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Displaying items by tag: Irish Coast Guard

The new National Maritime Oil & HNS Spill Contingency Plan (NMOSCP) will establish “a national framework and strategy to co-ordinate marine pollution preparedness and response”, according to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

Published yesterday (Friday 26 June), the plan aims to address all oil and HNS (hazardous and noxious substances) pollution in the waters of Ireland’s Exclusive Economic Zone, whether it originates from ships, harbours, offshore units, oil/HNS handling facilities or land-based sources.

An “essential feature” of the plan is co-ordination between the Irish Coast Guard and relevant Government and non-State bodies, and it provides “a platform to co-ordinate responses in the context of the Major Emergency Management Framework and separately under the Strategic Emergency Management National Structures and Framework”.

The department adds that the NMOSCP “will address Ireland’s obligation under international convention in respect to preparedness and response to maritime pollution incidents”, and will provide the coastguard with a benchmark for best international practice.

The contingency plan is available to download below, while various standard operating procedures can be found on gov.ie HERE.

Published in News Update

The Irish Times reports that a 35-year-old man was airlifted to hospital with serious spinal injuries after a diving incident in Co Cork yesterday afternoon (Monday 1 June).

It’s understood that the man was diving from rocks near Nohoval Cove, between Kinsale and Crosshaven, when his foot caught and he landed on rocks.

Kinsale RNLI and gardaí attended the scene along with the Irish Coast Guard, which airlifted the casualty on board the Shannon-based Rescue 115 helicopter to Cork University Hospital.

Elsewhere, the search resumed this morning for a five-year-old boy believed to have fallen from a dinghy on Lough Mask.

RTÉ News reports that gardaí and the coastguard are searching the west side of the lough near Toormakeady in Co Mayo.

Published in Rescue

On the same day that Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard assisted the local RNLI in aiding a boat in distress in Dublin Bay, the crew were also takes to investigate a mystery RIB on Killiney Beach.

It was quickly confirmed with locals, however, that the vessel had been beached the previous evening (Wednesday 27 May) and that the owner was aware and planned to reflect it at high tide.

More recently (Friday 29 May) Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard was tasked to get eyes on a jet ski reportedly broken down and adrift in Scotsman’s Bay.

A team was despatched to the area with RNLI Dun Laoghaire already en route. On arrival, the jet ski was located with the casualties taken aboard the RNLI offshore boat and the jet ski towed back to Dun Laoghaire Harbour to awaiting coastguard members.

With warm and sunny weather set to continue throughout the June Bank Holiday weekend, the coastguard appeals to the public to adhere to the safety advice and act responsibly in or near the water.

Seapoint, Sandycove and Killiney beach within the Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council area now have active lifeguards in place which the coastguard welcomes.

“With the weather staying warm and dry over the Bank Holiday this weekend, we remind everyone to keep within your 5km distance from home, keep two metres from others and dial 112 or use VHF Channel 16 if someone is in difficulty in or near water.”

Published in Coastguard

The Irish Coast Guard was on standby for last night’s planned SpaceX launch, which was scrubbed at the final hour due to poor weather conditions.

The Falcon 9 rocket had been due to lift off from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida last night (Wednesday 27 May) with the first US launch of American astronauts in nine years to the International Space Station.

And with the flight path taking taking the SpaceX mission — the first with humans on a commercial spacecraft — around the Atlantic and just past Ireland, the coastguard here was ready to respond if the mission were aborted off Irish shores. The Irish Examiner has much more HERE.

While the closing weather window put paid to last night’s launch with minutes to go, it’s possible NASA and SpaceX will try again this Saturday evening 30 May — and it’s expected the Irish Coast Guard will remain just as vigilant.

Published in Coastguard

RNLI lifeboat crews from Skerries and Clogherhead launched yesterday (Monday 25 May) to retrieve a number of adults and children who had become stranded on rocks near Mornington Beach, east of Drogheda.

The lifeboats were launched shortly before 3pm after Dublin Coast Guard received emergency calls about the group’s welfare.

Also tasked were the Irish Coast Guard’s Dublin-based helicopter Rescue 116, the Drogheda Coast Guard boat, and a coastguard land unit, with all arriving on scene within minutes.

