Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Kerry

#islandnation – "Now, why would you say that Tom?"

And when Fionán Murphy rightly challenged me about my question, I did ask myself why I had just said:

"It's unusual, isn't it, for a boat for Norway to be built in Kerry?"

"I don't know why you would say Kerry, Tom," Fionán said back to me. "Ireland maybe, but why would you say 'Kerry'? The guy involved found us, came over to us and we have a fantastic relationship with him. He has been here for two months and he will be here with us until the boat is finished. It is a great place to do business because the Norwegian currency is very strong. To do anything in Norway costs a fortune, so they are getting great value for money here and we are still getting a good price for our product. It is a great place to do business and if we can do more business there, it will be fantastic."

It was a bright exchange which I enjoyed, because it is good for an interviewer to be challenged. I was trained in radio broadcasting in the days when the interviewee was the most important person, not the interviewer. Too much of radio now centres on the personality of the programme presenter, not the interviewee. I still believe that the interviewee is the most important part of an interview, so Fionán and myself chuckled at my gaffe and as Managing Director and the man who owns Murphy Marine Services on the Shore Road in Valentia Island and so an islander, he made a strong point about Kerry and the importance of our offshore islands. I was talking with him and other members of the island community who were making the point that the Government does not show enough commitment to Ireland's offshore islands. I interviewed Fionán about the future of the island and how his boatyard, which builds, maintains and stores boats, is going.

FIONAN_MURPHY_VALENTIA_ISLAND.jpg

Fionán Murphy of Murphy Marine Services, Valentia Island

"Our predominant thing is new builds. If we get four-to-five of those a year we would be very happy. This keeps jobs on the island and that is what we need."

Fionán is also Chairman of the island's Development Company:

"Rural Ireland is in decline and we are doing what we can, but the island needs people and people need jobs to stay here. Islands need special recognition from the Government."

Fionán tells me in the interview, which you can hear here, how he started the yard fourteen years ago and how it has developed to its present stage of building boats which are sold all over Europe and how he overcame the economic, recessionary downturn.

fishing_Vessel.jpg

A new fishing vessel built in Valentia and bound for Norway

You can hear him on this current edition of THIS ISLAND NATION, Ireland's niche maritime programme, now broadcast on seven radio stations around the country and on this website. Also on the programme, the value of maritime safety training is emphasised by the interim Chief Executive of Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Michael Keatinge, who outlines how three fishermen's lives were saved when their boat capsized off the East Coast, because they had done the BIM safety course.

There's a lot more to be heard on THIS ISLAND NATION and you can Email me direct about the programme to: [email protected] or leave a comment below.

Published in Island Nation

#Angling - Ireland's first wild salmon of 2015 has been caught in Killarney, as The Irish Times reports.

Local man Jerry Looney landed the 10-pounder a little over half an hour into the opening of the Long Range stretch in the Killarney Lakes.

Even more remarkable is that the 80-year-old's catch is the first salmon to be reeled in since 2009 in the Kerry area.

And it was followed not long after by a 17lb 10oz specimen landed by gillie Brod Sullivan at Lough Currane.

Irish Times angling correspondent Derek Evans has more HERE.

Published in Angling
Tagged under

#MarineWildlife - Clet the dolphin, previously spotted in West Cork after migrating across the Celtic Sea from France, has moved to the waters off Kerry in close proximity to Dingle's friendly resident Fungie.

As previously covered on Afloat.ie, the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) warned curious humans not to get too close to the bottlenose traveller after reports of aggression against swimmers.

But according to Sunday Independent, Fungie himself should have nothing to fear from Clet's visit should the two come into contact, as fighting among dolphins is only likely if competing for a mate.

"Fungie could be 40 to 50 years old at this stage and is unlikely to be interested in mating," said the IWDG's Padraig Whooley.

That's one of the only things experts do know about Fungie, who continues to baffle marine scientists with his general behaviour that's so atypical of his species. Independent.ie has more on the story HERE.

