lough's Liam Glynn Photo: Thom TouwBelfast Lough's Liam Glynn Photo: Thom Touw

Belfast Lough's Liam Glynn’s result (43rd place) and qualification for the gold fleet sets him up well for the coming season. Ewan McMahon (43rd in the silver fleet) will be disappointed given the fact that he qualified for the gold fleet at the 2019 World Championships but at only 20 years of age, McMahon is gaining valuable experience at this level.

British podium lock-out

The British squad confirmed they wanted the whole podium for them on the Laser Men’s championship, but with a little surprise in the end, with their next Olympic representative Elliot Hanson GBR (11-5) overcoming Michael Beckett GBR (17-14) in this last two races and conquering the Gold medal. Silver for Mickey and Bronze for the 2019 European champion Lorenzo Chiavarini GBR (10-19).

"I wouldn’t have cared which one of us won today. To lockout, the podium with 2 of your best mates since I was 11 years old is something special in the laser fleet and something I’ll hold on to for a long time" – Elliot Hanson GBR

“Very very happy! With only 6 days sailing pre-event, I definitely wasn’t expecting this result! A big thanks to Nick Thompson who kept me on the right track! I enjoyed every moment of this event. Over the moon to come away with a medal alongside the Brit Lads”, emphasized Lorenzo.

Almost there on the podium was Croatian Filip Jurisic CRO (16-3), finally fourth with same points than third.

A good championship for Russian Sergey Komissarov RUS (2-8), wrapping the event with nice results and climbing to the fifth place overall.

A second discard today allowed the 2020 World champion Philipp Buhl GER (1-7) to drop his two Black flags from the score and jump to the Top 10 for the first time in the event, conquering the 6th European place.

Joel Rodriguez ESP, Tonci Stipanovic CRO, Jonatan Vadnai HUN and Jean Baptiste Bernaz FRA completed the European Top 10.

Charlie Buckingham USA (7-54) finished 6th overall in the Open European Trophy.

Tom Higgins sixth in Radial

Royal St. George's Tom Higgins finished in sixth position in the Men’s Laser Radial, just missed out on a U21 podium finish.

Results here

Published in Laser
Tagged under

Finn Lynch continued his climb back up the scoresheet in the penultimate (and coldest) day of the 2020 Laser Senior European Championships & Open European Trophy in Poland.

The second discard hasn’t kicked in on the final series yet, which means it’s all still to play for tomorrow in the final two races of the Men’s Laser Standard division. It could see Ireland’s 2016 Rio rep climb higher than his18th place (up ten places overnight) a big comeback for the National Yacht Club sailor after being as low as 42nd after four races sailed.

Liam Glynn in 40th. Ewan McMahon is 18th in the silver fleet.

Organisers are expecting the final day tomorrow to be the windiest yet.

The British squad conquered the Laser Men’s podium in full today, with Michael Beckett GBR (24-22) retaining the leadership with 59 points but now closely followed by Elliot Hanson GBR (6-19) just 2.3 points behind. Third place is now for Lorenzo Chiavarini GBR (18-3) with 73.

“I forgot my jacket today so first of all, I have to thank Chris (my coach) for letting me use his between races on what must have been the coldest days sailing for a while. It was another tricky offshore day where it was hard to remain consistent. It’s tight at the top but great to be up there with both Enzo & Micky. Tomorrow should bring something different with a windy onshore breeze, it’s been a while since we’ve been hiking so I can’t wait!”– Elliot Hanson GBR

"Hard day as always in a Laser Gold fleet. Some nip and tuck racing out there. Tomorrow last day. Enjoying the moment"  – Lorenzo Chiavarini GBR

Places fourth to tenth are pretty tight now with all 6 competitors separated by 13 points. Russian sailor Sergey Komissarov RUS (13-27) heads this pack with 90, followed by William De Smet BEL (9-29) and Filip Jurisic CRO (20-4) with 92 and 95 points respectively.

