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Largs Yacht Haven in Ayrshire has been awarded the marina industry’s top accreditation, the Five Gold Anchor award, for the fourth time in a row.

The Gold Anchor award scheme rates the quality, level of service and overall standard of a marina’s offering. Marinas are assessed every three years meaning that Largs Yacht Haven has now carried the industry’s highest accreditation for over 12 years.

In 2017, as previously reported by Afloat, Largs Yacht Haven won the UK's Coastal Marina of the Year Award.

Since their previous inspection, Largs Yacht Haven has had major capital investment to ensure the marina remained at a high level. Recent investments included a new surfaced car park with a number plate recognition service for berth holders, new finger pontoons and an upgrade of all Wi-Fi hardware and infrastructure. These investments have helped ensure the marina remains an option for national and international events with various sailing fleets visiting Largs over the past few years.

New for this year’s assessment, marinas are highly scrutinised over their environmental impact. Particular attention is paid to the range of events and general awareness of environmental impacts. The assessor paid credit to Largs’ efforts in this area saying;

“Largs Yacht Haven is a true water sports centre; a nautical village in its own right. Largs Yacht Haven and Largs Sailing Club have helped put Largs on the map as a water sports destination with international allure. Largs Yacht Haven breathes respect for nature… it is green in both the literal and figurative sense. Environmental awareness is obvious throughout the marina, while the marina manager and marina team lead by example.”

– TYHA Assessor, 2019

Marina Manager Carolyn Elder has managed Largs Yacht Haven for over 30 years. Carolyn believes this year’s accreditation is extra special due to the current economic climate; “Just like many other businesses, we’re being forced to find new ways to attract customers, while working more efficiently and ensuring our business is as environmentally-aware as possible. Marinas need constant care, maintenance and improvement so we’re delighted that our efforts have been recognised across the board.”

Next year promises to be another exciting year at Largs Yacht Haven. The Visit Scotland Year of Coast And Water 2020 will coincide with the return of Fife Regatta in June, as well as D Zero Nationals, Optimist Nationals, Largs Regatta Festival and the RYA Zone Championships.

Published in Scottish Waters
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Largs Yacht Haven in Scotland has won the UK Coastal Marina of the Year award at the London Boat Show. 

The Yacht Harbour Association (THYA), a group association within membership organisation of British Marine, announced the winners of its prestigious Marina of the Year Awards. Now in its fourth year, the Awards, sponsored by GJW, recognise the best of over 160 Gold Anchor accredited marinas from round the world.

The winning marinas are voted for by their berth holders in the UK Coastal, UK Inland, International and Superyacht categories.

The Marina of the Year 2017 winners and runners up were:

UK Coastal Marina of the Year 2017 (over 250 berths)
· Winner – Largs Yacht Haven

· Runner up – MDL Torquay Marina

UK Coastal Marina of the Year 2017 (under 250 berths)
· Winner – Poole Quay Boat Haven

· Runner up – Portavadie Marina

UK Inland Marina of the Year 2017
· Winner – Church Minshull Aqueduct Marina

· Runner up – MDL Windsor Marina

International Marina of the Year 2017
· Winner – Karpaz Gate Marina

· Runner up – Royal Cork Yacht Club

Superyacht Marina of the year 2017
· Winner – IGY Isle de Sol

· Runner up – Talise Pavilion Marina

Carolyn Elder, Marina Manager at Largs Yacht Haven, commented upon receiving the award: “What a way to start 2017, we’re absolutely thrilled! I must praise our entire Haven Team for their hard work. It is our staff who really set our marina apart by setting extremely high standards and delivering an incredible service to our berth holders.”

“What makes this Award extra special is that it was voted for by boat owners in the UK. We have been overwhelmed by the comments and votes we received. We’re extremely grateful to our berth holders and visiting boat owners who voted for us.”

Craig Cochran, Marina and Facilities Operations Manager at Portavadie Marina, also commented: “We’ve been blessed with such a beautiful location and the foresight of the owners to build this wonderful development on Argyll’s Secret Coast, but it’s the staff and customers that really make the place come alive. We’d like to wish everyone a great boating season and look forward to welcoming old friends and new visitors in 2017!”