In other cetacean news, the IWDG reports "huge success" in its just-completed expedition to Cape Verde to survey the region's whale activity, recording humpbacks breaching for the first time off Ilhéu Branco in the West African archipelago.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#coastalrowing – The Coastal Rowing Clubs of Kerry played host to this year's All Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships which took place on Lough Currane, Waterville, Co Kerry, at the weekend from Friday, 15th to Sunday 17th August 2014 writes Valerie O'Sullivan.

More than 2700 rowers competed, in the picturesque village of Waterville, which lies on the Iveragh Peninsula, 530 crews raced for medals and trophies in the most coveted of Rowing Championships. Crews from Donegal, Antrim, Belfast, Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, Cork, and Kerry competed at the weekend.The type of boat used in the Coastal Rowing Championships is called a 'One Design' - fibre glass boat, fixed seat, a crew of four and cox.

Though the sun was shining, the breezes were stiff, just like the competition, the course was flawless, designed by Nick Norris, Schull, Co Cork, a great friend of Waterville Rowing Club, overseeing all the course was Kerry Coastal Chairman, Pat Cuffe and volunteer Andrew Wharton, who were seen, cutting branches, fixing engines, making tea, cleaning up the rubbish! Waterville Rowing Club's Noel Clifford and team were on hand for every element of the rowing weekend.

 Speaking after the event, PRO Mary B Teahan, commented "What we witnessed in Waterville was a wonderful weekend of rowing, the atmosphere was amazing, the fun and comradarie incredible. Medals were hard to come by, every crew gave it there all. We've been working on the event for a year, and all the hard work definitely paid off, Waterville was the perfect location, every community in South and Mid Kerry were completely behind the event. The Organisation was enormous, and thankfully it ran very smoothly"

All_Ireland_Coastal125.jpg

All Ireland coastal rowing racing at Waterville. Photo: Valerie O'Sullivan. Scroll down for a gallery of photos

As Afloat reported previously, taking the honours for the Senior Men's Race was Killorglin Rowing Club, the crew took an early lead and just couldn't be taken, Cork Rivals Courtmacsherry and Kilmacsimon RC finishing 2nd and 3rd in what is always the biggest race of the day.

Not to be outdone the Senior Ladies was won by Killorglin Rowing Club, 2nd another great Kerry Club, Sneem RC and in 3rd place was Arklow RC.

Results of the All Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships 2014

Senior Men's Race: Winners: Killorglin Rowing Club A
2nd Courtmacsherry Rowing Club
3rd Kilmacsimon Rowing Club

Junior Men's Race: Winners: Ring Rowing Club
2nd Passage West Rowing Club
3rd Kilmacsimon Rowing Club

Intermediate Men's Race Winners: Cahirciveen Rowing Club
2nd Whitegate Rowing Club
3rd Portmagee Rowing Club

Senior Ladies Race Winners: Killorglin Rowing Club
2nd Sneem Rowing Club
3rd Arklow Rowing Club

Junior Ladies Race Winners: Galley Flash Rowing Club
2nd Arklow Rowing Club
3rd Courtmacsherry Rowing Club

Intermediate Ladies Race Winners: Passage West Rowing Club
2nd Whitegate Rowing Club
3rd East Ferry Rowing Club

Mixed Veteran Crew Winners: Portmagee Rowing Club
2nd Myross Rowing Club
3rd Templenoe B Rowing Club

Under 14 Girls Crew Winners : Whitegate Rowing Club A
2nd Ring Rowing Club
joint 2nd Templenoe Rowng Club

Under 16's Boys Winners: Killorglin Rowing Club
2nd Kilmacsimon Rowing Club
3rd Sive Rowing Club

Under 18 Ladies Winners; Sneem Rowing Club
2nd Fossa Rowing Club
3rd Valentia Rowing Club