“Today was about controlling the damage. I made a big comeback in the last race. Tomorrow will be the big show down. A second discard comes in play which will mix up the results massively. The only thing I can do tomorrow is sail at my very best and bring my A-game” – William De Smet BEL

"Definitely 20&4 today recover me a bit after very bad day yesterday. I manage to find my way in this light, tricky and shifty conditions. I am keeping focus for the last two races tomorrow, because still everything is open!" – Filip Jurisic CRO

Dimitris Papadimitriou GRE –99–, Nicolo Villa ITA –100–, Joaquin Blanco ESP –102– and Giovanni Coccoluto ITA –103 pt and winner of the last race today– are wrapping the provisional European Top 10.

It was a bad day for multi-champion Pavlos Kontides CYP (40-32) dropping to the 15th place with 114 points.

Charlie Buckingham USA (3-16) continued to show a great consistent sailing today and climbed to the 4th place overall with 83 units.

Higgins Up to Fifth in Radial

In the men’s Radial division, Tom Higgins of the Royal St. George Yacht Club scored a bullet in his last race and moves to fifth place overall in the 30-boat fleet.

Results here

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

Tricky light breezes prevailed in the first Final series day at the 2020 Laser Senior European Championships & Open European Trophy in Gdansk, Poland today that saw Finn Lynch move up three places overall in the 107-boat fleet to 25th place.

 Belfast lough's Liam Glynn is 45th. Ewan McMahon from Howth is in fourth position in the silver fleet.

Two new races were added to scores in the Laser Men’s Gold competition, with a nice day for the British sailor Michael Beckett GBR (4-15-4-1-2-7-4) reinforcing now leadership with 22 points, getting a nice gap to second Elliot Hanson GBR (3-8-1-7.3RDGq-17-17-2) with 38.3. Third place is still on hands of Pavlos Kontides CYP (2-21-2-9-4-37-7), although with a worst discard and counting 45 units.

Bad day for the overnight co-leader Filip Jurisic CRO (1-4-3-3-40-32-28), adding 60 points to his score and dropping to the 12th place.

Sergey Komissarov RUS and Lorenzo Chiavarini GBR are close to the podium positions in fourth and fifth, with 50 and 52 points respectively.

Ascendant William De Smet BEL is now sixth on ranking with 57 points, based on a great consistency work. Alessio Spadoni ITA is also climbing positions and ranked now seventh with 64.

Eighth place for Joaquin Blanco ESP with 66. It's the same score for Dimitris Papadimitriou GRE, entering the top 10 list for the first time in the event. Giovanni Coccoluto ITA holds the last of awarded positions on tenth with 69 points.

Charlie Buckingham USA is best of non-European sailors participating of this competition, holding the 8th place overall with 64 units.

Tom Higgins stays eighth in Radial men's fleet

Tom HigginsTom Higgins of the Royal St. George Yacht Club competing in the men's Radial Europeans. Photo: Thom Touw

In the men’s Radial division, Royal St. George’s Tom Higgins lies sixth in his 30-boat fleet.

The second day of finals racing continues tomorrow and the championships conclude on Tuesday.

Results here

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch made an impressive leap of 14 places from 42nd after four races to 28th overall this evening to complete the qualification stages of the Laser Radial Europeans on Gdansk Bay, Poland.

Light winds meant that the fleet only finished one race today in the final qualification day 2020 Laser Senior European Championships & Open European Trophy in Gdansk, Poland.

Both Lynch and Belfast Lough's Liam Glynn make the gold fleet in 28th and 38th position but a black flag disqualification in race four cost Ireland’s 2016 Rio rep dearly with scores of 20,19,12,(64.0 BFD) and 8.0. 

Howth’s Ewan McMahon will continue racing in the silver fleet and currently places in 73rd.

Laser European Championships racing in Gdansk Photo: Thom TouwLaser European Championships racing in Gdansk Photo: Thom Touw

All three sailors are still trying to qualify Ireland for the Tokyo Olympics and take one of two final European berths available so this regatta represents an important opportunity before the Olympic qualifier early next season.

