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Displaying items by tag: Irish Whale and Dolphin Group

The infamous Celtic Mist is set to be used to track one of the most elusive marine animals in Irish waters.
The Irish Examiner reports that one of the first duties of the yacht under its new ownership by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) will be to track down the blue whale, the last of which was spotted off the Irish coast in 2009.
"We’ve made two sightings of the blue whale on the shelf edge but with the Celtic Mist we will be able to go out there for a few weeks and sit there and wait for them," said the IWDG's Dr Simon Berrow.
"Hopefully we will find some more when we bring the Celtic Mist out there. They are very rare."
The blue whale is regarded as the largest animal to have ever lived on earth. They also have an average lifespan of well over 100 years.
As previously reported by Afloat.ie, Celtic Mist was gifted by the Haughey family to the IWDG earlier this year to assist in its marine conservation work.
The yacht competed in a leg of the 2011 Tall Ships Race from Waterford to Scotland before moving to its new home in Co Clare, where it will be refitted for its new life as a research vessel.

The infamous Celtic Mist is set to be used to track one of the most elusive marine animals in Irish waters.

The Irish Examiner reports that one of the first duties of the yacht under its new ownership by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) will be to track down the blue whale, the last of which was spotted off the Irish coast in 2009.

"We’ve made two sightings of the blue whale on the shelf edge but with the Celtic Mist we will be able to go out there for a few weeks and sit there and wait for them," said the IWDG's Dr Simon Berrow. 

"Hopefully we will find some more when we bring the Celtic Mist out there. They are very rare."

The blue whale is regarded as the largest animal to have ever lived on earth. They also have an average lifespan of well over 100 years.

As previously reported by Afloat.ie, Celtic Mist was gifted by the Haughey family to the IWDG earlier this year to assist in its marine conservation work.

The yacht competed in a leg of the 2011 Tall Ships Race from Waterford to Scotland before moving to its new home in Co Clare, where it will be refitted for its new life as a research vessel.

Published in Marine Wildlife
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has published a notice for its plans to refit Celtic Mist as a research vessel.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Celtic Mist was gifted to the IWDG by the Haughey family to help the group in its marine wildlife conservation work.
www.rvcelticmist.ie
Under its new ownership, it completed a leg of this year's Tall Ships Race and found a new home at a sponsored berth at Kilrush, Co Clare.
Currently the IWDG is applying to the Clare Local Development Company for LEADER funding towards the refit.
IWDG co-ordinator Dr Simon Berrow said: "We are eligible for 75% funding but need to provide 25% funding ourselves. We estimate this to be in the region of €12,500.
"Celtic Mist has already cost IWDG around €5,000-7,500 so we must start a fundraising campaign to cover these and other costs."
Anyone who wishes to contribute to the fundraising campaign can contact the IWDG at [email protected] All donations above €250 are tax deductable.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has published a notice for its plans to refit the yacht Celtic Mist as a research vessel.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Celtic Mist was gifted to the IWDG by the Haughey family to help the group in its marine wildlife conservation work.

Under its new ownership, it completed a leg of this year's Tall Ships Race and found a new home at a sponsored berth at Kilrush, Co Clare.

Currently the IWDG is applying to the Clare Local Development Company for LEADER funding towards the refit.
IWDG co-ordinator Dr Simon Berrow said: "We are eligible for 75% funding but need to provide 25% funding ourselves. We estimate this to be in the region of €12,500.

"Celtic Mist has already cost IWDG around €5,000-7,500 so we must start a fundraising campaign to cover these and other costs."

Anyone who wishes to contribute to the fundraising campaign can contact the IWDG at [email protected]. All donations above €250 are tax deductable.

Published in Marine Science
A sperm whale that beached on a sand spit in Dungarvan, Co Waterford on Friday has died.
The male whale had been spotted off the coast in the 24 hours before it was discovered 'live stranded' on Cunnigar Strand.
Rescuers said there was "no effective way" of refloating the 10+ metre long whale from what became its final resting place.
"Once they come this far inshore they are pretty much doomed," the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group's (IWDG) Pádraig Whooley told the Irish Examiner.
No decision has yet been made regarding disposal of the whale carcass, but Irish Weather online quotes Whooley as saying it is "a wasted opportunity when these magnificent specimens are simply hauled off for incineration".

A sperm whale that beached on a sand spit in Dungarvan, Co Waterford on Friday has died.

The male whale had been spotted off the coast in the 24 hours before it was discovered 'live stranded' on Cunnigar Strand.

Rescuers said there was "no effective way" of refloating the 10+ metre long whale from what became its final resting place.

"Once they come this far inshore they are pretty much doomed," the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group's (IWDG) Pádraig Whooley told the Irish Examiner.

No decision has yet been made regarding disposal of the whale carcass, but Irish Weather Online quotes Whooley as saying it is "a wasted opportunity when these magnificent specimens are simply hauled off for incineration".

