Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: Jennings

#Rowing: Sinéad Lynch and Claire Lambe qualified for the semi-finals of the World Cup in Lucerne this morning with a fine performance in their heat. Drawn against World Champions Switzerland, Germany and Russia, and with just two places available, the Ireland lightweight double scull kept their heads and moved decisively in the third quarter to take the second spot behind winners New Zealand.

World Cup Regatta, Lucerne, Switzerland (Irish interest, selected results)

Women

Lightweight Double Sculls – Heats (Two to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechage) – Heat One: 1 South Africa 6:57.90, 2 China Two 7:01.11. Heat Two: 1 Canada 6:56.56, 2 China One 6:57.98.

Heat Three: 1 New Zealand 7:00.16, 2 Ireland (C Lambe, S Lynch) 7:01.90; 3 Germany One 7:05.79, 4 Russia One 7:06.01, 5 Chile One.

 

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland had two fourth-place finishes in their first two A Finals of the European Rowing Championships in Brandenburg in Germany. The lightweight men’s pair of Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll finished impressively to push Germany into fifth. Britain’s Sam Scrimgeour and Joel Cassells won, with Denmark second and Spain third. Lightweight single sculler Denise Walsh also had a good final quarter. Her race was dominated by Anja Noske of Germany, with Denmark and the Netherlands taking silver and bronze.  Sinéad Jennings and Claire Lambe finished third in the B Final of the women’s lightweight double sculls, ninth overall. Sweden beat Britain into second, with Ireland over two seconds further back.

European Rowing Championships, Brandenburg, Germany – Day Three (Irish interest; selected results):

Men

Lightweight Pair – A Final: 1 Britain (S Scrimgeour, J Cassells) 7:00.38, 2 Denmark 7:03.94, 3 Spain 7:05.32; 4 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll)  7:09.67

Women

Lightweight Double Sculls – B Final (Places 7 to 12): 1 Sweden 7:27.70, 2 Britain 7:27.99, 3 Ireland (C Lambe, S Jennings) 7:30.28.

Lightweight Single Sculls – A Final: 1 Germany (A Noske) 8:26.75, 2 Denmark 8:32.54, 3 Netherlands 8:37.05; 4 Ireland (D Walsh) 8:42.93.

 

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Single sculler Sanita Puspure and the men’s lightweight double scull won their semi-finals to bring Ireland’s A Final tally to four at the European Rowing Championships in Brandenburg in Germany. The Ireland women’s lightweight double had to settle for a B Final place.

 Paul O’Donovan and Gary O’Donovan produced an excellent finishing sprint to win their semi-final. Germany had led them down the course but the Cork brothers outpaced them in the dash to the line.  

 Puspure won a really good race, Nataliya Dovgodko of the Ukraine and and Lina Saltyte of Lithuania looked impressive in the first half in the tough, cross-headwind conditions, with Puspure also in the top three. Mirka Knapkova moved from fourth in the final seven hundred metres to dispute the lead, but Puspure finished strongly and kept her in second. Saltyte took third.  

 Sinéad Jennings and Claire Lambe finished fifth in their semi-final. Poland were impressive winners, with Denmark holding second for much of the race and Ireland disputing third with Romania. Britain pushed into the top four in the second half, but could not secure a top-three place. Romania pushed into second, ahead of Denmark. Britain finished fourth, one place ahead of Jennings and Lambe.

European Championships, Brandenburg, Germany – Day Two (Selected results, Irish interest)

Men

Lightweight Pair – Repechage (First Four to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Denmark 7:26.63, 2 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 7:27.99, 3 Germany 7:29.0, 4 Portugal 7:29.70.

Lightweight Double Sculls – Semi-Final One (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Ireland (G O’Donovan, P O’Donovan) 7:00.52, 2 Germany 7:00.7, 3 Poland 7:08.37.

Women

Lightweight Double Sculls – Semi-Final Two (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Poland 7:57.60, 2 Romania 8:01.47, 3 Denmark 8:03.45; 5 Ireland (C Lambe, S Jennings) 8:12.30

Single Sculls – Semi-Final One (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Ireland (S Puspure) 8:44.67, 2 Czech Republic (M Knapkova) 8:45.61, 3 Lithuania (L Saltyte) 8:47.70.