This year saw the launch of the accolade Marina of Distinction. This honour distinguishes a marina with over three consecutive years of continual customer service excellence, as voted for by its customers in the Marina of the Year competition. To qualify, marinas must rank a category finalist over three consecutive competitions. On the third year, they would automatically receive the title of Marina of Distinction.

The first marinas to receive this honour in 2017 are:

UK Coastal Marina of the Year 2017 (over 250 berths)
· Mayflower Marina

UK Coastal Marina of the Year 2017 (under 250 berths)
· Southampton Town Quay

UK Inland Marina of the Year 2017
· Overwater Marina

International Marina of the Year 2017
· Marina de Vilamoura

Superyacht Marina of the year 2017
· Porto Montenegro

Remarking on the accolade, Charles Bush, Managing Director at Mayflower Marina, said: “This is unexpected and fantastic news for Mayflower Marina. It is an honour to receive such a prestigious award; I am delighted for my staff and hugely grateful to our berth holders and visitors for their unstinting support over the years.”

Janet & Angus Maughan, Owners of Overwater Marina, also stated: "We, and the whole team at Overwater Marina are absolutely delighted to receive this Award. It's made all the more special by virtue of the fact it is voted for by our customers."

To commemorate their achievement, winners and runners up of the Awards, as well as receivers of Marina of Distinction, were presented with laser etched glass trophies and framed certificates by David Perfect, Managing Director of GJW, and Sarah Hanna, Chairman of The Yacht Harbour Association.

Jon White, General Manager of The Yacht Harbour Association, commented: “A huge congratulations to all the winners, runners up and all marinas who were voted for in the 2017 Marina of the Year competition. The array of marinas who stood out in this year’s competition showed how strong the today’s marina industry is at achieving, and in some cases exceeding, the modern consumer’s standard of quality service and excellent facilities.

“The new Marina of Distinction accolade goes one further, honouring outstanding long-term customer service. We are delighted this year to be awarding five marinas from across the world for the first time with the title of Marina of Distinction.”

Published in Irish Marinas
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#dragon – The opening day of the 2015 Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Edinburgh Cup in Largs certainly lived up to the Clyde's reputation for being able to deliver almost every weather condition within a matter of moments. The weather gods threw everything from less than three to almost thirty knots at the twenty strong International Dragon fleet in rapid succession and Race Officer Chris Hadden and the Scottish Sailing Institute's Race Committee did an excellent job of keeping up with the conditions to provide two terrific opening races.

By the end of the day it was no surprise to see that experience counts for a lot and in the overall standings Julia Bailey, sailing GBR720 Aimee, and Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, sailing GBR761 Jerboa, lead the regatta on equal points with Aimee just edging ahead on count back thanks to her win in the opening race.

The winner of the second race by a handsome margin was Bocci Aoyama's JAP50 Yeavis, which puts him into third overall, three points behind the ladies and two points ahead of Martin Payne in GBR789 Bear. In fifth place overall and just a single point behind Bear is Patrick Gifford sailing GBR515 Basilisk, who is also the leading Corinthian (all amateur) boat.

The day had begun with a thirty minute postponement in sub three knots. Finally the breeze filled in a little, but as the Race Committee were in the throws of starting the first race a "White water wall", as Gavia described it, rolled down the Clyde and before long the fleet were in big seas and almost 30 knots of breeze.

The first beat was close to survival conditions and the first run saw some some spectacular surfing, challenging heavy airs gybing and more than a few thrills and spills. The second lap was almost as full on and it wasn't until the third and final beat that conditions abate a little. At the line Aimee led GBR795 Excite, helmed by Tom Vernon, and Jerboa across the line with Bear fourth and Martin Makey sailing GBR704 Ganador fifth.

Race two could not have been more different with the wind down to ten knots at the start and continuing to drop and destabilise as the afternoon wore on. With the left side of the course apparently favoured, there was a lot of traffic at the pin end of the line and several people were over eager.

Sadly Excite failed to return and was disqualified, but amongst those who turned back were Jerboa and Bear who were then forced off to the right. Mike Budd's GBR793 Harry found themselves buried at the pin so also elected to tack and come off the line on port across the fleets transoms.