Two women, a man and three children were located on the breakwater on the Mornington side of the River Boyne. It’s understood that the women and children had managed to climb up onto the rocks after they were pulled out to sea by a strong current, and the man had come to their assistance.

Working together, Skerries RNLI and Drogheda Coast Guard used their inshore boats to transfer the woman and one of the children to Clogherhead’s all-weather lifeboat for a possible transfer to the helicopter.

However, after consultation with the woman and Rescue 116, it was decided to bring them to a waiting ambulance on Mornington pier to be assessed and treated for their injuries.

The two inshore boats then recovered the remaining casualties from the rocks and brought them to be checked out by ambulance paramedics.

Subsequently the lifeboat crew were informed that another child had also been in the water and had suffered cuts and bruises.

However, they had made it back to shore with assistance from one of the adults. That child was picked up from the beach with another adult and brought for assessment by the ambulance crews.

Speaking about the call out, volunteer lifeboat press officer for Skerries RNLI, Gerry Canning, said: “Any incident involving multiple casualties has the potential to be serious.

“This was another great example of how well our volunteers work alongside our colleagues from our flank stations, from the coastguard and indeed all the emergency services.

“We hope all the casualties involved make a full and speedy recovery.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Irish Mirror reports that two people were rescued from a beach in Co Louth on Saturday afternoon (23 May) after getting into difficulty in the water.

Clogherhead RNLI and the Irish Coast Guard were tasked to the scene at Priests’ Beach in Blackrock, south of Dundalk,

And it’s understood the two individuals, who were surfers, were airlifted to hospital in Drogheda for treatment by the Dublin-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 116.

Published in Coastguard

The closing date to apply for the role of Watch Officer with the Irish Coast Guard is this coming Thursday 30 April.

Afloat.ie previously reported on vacancies at the coastguard’s three Marine Rescue Coordination Centres in Dublin, Malin Head in Co Donegal, and Valentia in Co Kerry.

Watch Officers are responsible for watch-keeping on the emergency frequencies and are required to act as Marine Alert, Notification and/or Search and Rescue Mission Co-ordination Officers.

They also process marine communication traffic and respond to ship casualty, pollution incidents, vessel traffic monitoring and co-ordination of coastguard helicopter operations.

Full details of the Watch Officer role and how to apply can be found HERE.

Published in Jobs
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A Spanish fisherman with acute abdominal pain was airlifted from a trawler some 70 miles off Castletownbere earlier this week, as the Irish Examiner reports.

The Irish Coast Guard tasked Shannon-based helicopter Rescue 115 for the medevac on Tuesday afternoon (14 April), which was completed in just over three hours.

It’s understood the ill trawlerman was taken to Cork University Hospital for treatment.

Published in Coastguard
Tagged under

It has been urged by the Irish Coast Guard that Cork County Council and An Garda Síochána to provide security at the MV Alta shipwreck on the Cork coast last month after it was reported people tried to access the ‘ghost ship’ which drifted ashore at Ballyandreen.

As TheJournal.ie reports, MV Alta was abandoned by its crew in October 2018 after it became disabled en route from Greece to Haiti.

The 44-year-old ship drifted eastwards and was sighted by the Royal Navy in August 2019. The HMS Protector attempted to make contact with the ship but received no response. It continued to drift before landing ashore at Ballyandreen near Ballycotton on 16 February during Storm Dennis.

From the outset, Cork County Council had urged the public to stay away from the potentially dangerous wreck (which last month underwent removal of oil/diesel by the council as Afloat previously reported)

Documents released under Freedom of Information show that three days after the MV Alta ran aground at Ballyandreen, the Irish Coast Guard wrote to The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport asking it “to impress upon Cork County Council and An Garda Síochána… that they must provide some type of security around the vessel.

More on this story here. 

Published in Coastguard

The Irish Coast Guard has vacancies for Watch Officers at its three Marine Rescue Coordination Centres in Dublin, Malin Head, Co Donegal and Valentia, Co Kerry.

The IRCG provides a nationwide maritime emergency service as well as a variety of services to shipping and other government agencies.