Pre-Vet Men Winners: Killorglin B Rowing Club
2nd Courtmacsherry Rowing Club
3rd Whitegate Rowing Club

U 12's Winners: Galley Flash Rowing Club
2nd Passage West Rowing Club
3rd Myross Rowing Club

U18's Winners: Passage West Rowing Club
2nd Killorglin Rowing Club
3rd Galley Flash Rowing Club

U18's Ladies Winners: Sneem Rowing Club
2nd Fossa Rowing Club
3rd Valentia Rowing Club

U16 Girls Winners: Kilmacsimon Rowing Club
2nd Myross Rowing Club
3rd Caherdaniel Rowing Club

U16's Winners: Killorglin Rowing Club
2nd Kilmacsimon Rowing Club
3rd Sive Rowing Club

Under 14 Winners: Cairndhu Rowing Club
2nd Courtmacsherry Rowing Club
3rd Killorglin Rowing Club

Under 21 Ladies Winners: Killorglin Rowing Club
2nd Ring Rowing Club
3rd Fossa Rowing Club

Under 21 Winners: Whitegate Rowing Club
2nd Templenoe Rowing Club
3rd Galley Flash Rowing Club

U12 Girls Winners: Portmagee Rowing Club
2nd Passage West Rowing Club
3rd Sive Rowing Club

Master Ladies Winners: Kilmacsimon Rowing Club
Masters Men Winners: Templenoe Rowing Club
Veteran Men Winners: Portmagee Rowing Club
Veteran Ladies Winners: Whitegate Rowing Club
Senior Mixed Winners: Killorglin Rowing Club
Pre Veteran Mixed Winners: Callinafercy Rowing Club
Pre Veteran Ladies Winners: Arklow Rowing Club
Pre Veteran Men WInners: Killorglin B Rowing Club
Mixed Veterans Winners: Portmagee Rowing Club

FISA Singles Ladies Winner Melanie Hunt Kilmacsimon
FISA Single Mens Winner Cormac Kelly Arklow

Seine Boat Winners: Valentia Island (A) Dermot Walsh

Open Classic Ladies Winners: Myross Rowing Club
Open Classic Men Winners: Myross Rowing Club

Cork Yawl Ladies Winners: Whitegate Rowing Club
Cork Yawl Men Winners: Whitegate Rowing Club

Heritage Race Ladies Winners: Sneem Rowing Club
Heritage Race Men Winners: St Patrick's (A) 

All_Ireland_Junior_Ladies1.jpgAll_Ireland_Senior_Mens1.jpg

All_Ireland_Intermediate_Mens1.jpgAll_Ireland_Senior_Ladies1.jpg

All_Ireland_Coastal62.jpg

All_Ireland_Coastal64.jpg

All_Ireland_Coastal29.jpg

All_Ireland_Coastal27.jpg

All_Ireland_Coastal10.jpgAll_Ireland_Coastal5.jpg

All_Ireland_Coastal1.jpg

All_Ireland_Coastal7.jpg

All_Ireland_Coastal9.jpg

All_Ireland_Coastal2.jpg

All_Ireland_Coastal63.jpg

All_Ireland_Coastal126.jpg

All_Ireland_Coastal66.jpg

All_Ireland_Coastal8.jpg

All_Ireland_Coastal3.jpgAll_Ireland_Coastal28.jpg

All_Ireland_Coastal65.jpg

All_Ireland_Coastal4.jpg

All_Ireland_Coastal6.jpg

All_Ireland_Coastal127.jpg

All_Ireland_Coastal124.jpg

All photos by Valerie O'Sullivan

Published in Coastal Rowing

#COASTAL ROWING: The All Ireland Coastal Rowing Championships will take place on Lough Currane, Waterville, Co Kerry, this weekend. About 2,700 rowers will descent on the picturesque village of Waterville, which lies on the Iveragh Peninsula, with 530 crews competing for a medal and a trophy. The action starts today (Friday) at 4pm.