Yeavis meanwhile had had a clear start but tacked onto port to clear her air. They were about to tack back when crew Kasper Harsberg spotted that first Jerboa, Harry and Bear and then Mike Holmes in GBR760 Handsoff were making significant gains on the right. They made the brave decision to put all their eggs in one basket and bang the right corner. The decision was a race winner and by the first mark they had an enormous lead.

Second to round mark one was Harry with Richard Leask in GBR489 Kestra third, Jerboa fourth and Handsoff fifth. On the run Jerboa pulled up into third hard on the heels of Harry, while further back down the pack both Bear and Aimee were making rapid gains through the fleet. With the wind going right Yeavis defended their lead all the way to the finish.

Jerboa did everything she could to get through Harry and her efforts were finally rewarded in the closing moments when Harry crossed Jerboa on port but then tacked and lost momentum in the by now very light airs, allowing Jerboa to slip through to leeward for a second place. Harry finished third with Aimee snatching fourth from Patrick Gifford's GBR515 Basilisk on the final approach to the line.

With three more days and four further races still to come the regatta is wide open. The forecast promises further very varied conditions and its clear that whoever wins the 2015 Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Edinburgh Cup and become British Dragon Champion will have had to work very hard to do so. Weather permitting races three and four are scheduled for tomorrow starting at 11.00 and if both races are completed the single discard will come into play.

Published in Dragon
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#laser – While the big boats competing in the Seven Star Round Britain & Ireland race were postponed and the Merlin sailors in Looe were playing beach rounders because of Big Bertha the 150 Laser helms in Largs were kept ashore for lack of wind. Eventually in the early afternoon a Northerly breeze about 10-12 kts arrived to allow all three fleets to complete two races in a fine Scottish drizzle. All starts used a common trapezoidal course laid near Great Cumbrae.

There is a very healthy percentage of youth sailors in the Standard fleet this year and it was Ireland's youth sailor Dougie Power who took the first gun ahead of Alistair Goodwin & Anthony Parke. Jack Aitken, having finished 4th in Race 1, then showed the others the way home in the 2nd race to lead overnight.

With nearly 90 Radials entered the decision was made to split the fleet into two starts and race the first half of the week in a Round Robin format. If today's results are anything to go by this could be one of the most exciting week's racing for a long time. Each start had a different winner and at the end of the day three helms, Jon Emmett, Scotland's Jamie Calder & Ireland's Liam Glynn; were all tied on three points.

The Championship is being sponsored by Neil Pryde ably assisted by Harken UK as the equipment sponsors. Racing continues until Friday and with brighter conditions but stronger winds expected the fun has just begun. – Eddie Mays. More here.

Published in Laser
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#flyingfifteen –  After a day of big winds yesterday, winds peaked briefly at six knots then disappeared, so no racing was possible today, Monday 23rd, on the final day of the Allen Flying Fifteen Nationals at Largs.

The Championship rested on the first two days of racing, in particular on the two races on Day 2, when Simon Kneller and Dave Lucas from Grafham Water SC took a win and a third place in two tricky light weather races. Very few competitors managed two good results on a difficult day.

Kneller and Lucas, improving with every race at this event, thus rose to the top of the leaderboard, to take the Allen Flying Fifteen National Championships. Kneller and Lucas were sailing in their tenth successive National Championship, and it was tenth time lucky as they landed the title for the first time.

Just two points behind, three teams were tied on six points, but the tiebreak gave Steve Goacher and Phil Evans second place, with husband and wife pairing David and Sally McKee third. Fourth in a brand new boat, launched on the first day of the Championship, were Irish visitors John Lavery and David O'Brien.

They were one of three Irish visiting boats from Dun Laoghaire, who joined Scottish, English and Welsh boats at this Championship at Largs.

Fifth were Charles Apthorp and Jonathan Clark, from Hayling Island. All five leading teams have years of experience in the class, and collectively boast many Championship titles. Racing was thus very competitive in this quality of fleet.