The leadership changed hands today after the single race contested with light wind. British sailor Michael Beckett GBR (4-15-4-1-2) is heading now the fleet with 11 points, sharing score with overnight leader Filip Jurisic CRO (1-4-3-3-41). Third place belongs now to multi-champion Pavlos Kontides CYP (2-21-2-9-4) with 17 points.

"Tricky and variable conditions so far which is visible from the results of the fleet. Tomorrow the real war begins in the gold fleet with the top 50% of the competitors battling it out in the 6 remaining races" – Pavlos Kontides CYP

Brits Lorenzo Chiavarini GBR (1-1-20-11-5) and Elliot Hanson GBR (3-8-1-7.3RDGq-17) are also close with 18 and 19.3 points respectively.
Joaquin Blanco ESP –26 pt–, Sergey Komissarov RUS –26 pt–, Alessio Spadoni ITA –33 pt–, William De Smet BEL –33 pt– and Jean Baptiste Bernaz FRA –37 pt– also wrapped the Qualifying series among the European top 10.

Juan Maegli GUA and Ryan Lo SGP are best non-European sailors, holding the 8th and 10th places in the overall ranking.

Tom Higgins eighth in Radial

In the men's Radial division, Tom Higgins of the Royal St George Yacht Club stays in the top ten of his 30-boat fleet in eighth overall.

The Final series will start tomorrow, where the Standard fleet will be split in Gold and Silver.

The first warning signal for the Standard will be at 11:00.

Results here

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

The National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch has dropped five places to be 42nd overall after four races sailed at the 126-boat fleet of the Men's Laser Radial European Championships on Gdansk Bay in Poland. 

Belfast Lough's Liam Glynn is six places behind the Irish Rio representative and Howth's Ewan McMahon is in 83rd place. 

Saturday is another day of qualifying races before the fleets split for Sunday's final series.

Today was another day of great sailing conditions. A shifty NW breeze varying from 8-15 knots brought much longer waves than yesterday, although conditions were still choppy due to the 'unsteady' wind.

Consistency is paying off for Croatian Filip Jurisic CRO (1--3-3) leading now the Standard championship with 7 points, chased in full by the British quad: Michael Beckett GBR (4--4-1) and Elliot Hanson GBR (3-8-1-) complete the provisional podium with 9 and 12 points respectively.

The overnight leader Lorenzo Chiavarini GBR (1-1-20-11) is now fourth overall and sharing 13 points with Pavlos Kontides CYP and Joel Rodriguez ESP on 5th and 6th. Seventh place for another Spanish sailor, Joaquin Blanco ESP, only one point behind them.

Jean Baptiste Bernaz FRA, Alessio Spadoni ITA and Sergey Komissarov RUS complete the top 10 rank with 17, 19 and 20 points respectively.

Sailing will continue tomorrow with two new scheduled races. The day will start with Coaches/Team Leaders meeting at 09:00. First warning signal for the Radial will be at 11:00 / 11:45 for the Standard.

Royal St. George's Tom Higgins racing in the 30-boat men's Radial class is in fifth place, dropping three places on the second day.

Results here

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

Ireland's only sailor qualified so far for Tokyo 2021, Annalise Murphy races tomorrow in Poland as part of a six-boat Irish Laser team at the class European Championships.

Murphy is in top form for the Gdańsk Bay regatta having been crowned Italian Olympic Week champion late last month as Afloat reported here.

Poland is the first opportunity since the World Championships in Melbourne last February (where Murphy finished just outside the top ten) for the Laser class to compete in a large scale-format with a total fleet of 300 boats and - given the year that's in it - it's also the last chance this season to compete at European level.

Dun Laoghaire's Olympic Rio silver medalist leads a six-boat Irish team of three males and three females at Górki Zachodnie, nearby Gdańsk. Joining Murphy are Howth's Aoife Hopkins and Eve McMahon who compete against 109 other sailors from 36 countries in the women’s Laser Radial fleet. McMahon at 16 years of age, will be one of the youngest competitors in the fleet.