Lightweight Single Sculls – Repechage (First Two to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Ireland (D Walsh)  8:39.41, 2 Britain (I Walsh) 8:41.08.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Gary and Paul O’Donovan won their heat of the lightweight double sculls at the European Championships in Brandenburg in Germany. The Czech Republic showed well early on, but by halfway the brothers from Skibbereen had a small lead, which they extended from there on. As the Czechs faded, Belgium strengthened, and they took second. Switzerland edged out the Czechs for the third direct qualification place.

 Sinéad Jennings and Claire Lambe took second in their heat of the lightweight double to qualify for the semi-finals. With Ukraine stuck in  fourth place, the Netherlands, Ireland and Germany were set for the semi-final places, but fought it out before finishing in that order.  

 Denise Walsh finished fifth in her heat of the lightweight single sculls and must compete in a repechage. In the men’s lightweight pair, the world champions, Sam Scrimgeour and Joel Cassells of Britain, won their heat and took the A Final place. The Ireland crew of Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll held second right down the course and sprinted to the line to hold off a challenge by Poland.  

European Championships, Brandenburg, Germany – Day One (Selected results, Irish interest)

Men

Lightweight Pair – Heat One (Winner to A Final; rest to repechage): 1 Britain (S Scrimgeour, J Cassells) 6:59.29; 2 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 7:06.20.

Lightweight Double Sculls – Heat Two (First three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to repechage): 1 Ireland (G O’Donovan, P O’Donovan) 6:46.75, 2 Belgium 6:49.46, 3 Switzerland 6:51.12.

Women

Quadruple Sculls – Heat One (Winner to A Final; rest to repechage): 3 Britain (3: H Nixon) 6:48.20.

Single Sculls – Heat One (First three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to repechage): 1 Ireland (S Puspure) 8:09.55, 2 Latvia (E Gulbe) 8:13.73, 3 Britain (M Hodgkins-Byrne) 8:16.21.

Lightweight Double Sculls – Heat Three (First three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to repechage): 1 Netherlands 7:29.38, 2 Ireland (C Lambe, S Jennings) 7:34.04, 3 Germany 7:38.89.

Lightweight Single Sculls – Heat One (First Two to A Final; rest to repechage): 1 Denmark 8:23.99, 2 Poland 8:25.82: 5 Ireland (D Walsh) 8:35.99.  

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The Ireland lightweight double of Sinéad Jennings and Claire Lambe finished fourth in their repechage and are bound for a C Final of the World Cup in Varese in Italy. Italy One and Italy Two battled it out at the head of the field, while Ireland lost a battle for the third qualification spot to Sweden.  

 The Ireland men’s lightweight four finished fifth in their repechage, rowed as conditions became tougher. The Ireland women’s pair of Leonora Kennedy and Barbara O’Brien also finished fifth in their repechage and also go to a C Final.

World Cup Regatta, Varese (Selected Results, Irish interest)

Men

Lightweight Four – Heat Three (First Two to A/B Semi-Final; rest to Repechages): 1 Italy Two 6:00.40, 2 United States 6:00.95; 4 Ireland (L Seaman, M O’Donovan, L Keane, S O’Driscoll) 6:18.75. Repechage One (First Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to C Final): Poland One 6:01.07, 2 Japan One 6:02.92, 3 Poland Two 6:03.41; 5 Ireland 6:14.13.

Lightweight Double Sculls – Heat Three (First Two to A/B Semi-Final; rest to Repechages): 1 Ireland (P O’Donovan, G O’Donovan) 6:27.07, 2 Britain 6:33.38; 3 Netherlands Two 6:48.24.  

Women

Pair – Heat One (First Two to A/B Semi-Final; rest to Repechages): 1 Germany 7:23.08, 2 Russia One 7:24.46; 5 Ireland (L Kennedy, B O’Brien) 7:46.38. Repechage Two (First Three to Repechages; rest to C Final): 5 Ireland 7:24.68.