However those with a more relaxed attitude were also catered for, with several Silver fleet (older boats) and Classics (vintage) boats enjoying the Championship. Alex Tatlow, who sailed in the Silver fleet said, "A Silver FF is the most economic way to have a competitive boat. Silvers give excellent value for money, and need much less maintenance than many other boats. My brother and I really enjoy sailing our Fifteen at events like Cowes Week, and at Championships like this."

The Championship was well supported by sponsors, with title sponsor Allen supplying a generous range of prizes, while day sponsors Ovington, Goacher Sails, P & B and www.fotoboat.com added to the prizes. Loch Fyne supported a seafood reception and contributed prizes, while Loch Lomond Distillery provided very welcome liquid Scottish products.

This Nationals was a Qualifier event for the 2013 World Championships, and the final Worlds Qualifier event in the class will be the Scottish Championship at Loch Lomond on October 6/7, where a strong entry of over 30 boats is expected.

Results overall, Allen Flying Fifteen Nationals

Simon Kneller/ Dave Lucas, Grafham Water SC, 4pts

Steve Goacher/ Phil Evans, Royal Windermere YC, 6pts

David and Sally McKee, Dovestone SC, 6pts

John Lavery/ David O'Brien, National YC, IRL, 6pts

Charles Apthorp/ Jonathan Clark, Hayling Island SC, 8pts.

Top Scots: Hamish Mackay and Andy Lawson, Royal Highland YC in 15th overall.

Top Classic overall; Bobby Salmond/ Ingrid Magnus, Holy Loch SC in 19th overall.

Top Silver overall; Chris and Marion Bowen, Northampton SC in 24th overall.

Best boat over 7 years old; Peter and Sue Bannister, Hayling Island SC in 10th overall.

Full results on www.scottishsailinginstitute.com

Published in Flying Fifteen
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#flyingfifteen – On Day 2 of the Allen sponsored Flying Fifteen Nationals at Largs, Simon Kneller and Dave Lucas banged in two top results to move into the Championship lead but Sunday's heavy weather showdown did not materialise when racing was scrubbed as gusts hit 30-knots. Dun Laoghaire's John Lavery and David O'Brien lie fourth in the 33-boat fleet.

In light breezes, peaking around 10 knots, the first of today's two races looked like a battle of the sailmakers, as Alan Bax led all the way in style, while Steve Goacher fought off Peter and Sue Bannister to take second on the water. But Bax had been caught OCS at the start, so his apparent victory was for nought. Instead the race win went to Steve Goacher and Phil Evans, with the Bannisters second and Simon Kneller/ Dave Lucas in third.

Kneller's rise to the front continued in the second race with a race win to give him the best scoreline of the day, lifting him above Goacher overall after three races.

It was a hard fought victory, as he finished just two boat lengths ahead of second placed David and Sally McKee, who also rose up the leaderboard today. The day's results set up a very tight leaderboard, with four teams separated by just two points, at the halfway mark of the Championship. The stage is set for an exciting climax to the Championship over the next two days at Largs.

Last night the competitors enjoyed a seafood buffet and whisky, courtesy of hospitality sponsors Loch Fyne and Loch Lomond Distillery whisky.

At the reception, the class is celebrating passing a major milestone, of sail number 4,000. The two very latest boats sail number 4001 and 4002 were launched at this Championship. But the Championship and class also includes many older boats, the vintage Classics and the rather younger Silver fleet.

The class encourages both these fleets, ensuring long competitive life for older boats.

Results, Race 2, Calypso Cup

1. Steve Goacher/ Phil Evans, Royal Windermere YC

2. Peter and Sue Bannister, Hayling Island SC

3. Simon Kneller/ Dave Lucas, Grafham Water SC

Results, Race 3, John Clark Trophy

1. Kneller/ Lucas

2. David and Sally McKee, Dovestone SC

3. Adrian Tattersall/ Tim Smart, Parkstone YC

Overall after Day 2

1. Kneller/ Lucas, 4pts

2. Goacher/ Evans, 6pts

3. McKee/ McKee, 6pts

4. John Lavery/ David O'Brien, National YC, IRL, 6pts

Top Classic overall; Bobby Salmond/ Ingrid Magnus, Holy Loch SC in 19th overall.