Published in Marine Wildlife
Though they failed to track down the elusive humpback whales, IWDG members were recently treated to their first sighting of fin whales in Co Kerry's inshore waters.
With permission from the Haughey family to land on Inis Mhic Aoibhleáin - the most westerly point in Europe - as a vantage point, 20 members of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group set out south towards the Scelligs following tell-tale blows.
Amid hundreds of dolphins and as many as 11 minke whales seen throughout the day, the first fin whale was found 10 miles south of the Blaskets.
Two more were spotted 4 miles northwest of Sceilig Mhichíl, both of which were biopsied.
"What we observed was spectacular activity in an area which appeared to be devoid of life just the week before," said the IWDG's Conor Ryan.
The IWDG has more on the story, including photos, HERE.

Though they failed to track down the elusive humpback whales, IWDG members were recently treated to their first sighting of fin whales in Co Kerry's inshore waters.

With permission from the Haughey family to land on Inis Mhic Aoibhleáin - the most westerly point in Europe - as a vantage point, 20 members of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group set out south towards the Scelligs following tell-tale blows.

Amid hundreds of dolphins and as many as 11 minke whales seen throughout the day, the first fin whale was found 10 miles south of the Blaskets. 

Two more were spotted 4 miles northwest of Sceilig Mhichíl, both of which were biopsied.

"What we observed was spectacular activity in an area which appeared to be devoid of life just the week before," said the IWDG's Conor Ryan.

The IWDG has more on the story, including photos, HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
The Irish Independent reports that some 100 bottlenose dolphins have made a new home off the Donegal coast in the past week.
The pod of bottlenoses - a rare treat in Irish waters compared to the near ubiquitous common dolphin - has been spoted by boaters and wildlife enthusiasts in the inner Donegal Bay, between Rossnowlagh Beach and Doorin Head.
Patrick Lane of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group said the bottlenose often swims closer to the shore than its more common counterparts, making it much easier for people on shore to catch a glimpse.
The Irish Independent has more on the story, including photos, HERE.

The Irish Independent reports that some 100 bottlenose dolphins have made a new home off the Donegal coast in the past week.

The pod of bottlenoses - a rare treat in Irish waters compared to the near ubiquitous common dolphin - has been spoted by boaters and wildlife enthusiasts in the inner Donegal Bay, between Rossnowlagh Beach and Doorin Head.

Patrick Lane of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group said the bottlenose often swims closer to the shore than its more common counterparts, making it much easier for people on shore to catch a glimpse.

The Irish Independent has more on the story, including photos, HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
All are invited to take part in the All-Ireland Whale Watch Day next Sunday 21 August.
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is organising 13 land-based whale watches from headlands around the Irish coast on the day from 2pm-5pm as part of the Heritage Council's annual Heritage Week.
Each will be led by experienced IWDG personnel, who will show you how to observe and identify some of the more commonly observed cetacean species seen in Irish waters.
The watches are free to attend - all that is required is to bring binoculars or a spotting scope, and dress appropriately for outdoor conditions.
The purpose of day is to raise awareness of the 24 species of cetaceans (porpoises, dolphins and whales) that can be seen around the Irish coast. The event will also provide IWDG researchers with a unique snapshot of whale and dolphin activity in Irish waters.
For details on your nearest whale watch visit the IWDG Whale Watch Ireland website.

All are invited to take part in the All-Ireland Whale Watch Day next Sunday 21 August.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is organising 13 land-based whale watches from headlands around the Irish coast on the day from 2pm-5pm as part of the Heritage Council's annual Heritage Week.

Each will be led by experienced IWDG personnel, who will show you how to observe and identify some of the more commonly observed large marine wildlife seen in Irish waters.

The watches are free to attend - all that is required is to bring binoculars or a spotting scope, and dress appropriately for outdoor conditions.

The purpose of day is to raise awareness of the 24 species of cetaceans (porpoises, dolphins and whales) that can be seen around the Irish coast. The event will also provide IWDG researchers with a unique snapshot of whale and dolphin activity in Irish waters.

For details on your nearest whale watch visit the IWDG Whale Watch Ireland website.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Ireland's Wildlife's Calvin Jones recently joined the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group on the trail of fin whales off the West Cork coast.
Following reports of sightings just off the coastline, IWDG researchers set off with group members and a ranger from the National Parks and Wildlife Service on chartered vessel the Holly Joe to confirm for themselves.
"It took a while for us to spot the characteristic blow, gracefully arching back and almost ludicrously small dorsal fin of our first fin whale," says Jones, who also notes that the calm conditions made spotting their telltale blows more difficult due to the lack of spray.
Jones continues: "This day the water was so clear that at one point, looking down from the roof of the Holly Joe, I could clearly see the whole whale – from the tip of its head to the impressive tail flukes. It was bigger than the boat by some margin: an awe inspiring sight.
Ireland's Wildlife has more on the story HERE.

Ireland's Wildlife's Calvin Jones recently joined the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group on the trail of fin whales and other marine wildlife off the West Cork coast.

Following reports of sightings just off the coastline, IWDG researchers set off with group members and a ranger from the National Parks and Wildlife Service on chartered vessel the Holly Joe to confirm for themselves.