The Kerry Coastal Rowing Association hosts the event. There are over 20 coastal rowing clubs, involved in organising the extensive programme of rowing and entertainment. There are a 25 categories of rowing, from the Under 12s to Master/Veteran.

Mary B Teahan, the PRO of the Irish Coastal Rowing Federation, said: “This regatta is the biggest regatta in the country and promises to be full of passion, pride and fantastic competition, where the best in the country will come to take on the might of each other. It’s a celebration of rowing. Crews from Donegal, Antrim, Belfast, Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, Cork, and Kerry, will battle it out on the water and be assured of best of Kerry craic during the event. It’s also a showcase of what this part of the Iveragh Peninsula has to offer, in terms of tourism and promotion of the Wild Atlantic Way ... it ticks all the boxes.”

The event begins with a blessing of the boats, today at 4pm … Then the real rowing action begins.

Teahan said: “The opening ceremony promises to be a taste of Kerry. a lot of effort and time been put in to prepare for this prestigious event with the coastal rowing clubs, fund raising throughout the winter. The board has driven the preparations forward with the local rowing clubs and GAA in Waterville all helping out for the weekend. There is nightly entertainment in the green in the village with an array of bands and music and our nominated charity kindly stewarding.”

The event charity is Recovery Haven cancer services.

Forty heats will be rowed on Saturday. The finals take place on Sunday. The organisers say the atmosphere will be like Croke Park on All-Ireland final day: club colours worn with pride, club support out in force, the intense rivalry, the referee’s decision, the photo finish, the factions, club picnics, and maybe the old splash of rain!

The type of boat used in the Coastal Rowing Championships is called a ‘One Design’ – a fibre glass boat, fixed seat, a crew of four and cox. Another fine showcase to watch out for is The Seine boat crews of Mid and South Kerry where a 12-man crew, with a cox, races 18 kilometres.

Published in Rowing

#jobs – Why not become an outdoor instructor and guide? Spend your working days teaching kayaking, guiding on trails and mountains or introducing beginners to rock climbing.

Outdoors Ireland are running an intensive part-time Outdoor Instructor & Guide Training Course in Kerry, this October. Aimed at enthusiastic complete beginners; this course is designed to give the skills to produce a quality instructor and guide; employable in both the public and private sectors of outdoor education/adventure tourism.

This training course will also look at modules of setting up an adventure business, adding an adventure business onto an existing hospitality business, plus packaging adventure products, say Outdoors Ireland

Nathan Kingerlee, course director, says 'although it's not all as exciting and fun as it may seem from the outside, I really believe we have the best job in the world! Battling midges occasionally or washing mountains of wetsuits is easily offset by the privilege of working outdoors in spectacular untrodden areas.'

Outdoor education and adventure tourism has held strong through the past years of the bust and is now thriving as more and more people take to the hills, lakes and cliffs.

'It's can be hard to find exceptionally good instructors and guides, despite the number of training courses out there' says Kingerlee, 'I see this from the day to day running of Outdoors Ireland; so this course is about delivering brilliant and focused instructors, who are employable. More from Outdoors Ireland here.

Published in Jobs
Tagged under

#MarineWildlife - A humpback whale new to Irish waters has been confirmed by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG).

Photos of the humpback's fluke and dorsal fin captured by Nick Massett off Clogher and Sybil Heads in West Kerry at the weekend were examined by the IWDG's catalogue experts who have determined that the whale is a new arrival - and one with a fluke colouring that's rarely seen in Irish waters.

Details have since been sent to Allied Whale in the US state of Maine - which curates the North Atlantic humpback whale catalogue - to see if a match can be made among its database of more than 7,000 fluke images.

Meanwhile, Wildlife Extra reports that sailors in the Irish Sea are urged to keep a lookout for a large group of minke whales.

The group includes three juveniles and a calf previously spotted some 19 miles east of Ireland's Eye near Howth.