Top Silver overall; Chris and Marion Bowen, Northampton SC in 24th overall.

Full results here

Published in Flying Fifteen
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Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta and the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series are jointly promoting reduced entry fees in a tue up between the two big Irish Sea regattas.  50% discounts off entry fees is available for boats entering both events.

"The way this works is that the Clyde Cruising Club are offering a 25% rebate for boats from the 4 Dun Laoghaire Clubs (DMYC, NYC, RIYC, RStGYC) that enter the Brewin Dolphin Scottish series before the expiration of the early bird discount period which expires on April 22nd explained Dun Laoghaire event secretary, Ciara Dowling.

As a reciprocal arrangement the committee of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta are offering a discount of 50% from the full entry fee to all boats that enter both regattas. To avail of this, boats must register for the early bird entry fee in the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta prior to 2 May 2011. Note the 50% discount will be applied to the full entry fee rate and not the early bird rate.

To avail of this arrangement for the Scottish Series contact the Brewin Dolphin Scottish Series office for details, [email protected] 0044141 221 2774.

To avail of this arrangement for the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta visit the event website at www.dlregatta.org or email [email protected]

The Scottish Series takes place from 27–30 May and the Dun Laoghaire regatta from July 7th–10th 2011.

In a further boost for Dun Laoghaire sailors heading north the feeder race from Bangor to Tarbert has been re-instated.

Troon and Largs Marinas are offering competitors berthing rate discounts around Scottish Series.

Competitors from Scotland coming to Dun Laoghaire are reminded that the entry fee to the regatta includes free berthing for the duration of the event.

The official Notice of Race and Online Entry are now available at www.dlregatta.org

Published in Volvo Regatta

Ireland's youth laser sailors are once again in action in Europe, with the Radial Youth Worlds taking place in Largs, Scotland, and the Standard Rig Youth Worls ongoing in Poland.

Chris Penney posted good results to sit 34th out of 124 after two races. 

Thirteen Irish sailors will compete at Largs in the boys fleet, with just two Irish girls, Saskia Tidey and Ruth Harrington, competing.

The Radials are currently sat on shore at Largs waiting for wind, and the committee aren't in the most positive mood.

"Unfortunately, the forecast is not looking ideal, with less than 5kts of wind predicted," they say on the official website

"High pressure will dominate to leave even more uncertain conditions for the rest of the week.

"Anything from the east is not ideal because this generally creates big, gusty winds, which whistle over the hills in the surrounding the area. Also because the water is so deep here on the Clyde – 120-140 metres in some places – setting the course in relation to the wind is also a challenge."

Right, so.

 

Published in Youth Sailing

Ireland's top Laser Radial sailors will head to Scotland starting from today to prepare for the World Championships at Largs. Largs is the home of the RYA's Scottish Sailing Institute, one of the top sailing locations in the British Isles.

The Irish Radial trio of Debbie Hanna, Annalise Murphy and Tiffany Brien will be representing the country at the event, with 119 sailors in the ladies fleet.

An extended youth squad will take part in the Youth World Championships, a 320-boat fleet split into under-19 boys and girls.

The squad consists of: William Byrne, Peter Cameron, Philip Doran, Robbie Gilmore, Ruth Harrington, Luke Hevers, Eoin Keller, Rory Lynch, Henry Mclaughlin, Michael Molloy, Sean Murphy, Matthew O'Dowd, Alan Ruigrok, Saskia Tidey and Ross Vaughan

Ronan Cull, Simon Doran, Aidan McLaverty and Ciaran Hurney will represent Ireland in the men's fleet, with 108 entries. 

McLaverty will also race in the Junior World Championships in the full rig fleet in Hayling Island in August, along with Chris Penney.

 

Details available HERE.

 

 

 

 

Published in Olympics 2012
Tagged under

Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard is Ireland's 4th Blue Light service (along with An Garda Síochána, the Ambulance Service and the Fire Service). It provides a nationwide maritime emergency organisation as well as a variety of services to shipping and other government agencies.