Lightweight Double Sculls – Heat Two (First Two to A/B Semi-Final; rest to Repechages): 1 Switzerland 7:03.98, 2 Canada 7:04.45; 3 Ireland (C Lambe, S Jennings) 7:05.0. Repechage One (First Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to C Final): 1 Italy One 6:57.42, 2 Italy Two 6:59.61, 3 Sweden One 7:01.20; 4 Ireland 7:05.60.

Single Sculls – Heat One (Winner to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechages): 1 Ireland (S Puspure) 7:34.32; 2 Czech Republic (M Knapkova) 7:36.13. 

Lightweight Single Sculls – Heat One (First Two to A/B Semi-Final; rest to Repechages): 1 Netherlands Two 7:40.25, 2 Italy 7:45.99; 4 Ireland Two (S McCrohan) 8:02.38.

Heat Two (First Two to A/B Semi-Final; rest to Repechages): 1 Canada 7:42.41, 2 Netherlands One 7:45.30; 5 Ireland One (D Walsh) 8:11.91.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland had its second heat win at the World Cup Regatta in Varese, as the lightweight double of Paul O’Donovan and Gary O’Donovan gave an excellent display. They took over the lead in the second half of the race and beat Britain into second place, with both crews qualifying for semi-finals.  

 Sinéad Jennings and Claire Lambe finished third in their heat, missing direct qualifcation for the semi-finals by just one spot. The Ireland lightweight double were very close to leaders Switzerland down the course, but in the drive for the line Canada took the second qualification place, with Ireland .55 of a second behind.    

World Cup Regatta, Varese (Selected Results, Irish interest)

Men

Lightweight Double Sculls – Heat Three (First Two to A/B Semi-Final; rest to Repechages): 1 Ireland (P O’Donovan, G O’Donovan) 6:27.07, 2 Britain 6:33.38; 3 Netherlands Two 6:48.24.  

Women

Pair – Heat One (First Two to A/B Semi-Final; rest to Repechages): 1 Germany 7:23.08, 2 Russia One 7:24.46; 5 Ireland (L Kennedy, B O’Brien) 7:46.38.

Lightweight Double Sculls – Heat Two (First Two to A/B Semi-Final; rest to Repechages): 1 Switzerland 7:03.98, 2 Canada 7:04.45; 3 Ireland (C Lambe, S Jennings) 7:05.0.

Single Sculls – Heat One (Winner to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechages): 1 Ireland (S Puspure) 7:34.32; 2 Czech Republic (M Knapkova) 7:36.13.  

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The entry for the Irish Indoor Rowing Championships has both quantity and quality, with Irish rowers who are set to compete at the Olympic Games in the mix. Gary O’Donovan will compete in lightweight class and Paul O’Donovan in the under-23 lightweight class.

Claire Lambe, who partnered Sinéad Jennings in the Ireland lightweight women’s double crew which qualified the boat for Rio, is also entered. Jennings may do a Wattbike test.

Among the heavyweight men, Philip Doyle, Sam McKeown and Dave Neale will be among those competing to set the top mark, while Sanita Puspure, an Olympian in 2012, should be the fastest woman.

The Championships have a record entry and will be held in Limerick on January 23rd.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The Afloat Rowers of the Year for 2015 are the Ireland men’s and women’s lightweight double sculls who qualified their boats for the Olympic Games in 2016.

Claire Lambe and Sinéad Jennings needed to finish in the top 11 at the World Championships in Aiguebelette in August/September. They seemed well-placed in their semi-final to qualify for the A Final, but were pushed into fourth as Canada finished with a remarkable sprint. The Ireland crew changed tactics for the B Final, and it worked. They finished ninth.

 The men’s lightweight double of Gary and Paul O’Donovan had a similar qualification mark in Aiguebelette. To have a shot they had to finish in the top three in their quarter-final, and they achieved this, pushing Hayden Cohen and Peter Taylor of New Zealand into fourth. They finished fifth in their semi-final and then booked their Rio place with a fifth-place finish (11th overall) in their B Final, eking out a place ahead of Greece, who had finished eighth at the Olympic Games in London.