As Afloat readers know, Murphy was nominated for Tokyo after a cut-short trial in June but Hopkins and McMahon are on the start line again regardless with thoughts of campaigns for Paris 2024 already looming into sight. Not competing this week is Aisling Keller, the County Tipperary sailor who secured Ireland's berth for Tokyo in 2019 but was then left 'devastated' after the nomination decision.

All three of the 2016 Rio Olympic medallists will be competing in the Radial: Murphy (Silver), Marit Bouwmeester of the Netherlands (Gold), and Anne Marie Rindom of Denmark (Bronze).

Of course, in her remarkable career, Murphy is no stranger to the European podium, winning on home waters in 2013, a feat she would dearly love to replicate this week. 

Irish Laser men look for top Euro result to boost Olympic chances

In the men’s Laser Standard, Finn Lynch, Liam Glynn and Ewan McMahon are racing in a field of 133 sailors from 39 countries. Lynch is in good form having finished seventh in Italy in a high calibre fleet even though he missed the last race. Rival McMahon, in his first Olympic campaign, also fared well in Italy to end up in tenth. Gdańsk will be familiar territory for Ballyholme's Glynn, who won the bronze medal here at the U21 Laser World Championships in 2018. 

Finn Lynch on port tack at Italian Olympic Week this monthFinn Lynch on port tack at Italian Olympic Week this month

This week's Euros is an important event for the Irish men as all three continue to look for the form to bring Ireland one of the two remaining Olympic berths early next season. 

Despite being on the Baltic Sea, Gdańsk Bay usually has warm weather at this time of the year, but unusual offshore conditions. The forecast is for medium breezes.

Download the event Notice of Race below

Published in Laser

Two of Ireland's three Olympic men's Laser campaigners finished in the top ten of the Italian Olympic Week fleet today even though they didn't manage to sail the final race in Follonica.

Howth's Ewan McMahon closed the gap on the National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch when he moved up from 12th to finish tenth overall, just three places behind the 2016 Rio rep. Ballyholme's Liam Glynn finished 21st in the 88-boat fleet. 

It all adds up to an exciting Irish contest where the prize will be a place at the Tokyo Olympics if a nation berth can be won by any of the three.

As Afloat reported last November, before any Irish Olympic nomination can be conferred at least one of the three must win one of two final European Olympic slots remaining but that Olympic qualifying regatta will not now be held until 2021. 

Racing was cut short for the Irish trio in Italy today as they ditched the last race of the series this afternoon in order to catch a flight home before Italy closed to Ireland as a 'green listed' country in the latest round of COVID travel restrictions.

Both American Charlie Buckingham and Brazilian Robert Scheidt managed to overhaul overnight leader Guatemalan Juan Ignacio Maegli for the overall win, according to provisional results issued.

Download results below

The next event for the Irish Laser men is the Europeans in Poland, Gdynia, 6th to 12th of October.

Published in Tokyo 2020

The Irish Laser men who are in a three-way battle for 2021's single Tokyo Olympic berth resumed their fight after the COVID hiatus at Italian Olympic week in Follonica this weekend. 

With six races sailed, the National Yacht Club's Finn Lynch, the 2016 Irish Olympic representative, is seventh in the 88-boat fleet, five places ahead of Howth Yacht Club's Ewan McMahon. Ballyholme's Liam Glynn is lying 15th.

Unfortunately, the Irish trio spent a fruitless day afloat today with no wind to even get one race sailed. However, stronger scirocco winds are forecast to complete the series tomorrow with an early start.

Guatemalan Juan Ignacio Maegli (6 points) leads from American Charlie Buckingham (7) with Brazilian Robert Scheidt (8) only two points off the lead. 

As Afloat reported last November, before any Irish Olympic nomination can be conferred at least one of the three must win one of two final European Olympic slots remaining but that Olympic qualifying regatta will not now be held until 2021. 

The trio is joined in Italy this week by Radial teammate Annalise Murphy who leads her 41-boat division.

Published in Tokyo 2020
Page 1 of 16

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

Who is Your Sailor of the Year 2020?
Total Votes:
First Vote:
Last Vote:

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
watson 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
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating