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Displaying items by tag: LE Eithne

#NavalService - The Irish Naval Service flagship LÉ Eithne has recently been accredited as the first in the fleet to achieve "paperless navigation” writes Jehan Ashmore

The 1984 custom-built P30 class Helicopter Patrol Vessel (HPV), Afloat adds notably the last Irish built vessel for the Naval Service and of any ship in the Republic, now has Warship Electronic Chart Display and Information System (WECDIS).

The milestone took place this day last week, where the electronic systems according to the INS will greatly enhance navigation safety, situation awareness & tactical planning capabilities.

L.É Eithne is in the same company of the ageing P40's Coastal Patrol Vessel (CPV) pair, L.É. Orla and L.É. Ciara which also date to 1984, though they were originally commissioned for the UK Royal Navy. 

The remaining patrol vessels of the fleet are all Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV), beginning with the elder pair of P50 Róisín class L.É. Róisín and L.É Niamh, the latter completed in 2000. The reference to '80' refers to the length overall (LOA) of each of the sisters built by Appledore Shipbuilders, north Devon.

They are to recieve mid-life extension survey refits involving a Scottish marine consultancy firm.

A further trio, known as enhanced Róisín class followed suit, again from the same UK shipbuilder site but under management of Babcock Marine. They are the P60 OPV90's L.É. Samuel Beckett, James Joyce and William Butler Yeats.

The latest newbuild, again a OPV90 class, L.É. George Bernard Shaw was completed this year, though it would appear that the 2,250 tonnes vessel is the final to be built at the yard, following announcement of closure.

L.É. George Bernard Shaw is currently not part of the 8-strong fleet. As reported earlier this year, the €67m OPV newbuild is according to the IDF to be formally named and officially commissioned into the Naval Service this year.

Plans are afoot to replace LÉ Eithne with a new Multi Role Vessel MRV (a first for the INS), following the Budget, where total Defence spending across the three branch forces (air corps, army and navy) is to increase to €946m next year.

Published in Navy

#NavalService - Due to adverse weather conditions Naval Service flagship LÉ Eithne will now be open to the public today in Dublin Port at Sir John Rogersons Quay, and not Dun Laoghaire Harbour as previously advertised. 

The crew of LÉ Eithne will continue to provide guided public tours this morning and in the afternoon between 2–4 pm. 

LÉ Eithne was built in Verolme Cork Dockyard in 1984 and is designated as a helicopter patrol vessel (HPV), though the use of the ship's design for French built 'Dauphine' helicopters were rarely used and took place early in the career of the 1,900 tonnes flagship.

The tour will include the large aft-deck where the helicopters landed and took-off next to the aircraft hanger. At the bow is mounted the main arnament, a Bofors 57mm canon.

In recent years, LÉ Eithne was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea under Operation Sophia tasked in the rescue mission of migrants off north Africa.

A fleemate offshore patrol vessel (OPV) LÉ James Joyce which was in the region to disrupt people trafficking returned home this morning to Haulbowline Naval base in Cork Harbour to be welcomed by loved ones of the crew.

The vessel has been serving since it was deployed in July.

#Navy - According to The Irish Times, two Naval Service vessels were prevented from leaving their Haulbowline base last week due to crew shortages.

The LÉ Orla and LÉ Niamh were both kept at their docks while reserve members were drafted to cover shortages on the flagship LÉ Eithne.

Last week’s situation — linked to a reduced level of personnel retention — is a symptom of a bigger problem within the Defence Forces, The Irish Times reports, with one lieutenant colonel saying the command structure “is breaking down”.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Navy

#Refugees - LÉ Eithne of the Irish Naval Service writes the Journal.ie has rescued approximately 183 people yesterday (25 June) in the Mediterranean Sea, just north of the Libyan capital Tripoli.

While on patrol at around 6 am, the LÉ Eithne located and rescued 113 refugees from an inflatable craft 40km north-west of Tripoli.

The crew on the ship then identified another craft in distress, and a second rescue operation was launched.

A further 70 people were rescued from this boat.

There are currently 183 on board the LÉ Eithne and the Irish vessel is enroute to assist in another rescue operation in the region.

Published in Navy

#RefugeeRescue- Following a request from the Italian Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre, LÉ Eithne yesterday located and rescued a total of 135 migrants off Libya.

The migrants were found on an inflatable craft approx 83Km off the north-west coast of Tripoli.

The LÉ Eithne was subsequently appointed on scene coordinator by the Italian Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination to coordinate the rescue efforts of 3 NGO vessels dealing with 10 platforms in distress (PIDs).

The Naval Service flagship has now completed a second and third rescue of 211 migrants from two further inflatable craft, as well as taking 85 migrants on board from one of the NGO ships.

On board are 431 migrants  (346 rescued, 85 transferred from NGO vessel) and is proceeding to two further PIDs, while also coordinating the NGO ships.

The migrants on board received food water and medical treatment where required.

Published in Navy

#EithneToMed - Patrol vessels of the Naval Service will be deployed for a third summer of humanitarian operations in the Mediterranean.

As Independent.ie writes the Naval Service flagship, LE Eithne, has been assigned to begin the rotation of three ships in the Mediterranean on rescue operations for migrants attempting to reach Europe from North Africa.

It had been expected that the 33 year old vessel would depart Haulbowline Naval Base in Cork on May 1 but that departure was rescheduled pending final Government approval and will depart tomorrow.

Defence Minister Paul Kehoe will wish the vessel and 72-strong crew under Captain Brian Fitzgerald well as they depart Haulbowline Naval Base at 11am.

The first deployment under Operation Pontus 2017 will last for three months with two further Naval Service patrol vessels expected to be deployed until next November.

Ireland first dispatched Naval Service vessels to the region in 2015 amid concerns over the number of migrants drowning in the Mediterranean after leaving North Africa, in particular the Libyan coast, on flimsy inflatable craft.

The inflatable craft were totally unsuited to the journey and were almost always dangerously overloaded by ruthless people smugglers.
Hundreds of migrants have drowned as a result.

LE Eithne completed a previous deployment to the Mediterranean alongside other Irish patrol vessels including LE James Joyce, LE Samuel Beckett and LE James Joyce.
Irish crews work under the direction of the Italian Navy and Coastguard.

For much more on the story, the newspaper has more to report by clicking here.

 

 

Published in Navy

#MigrantMission - Flagship LE Eithne of the Naval Service is to be deployed again on humanitarian missions in the Mediterranean Sea, so to assist in the ongoing refugee migrant crisis off north Africa, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 1984 built Helicopter Patrol Vessel unique in the eight-strong navy was equipped with such aircraft but earlier in her career, is expected to depart Haulbowline Naval Base, Cork Harbour on 1st May.

In response to Afloat, the Department of Defence issued a statement that said the deployment of LE Eithne is on foot of a Government decision so to enable to assist humanitarian search and Rescue (SAR) operations in the region.

The Department added LE Eithne’s role is subject to finalisation of bilateral arrangements with the Italian authorities on the deployment and operation of the vessel. This will involve LE Eithne on the disembarkation and reception of persons rescued or vessels in distress.

This second deployment of the flagship follows the Defence Forces involvement in ‘Operation Pontus’ last year. This saw three Naval ships and over 150 Naval Service and Army personnel deployed to the Mediterranean in response to the humanitarian crisis supporting the Italian Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre with SAR assistance.

During 2016 a total of 7,029 migrants alone were rescued. Since the Naval Service began such missions in recent years more than 15,000 people have been saved.

The role of the navy in humanitarian operations was recognised recently when an Honorary ‘Freedom of Entry to the County’ was bestowed to the Naval Service from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council last month. Crew from the flagship that docked in its adopted homeport attended the ceremony.

Published in Navy

#MedTrafficker - The LE Eithne has picked up a suspected people smuggler amongst 646 desperate migrants has been arrested by Italian Police.

Bairam Ltayef (24), a Tunisian national, was detained in the Sicilian capital Palermo after he was identified by refugees who were interviewed by officers.

It is understood that the crew of the LE Eithne were unaware that the man was a suspected trafficker.

Drowned

It is estimated that at least 1,850 people have drowned in the Mediterranean this year alone, with many falling victim to people traffickers in their desperation to flee war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

The State Police told the Herald that they "identified and arrested" Mr Ltayef on suspicion that he was the "smuggler" of a boat of migrants.

A statement explained how the LE Eithne arrived in Palermo on June 30 to offload the migrants, with the Italian police meeting the vessel to assist in the processing of the immigrants.

 For more on this development, the Herald.ie has a report here.

 

Published in Navy

#EithneMalta - Minister for Defence, Simon Coveney, T.D. earlier today met Naval Service personnel crew of the L.É. Eithne (P31) in Valetta, Malta.

The flagship under the command of her captain, Commander Pearse O'Donnell and his crew are continuing to undertake a key role in assisting the Italian authorities with the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.

The Minister is accompanied on his visit by Minister for Justice & Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, T.D. and Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion and North-South Co-operation, Sean Sherlock, T.D.

Minister Coveney said" The recent rescue operations undertaken by the Irish Naval vessel and her crew to date have impacted significantly on the lives of so many people. Up to 30 June 2015, you have rescued 3,376 migrants in 22 rescue missions".

The Minister added "The work of our Naval Service in the Mediterranean is invaluable. The Naval Service will remain in the Mediterranean undertaking humanitarian search and rescue activity. L.É. Niamh (P52) will replace L.É. Eithne over the next week or so." The Minister went on to say "Ireland's focus will remain on continuing to assist the Italian authorities in the humanitarian search and rescue operation efforts to prevent further tragedy and loss of life at sea."

Minister Fitzgerald said "I am delighted to have the opportunity to pay tribute to the exemplary professionalism of the crew of the LÉ Eithne in humanitarian search and rescue. We are proud of them and the work they are doing under the Irish flag".

Minister Fitzgerald went on to say "Migration is one of the biggest challenges facing the EU and there are no easy answers. However Ireland is committed to doing its part in solidarity with our fellow Europeans in tackling that crisis. The deployment of LÉ Eithne shows the real difference that Ireland, as a comparatively small Member State, can make and we will continue to do what we can when we can as the situation evolves".

Minister of State Seán Sherlock added "the heroic work of our Defence Forces in this exercise has been humbling."
"The displacement caused by protracted conflict has had a devastating impact on the families who have had to flee their homes and communities. Many of these very vulnerable people have fled war and persecution to seek refuge here in Europe. Ireland is making a significant contribution to addressing the root causes of displacement in countries of origin, notably through our humanitarian and development assistance in the Horn of Africa and other regions of Africa and the humanitarian support which we provide in Syria and the region."

Minister Coveney concluded "on behalf of myself and the Irish Government, I would like to thank you all for your outstanding work in the Mediterranean to date. I wish you every success for the future and a safe return to your families."

Published in Navy

#EithneMedCrisis - In operations that took place in two separate incidents writes The Belfast Telegraph, about 50 miles north-west of the Libyan capital Tripoli, men, women and children were taken off two wooden barges.

The crew of the LE Eithne (P31) took part in the first search and rescue after transferring a group of 593 migrants to HMS Bulwark (L15).

The first rescue started at about 8am Irish time when 330 people were safely taken from a barge and immediately afterwards the crew was tasked to assist with another rescue of 317 migrants on another barge.

The migrants included 544 men, 95 women and eight children, the Naval Service said.

Published in Navy
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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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