 Afloat wishes both crews and all the Irish rowing community the very best in 2016.

Rower of the Year Award: The judging panel is made up of Liam Gorman, rowing correspondent of The Irish Times and David O'Brien, Editor of Afloat magazine. Monthly awards for achievements during the year appeared on afloat.ie. The overall national award has been given to the crews who, in the judges' opinion, achieved the most notable results and made the most significant contribution to rowing during 2015. Keep an eye on progress in 2016.

Published in Rower of the Year

#Rowers of the Month: The Afloat Rowers of the Month for September are the Ireland men’s and women’s lightweight double sculls (Paul and Gary O’Donovan; Sinéad Jennings and Claire Lambe) which qualified their boats for the Olympic Games. Both crews faced challenges in their quest to be in the top 11 at the World Championships in Aiguebelette; both overcame them.

 Jennings, a mother of three young children and a doctor, returned to the sport last year targeting a place in Rio. She broke a rib early this year. For another athlete this might have meant abandoning her punishing schedule. Jennings (then 38) redoubled her efforts. She excelled on the Wattbike at the Irish Indoor Championships and competed at the European Championships in a lightweight single. She came through a two-race trial to qualify for the lightweight double. Lambe and Jennings teamed up at the World Cup in Lucerne and finished seventh. It was a promising result, but this was their first time competing together. In the semi-final at the World Championships, they were outsprinted to the line by Canada, and missed out on an A Final spot. For the B Final, the tactics were to be in the leading group until the end. They did it. Their third place secured the precious slot in Rio for the Ireland women’s lightweight double.

 Paul and Gary O’Donovan produced one of the greatest performances in Irish rowing by taking third place in their quarter final in Aiguebelette. With just a season of competition as a crew behind them, Gary (22) and Paul (21) were able to find a sprint finish which ousted New Zealand from a chance of qualifying their boat. In the B Final, the O’Donovan brothers stayed with the leaders until the finishing sprint, where they showed tremendous grit to take fifth (11th overall), .28 of a second ahead of Greece.

 Well done to all the Ireland team and to the two crews which are the Afloat Rowers of the Month.

Rower of the Month awards: The judging panel is made up of Liam Gorman, rowing correspondent of The Irish Times and David O'Brien, Editor of Afloat magazine. Monthly awards for achievements during the year will appear on afloat.ie and the overall national award will be presented to the person or crew who, in the judges' opinion, achieved the most notable results in, or made the most significant contribution to rowing during 2015. Keep a monthly eye on progress and watch our 2015 champions list grow.

Published in Rower of Month

#Rowing: Ireland qualified two boats for the Olympic Games at the World Rowing Championships in Aigubebelette in France. The lightweight men’s and women’s doubles had to finish in the top 11 to qualify, which meant a place in the top five of their B Finals.

 The lightweight men’s crew of Paul and Gary O’Donovan took the final place. In a tense race, where the boats were tightly packed for much of the 2,000 metres, the O’Donovan’s sprinted to the line taking fifth just ahead of Greece – the margin was .28 of a second.

 In the women’s race which followed, Ireland’s Sinead Jennings and Claire Lambe carved out a clear lead in the second quarter and held it until the pack caught them coming towards the line. However, the Irish were determined not to miss their chance, and took third behind China and Poland. This placed them ninth in the world.  

World Rowing Championships, Aiguebelette, France – Day Seven (Irish interest)

Men

Lightweight Double Sculls – B Final (Places 7 to 12): 1 Poland 6:20.25, 2 United States 6:20.55, 3 Austria 6:22.04, 4 Switzerland 6:22.34, 5 Ireland (P O’Donovan, G O’Donovan) 6:23.20; 6 Greece 6:23.48.

Women

Lightweight Double Sculls – B Final (Places 7 to 12): 1 China 6:59.31, 2 Poland 7:00.37, 3 Ireland (C Lambe, S Jennings) 7:00.67, 4 Russia 7:00.79, 5 United States 7:02.21; 6 Sweden 7:02.45.

Published in Rowing
Page 1 of 3

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