The purpose of the Irish Coast Guard is to promote safety and security standards, and by doing so, prevent as far as possible, the loss of life at sea, and on inland waters, mountains and caves, and to provide effective emergency response services and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The Irish Coast Guard has responsibility for Ireland's system of marine communications, surveillance and emergency management in Ireland's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and certain inland waterways.

It is responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue and counter-pollution and ship casualty operations. It also has responsibility for vessel traffic monitoring.

Operations in respect of maritime security, illegal drug trafficking, illegal migration and fisheries enforcement are co-ordinated by other bodies within the Irish Government.

Introduction

On average, each year, the Irish Coast Guard is expected to:

  • handle 3,000 marine emergencies
  • assist 4,500 people and save about 200 lives
  • task Coast Guard helicopters on missions around 2000 times (40 times to assist mountain rescues and 200 times to carry out aeromedical HEMS missions on behalf of the HSE), Coast Guard volunteer units will respond 1000 times and RNLI and community lifeboats will be tasked by our Coordination Centres about 950 times
  • evacuate medical patients off our Islands to hospital on 100 occasions
  • assist other nations' Coast Guards about 200 times
  • make around 6,000 maritime safety broadcasts to shipping, fishing and leisure craft users
  • carry out a safety on the water campaign that targets primary schools and leisure craft users, including at sea and beach patrols
  • investigate approximately 50 maritime pollution reports

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

List of Coast Guard Units in Ireland

  • Achill, Co. Mayo
  • Ardmore, Co. Waterford
  • Arklow, Co. Wicklow
  • Ballybunion, Co. Kerry
  • Ballycotton, Co. Cork
  • Ballyglass, Co. Mayo
  • Bonmahon, Co. Waterford
  • Bunbeg, Co. Donegal
  • Carnsore, Co. Wexford
  • Castlefreake, Co. Cork
  • Castletownbere, Co. Cork
  • Cleggan, Co. Galway
  • Clogherhead, Co. Louth
  • Costelloe Bay, Co. Galway
  • Courtown, Co. Wexford
  • Crosshaven, Co. Cork
  • Curracloe, Co. Wexford
  • Dingle, Co. Kerry
  • Doolin, Co. Clare
  • Drogheda, Co. Louth
  • Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
  • Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
  • Fethard, Co. Wexford
  • Glandore, Co. Cork
  • Glenderry, Co. Kerry
  • Goleen, Co. Cork
  • Greencastle, Co. Donegal
  • Greenore, Co. Louth
  • Greystones, Co. Wicklow
  • Guileen, Co. Cork
  • Howth, Co. Dublin
  • Kilkee, Co. Clare
  • Killala, Co. Mayo
  • Killybegs, Co. Donegal
  • Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford
  • Knightstown, Co. Kerry
  • Mulroy, Co. Donegal
  • North Aran, Co. Galway
  • Old Head Of Kinsale, Co. Cork
  • Oysterhaven, Co. Cork
  • Rosslare, Co. Wexford
  • Seven Heads, Co. Cork
  • Skerries, Co. Dublin
  • Summercove, Co. Cork
  • Toe Head, Co. Cork
  • Tory Island, Co. Donegal
  • Tramore, Co. Waterford
  • Waterville, Co. Kerry
  • Westport, Co. Mayo
  • Wicklow
  • Youghal, Co. Cork

The roles of the Irish Coast Guard

The main roles of the Irish Coast Guard are to rescue people from danger at sea or on land, to organise immediate medical transport and to assist boats and ships within the country's jurisdiction.

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

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

Each centre is responsible for search and rescue operations.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coast Guard helicopters

The Irish Coast Guard has contracted five medium-lift Sikorsky Search and Rescue helicopters deployed at bases in Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo.

The helicopters are designated wheels up from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours and 45 minutes at night. One aircraft is fitted and its crew trained for under slung cargo operations up to 3000kgs and is available on short notice based at Waterford.

These aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains of Ireland (32 counties).

They can also be used for assistance in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and aerial surveillance during daylight hours, lifting and passenger operations and other operations as authorised by the Coast Guard within appropriate regulations.

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

Helicopter tasks include:

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

The secondary roles of the helicopter are:

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

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

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

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

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