Watch Officers are responsible for watch-keeping on the emergency frequencies and are required to act as Marine Alert, Notification and/or Search and Rescue Mission Co-ordination Officers.

They also process marine communication traffic and respond to ship casualty, pollution incidents, vessel traffic monitoring and co-ordination of coastguard helicopter operations.

The closing date for receipt of applications is Thursday 30 April.

Full details on this role and the eligibility requirements are available on publicjobs.ie

Published in Coastguard
Tagged under
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Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard is Ireland's 4th 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.

Introduction

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 around 2000 times (40 times to assist mountain rescues and 200 times to carry out aeromedical HEMS missions on behalf of the HSE), Coast Guard volunteer units will respond 1000 times and RNLI and community lifeboats will be tasked by our Coordination Centres about 950 times
  • evacuate medical patients off our Islands to hospital on 100 occasions
  • assist other nations' Coast Guards about 200 times
  • make around 6,000 maritime safety broadcasts to shipping, fishing and leisure craft users
  • carry out a safety on the water campaign that targets primary schools and leisure craft users, including at sea and beach patrols
  • investigate approximately 50 maritime pollution reports

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

List of Coast Guard Units in Ireland

  • 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

The roles of the Irish Coast Guard

The main roles of the Irish Coast Guard are 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.

Each year the Irish Coast Guard co-ordinates the response to thousands of incidents at sea and on the cliffs and beaches of Ireland. It does this through its Marine Rescue Centres which are currently based in:

  • Dublin
  • Malin Head (Co Donegal)
  • Valentia Island (Co Kerry).

Each centre is responsible for search and rescue operations.

The Dublin National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) provides marine search and rescue response services and co-ordinates the response to marine casualty incidents within the Irish Pollution Responsibility Zone/EEZ.

The Marine Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) Valentia and MRSC Malin Head are 24/7 centres co-ordinating search and rescue response in their areas of responsibility.

The Marine Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) Valentia is the contact point for routine operational matters in the area between Ballycotton and Clifden.

MRSC Malin Head is the contact point for routine operational matters in the area between Clifden and Lough Foyle.

MRCC Dublin is the contact point for routine operational matters in the area between Carlingford Lough and Ballycotton.

Each MRCC/MRSC broadcasts maritime safety information on VHF and, in some cases, MF radio in accordance with published schedules.

Maritime safety information that is broadcast by the three Marine Rescue Sub-centres includes:

  • navigational warnings as issued by the UK Hydrographic Office
  • gale warnings, shipping forecasts, local inshore forecasts, strong wind warnings and small craft warnings as issued by the Irish Meteorological Office.

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.

The Coast Guard can contract specialised aerial surveillance or dispersant spraying aircraft at short notice internationally.

Helicopter tasks include:

  • the location of marine and aviation incident survivors by homing onto aviation and marine radio distress transmissions, by guidance from other agencies, and by visual, electronic and electro-optical search
  • the evacuation of survivors from the sea, and medical evacuees from all manner of vessels including high-sided passenger and cargo vessels and from the islands
  • the evacuation of personnel from ships facing potential disaster
  • search and or rescue in mountainous areas, caves, rivers, lakes and waterways
  • the transport of offshore fire-fighters (MFRTs) or ambulance teams (MARTs) and their equipment following a request for assistance
  • the provision of safety cover for other search and rescue units including other Marine Emergency Service helicopters
  • pollution, casualty and salvage inspections and surveillance and the transport of associated personnel and equipment
  • inter-agency training in all relevant aspects of the primary role
  • onshore emergency medical service, including evacuation and air ambulance tasks
  • relief of the islands and of areas suffering from flooding or deep snow

The secondary roles of the helicopter are:

  • the exercise of the primary search, rescue and evacuation roles in adjacent search and rescue regions
  • assistance to onshore emergency services, such as in the evacuation of high-rise buildings
  • public safety awareness displays and demonstrations
  • providing helicopter expertise for seminars and training courses

The Irish Coast Guard provides aeronautical assets for search and rescue in the mountains of Ireland. Requests for Irish Coast Guard assets are made to the Marine Rescue Centres.

Requests are accepted from An Garda Síochána and nominated persons in Mountain Rescue Teams.

Information courtesy of Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (July 2019)

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