"It took a while for us to spot the characteristic blow, gracefully arching back and almost ludicrously small dorsal fin of our first fin whale," says Jones, who also notes that the calm conditions made spotting their telltale blows more difficult due to the lack of spray.

Jones continues: "This day the water was so clear that at one point, looking down from the roof of the Holly Joe, I could clearly see the whole whale – from the tip of its head to the impressive tail flukes. It was bigger than the boat by some margin: an awe inspiring sight."

Ireland's Wildlife has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
Humpback whales have already returned to Irish waters, with recent impressive sightings off Dublin and Kerry, Irish Weather Online reports.
According to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), a scallop fisherman reported a 'spouting' whale near his boat last Tuesday - a sighting that was later confirmed by whale-watchers along the Dingle peninsula, who photographed two whales off Slea Head.
Meanwhile, last Thursday a third confirmed sighting was made near Lambay Island, off the Dublin coast.
"You are looking for a smallish whale, broad in shape, 25-35ft in length, with a definite 'bushy' blow, and a pronounced hump forward of the dorsal fin," said the IWDG's Pádraig Whooley.
"They are likely to be quite visible on the surface, in contrast with minke whales who rarely exhibit a visible blow and are only briefly on the surface between long dives. Humpbacks may also be curious towards boats."
Irish Weather Online has more on the story, including images, HERE.

Humpback whales have already returned to Irish waters, with recent impressive sightings off Dublin and Kerry, Irish Weather Online reports.

According to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), a scallop fisherman reported a 'spouting' whale near his boat last Tuesday - a sighting that was later confirmed by whale-watchers along the Dingle peninsula, who photographed two whales off Slea Head.

Meanwhile, last Thursday a third confirmed sighting was made near Lambay Island, off the Dublin coast.

"You are looking for a smallish whale, broad in shape, 25-35ft in length, with a definite 'bushy' blow, and a pronounced hump forward of the dorsal fin," said the IWDG's Pádraig Whooley. 

"They are likely to be quite visible on the surface, in contrast with minke whales who rarely exhibit a visible blow and are only briefly on the surface between long dives. Humpbacks may also be curious towards boats."

Irish Weather Online has more on the story, including images, HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
The Celtic Mist sailed to its new berth at Kilrush in Co Clare on Saturday to begin its new life as a marine research vessel.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the 52-foot yacht was gifted by the Haughey family to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) to assist in its conservation work.
It also recently completed a leg of the Tall Ships Races from Waterford to Greenock in western Scotland - the only Irish entry to compete in the race this year.
According to Irish Weather Online, the yacht will be used for research and surveying of whales, dolphins and other marine wildlife in Ireland, as well as training people to carry out marine surveys by acoustic monitoring.
Irish Weather Online also has images of the Celtic Mist arriving at its new home HERE.

The Celtic Mist sailed to its new berth at Kilrush in Co Clare on Saturday to begin its new life as a marine research vessel.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the 52-foot yacht was gifted by the Haughey family to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) to assist in its conservation work.

It also recently completed a leg of the Tall Ships Races from Waterford to Greenock in western Scotland - the only Irish entry to compete in the race this year.

According to Irish Weather Online, the yacht will be used for research and surveying of whales, dolphins and other marine wildlife in Ireland, as well as training people to carry out marine surveys by acoustic monitoring.

Irish Weather Online also has images of the Celtic Mist arriving at its new home HERE.

Published in Tall Ships
The Irish Independent today recounts the tumultuous history of the Celtic Mist - the yacht once owned by the late former Taoiseach Charles Haughey that has now begun a new life as a research vessel with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).
"But as the boat continues to ride the waves off the west coast of Ireland it will forever be associated with the shenanigans of 'Champagne Charlie'," writes John Costello.
Though controversial for many - from its purchase in 1987 and its subsequent lavish outfitting to the extravagance of the lobster and vintage wine that were always available on board - there are also fond memories, particularly in Dingle, where Haughey helped to transform the harbour.
And who can forget the time when Loyalist terrorists threatened to blow up the yacht in a bid to avenge the death of Lord Mountbatten?
The Irish Independent has more on the Celtic Mist's storied past HERE.

The Irish Independent today recounts the tumultuous history of the Celtic Mist - the yacht once owned by the late former Taoiseach Charles Haughey that recently took part in the Tall Ships Races has now begun a new life as a research vessel with the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).

"But as the boat continues to ride the waves off the west coast of Ireland it will forever be associated with the shenanigans of 'Champagne Charlie'," writes John Costello.

Though controversial for many - from its purchase in 1987 and its subsequent lavish outfitting to the extravagance of the lobster and vintage wine that were always available on board - there are also fond memories, particularly in Dingle, where Haughey helped to transform the harbour. 

And who can forget the time when Loyalist terrorists threatened to blow up the yacht in a bid to avenge the death of Lord Mountbatten?

The Irish Independent has more on the Celtic Mist's storied past HERE.

Published in Tall Ships
Page 9 of 12

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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