"Although sightings of Minke whale are to be expected in these waters, such a large group is a rare occurrence," said Danielle Gibas, sightings officer with the UK's Sea Watch Foundation, which is organising Britain's annual National Whale and Dolphin Watch this week till 3 August.

And in other cetacean news, scientists claim that dolphins call each other by name, calling back to the sound of their signature whistle but ignoring whistles that aren't theirs.

Herald.ie reports on the findings by marine scientists at the University of St Andrews, who studied a bottlenose dolphin group off the east coast of Scotland.

Using underwater speakers, they played synthesised versions of dolphin whistles they'd identified with particular dolphins to determine their reactions.

They were surprised to find that individuals called back after hearing their own 'name' but ignored others, whether they were for dolphins in the same group or strangers.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group is reporting a "high volume of sightings" of minke whales - plus the odd fin whale - off the coasts of West Cork and Kerry as this week's heatwave continues to bask the country.

The first reports from the early part of the week showed a big increase of sightings and activity in the southwest region - but also off Mullaghmore, the popular surfing spot in Co Sligo, where as many as three minkes were spotted last weekend, and as far afield as Belfast Lough where several minke whales were photographed.

As the week progressed, the first confirmed sighting of a fin whale came in from Slea Head in Co Kerry in waters teeming with six minke whales and around 150 common dolphins.

And a whale watch trip of West Cork came into range of an amazing 12 minke whales, including a number of juveniles who seemed to make a game of swimming around the watchers' vessel.

The latest reports came in on Thursday from Baltimore and Clougher Head, which indicate that fin whales may be arriving here in big numbers. Here's hoping a few humpbacks will follow in their wake!

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Oil - The Blackford Dolphin semisubmersible drilling rig is expected to go to work off the south-west coast of Ireland next spring.

Offshore reports that Dolphin Drilling has negotiated the contract to appraise the Spanish Point prospect in the Porcupine Basin on behalf of Capricorn Ireland, subject to regulatory approval.

It will also drill early next year in British waters for MPX North Sea, with both contracts expected to last five months for a total revenue of €67 million.

The Porcupine Basin off Kerry has been identified as a source of enormous reserves of oil - after Petrel Resources announced the discovery of as much as one billion barrels of oil at the prospect late last year.

Published in Coastal Notes

#Dingle - The Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport has officially opened a newly upgraded section of the main road to one of Ireland’s most popular coastal towns.

Minister Leo Varadkar opened the new section of the N86 road outside Annascaul which lies on the main route from Tralee to Dingle, and which is used by thousands of local residents and thousands more tourists every year.

The project cost around €9 million and was funded by the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport. It was overseen by the National Roads Authority (NRA) and Kerry County Council and was completed in around 16 months.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Varadkar said: "This is an important project for West Kerry and the whole county, and will make a big difference to journeys in the area.

"But it has also national significance, as thousands of tourists travel along the N86 every year in order to reach Dingle, one of our premier tourism destinations."

He added: “Although the old N86 had its charms, it was also very narrow, and the stretch which we have upgraded had a number of dangerous junctions leading on to side roads. These have now been replaced and will make a big difference to safety levels.

"The new road is wider at 3 metres, and also provides a hard shoulder in each direction. I’m also very pleased that we have been able to offer cycle and pedestrian facilities along this stretch.”

In the longer term, the NRA plans to upgrade the entire length of the N86 between Dingle in the west of the peninsula, and Camp on the northern side.

The plan is to develop the 27km project as one of four Tourist Route Pilot Schemes, including cycle schemes and pedestrian access.

Similar schemes have already opened along the N59 near Clifden, Co Galway, the N59 at Kilbride, Co Mayo and the N56 at Glenties, Co. Donegal.

The proposal for the N86 would considerably improve safety levels and journey times in West Kerry, and improve road surfaces in the villages of Lispole, Annascaul and Camp on the Dingle Peninsula.

Published in Coastal Notes
Page 4 of 8

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 Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

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