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Displaying items by tag: MGM Boats

#boatsforsale – Time was when shrewd boat buyers went into action in the Autumn, when the post-summer downturn in enthusiasm might just make the used dreamboat affordable with a bargain end-of-season price. But these days, when most of us are urban-based with limited storage space around our homes, our boats are kept during the winter either in marinas or boatyards. Both options incur ongoing winter-long costs, quickly eroding the benefit of an Autumn bargain. W M Nixon suggests that now may be the best time to buy.

With good weather in the offing and the St Patrick's Day weekend on the near horizon, the boat-owning juices are beginning to stir. Not everyone wants to own a boat. But for those who do, it's an irresistible calling, a vocation which can only be deferred for so long. 

For sure, you could fight it well enough during the years of recession, when most of us were pre-occupied with simply keeping our economic heads above water. And even last Autumn, when things seemed at least to have bottomed out on the economic front, there was natural prudence in resisting the temptation to rush out and buy.

Now there is the added news that boat finance is being made available for the first time in five years through niche Dublin finance house First Finance and Leasing Ltd (FFL). It's the first time since the crash that a credit line is available for boats in Ireland.

So for the next few weeks, it's action time. And as Lee Stevenson of Blue Flag Boats in Bangor sensibly points out, many used boats for sale have spent the winter ashore, so if things get to the stage of seeking a pre-purchase survey, you don't incur the additional cost of a lift-out.

Down on the south coast, Hugh Mockler of Crosshaven Boatyard finds his continually-replenishing list of craft for sale is usually numbered at about 90 boats at any given time. While he can provide his services all over the country, his main area of operations is between Waterford to the east, and the increasingly important sailing area in and around Valentia Island to the west, with all the astonishingly varied sailing and boating paradises of the south and southwest coasts in between.

In the end, of course, it's people not ports that buy boats, so the large concentration of population in the Dublin area is matched by an intensification in broker numbers, with the main firms including BJ Marine where James Kirwan is the lead broker. However, founder Bernard Gallagher isn't averse to keeping his hand in with the occasional negotiation in the second-hand area from time to time, though his main focus is on new boats based on BJ's several noted marques, with the Beneteau brand dominant.

Martin and Gerry Salmon and their team with MGM Boats in the heart of the Dun Laoghaire marina area are likewise running a busy international firm whose used boat brokerage operations stemmed originally from their new boat sales with the Jeanneau range heading the fleet. But in recent years MGM's energies have been such that they've earned a European and even Transatlantic reputation for successfully selling top end second-hand craft.

Ronan Beirne of Leinster Boats in Dun Laoghaire is almost entirely focused on the used boat market, but with his extensive personal seagoing experience in boats of many kinds, he finds himself being asked to provide advice and professional expertise at all stages of the boat buying process, both new and second-hand. While he too can undertake work in all parts of the country, the main strength of Leinster Boats lies in doing what it says on the tin – his principal area of operations is focused precisely on the Leinster coast, which is Ireland's east coast between Carlingford Lough and New Ross in Wexford, where the River Barrow meets the sea far inland from Hook Head.

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Ronan Beirne brings extensive experience of all kinds of boating and sailing to assisting clients of Leinster Boats

Like all respected brokers, Ronan Beirne sees it as part of his job to discourage people from buying boats which might not be suited at all to their particular needs. Brokers who are in it for the long haul hope to build up repeat business, and quick but ill-matched sales are not the way to do it. Nevertheless as all brokers are themselves boat owners manqué, from time to time their enthusiasm simply bursts out, and that's how it is at the moment with Lee Stevenson's pleasure in bringing the Moody s31 Corona to the market.

The Moody boats around this size have a long and impeccable pedigree. It was a very long time ago that the distinguished yacht building firm of Moody & Sons descended into the turmoil of glassfibre series production with the Moody 33, which was a lot of boat for the money. Subsequent Moody production boats of mostly larger sizes continued, with designer Angus Primrose's theme of reasonable performance combined with incredibly roomy accommodation in a high volume hull manifesting itself in numerous models. But as Primrose's assistant Bill Dixon took over the design work, the lines became more refined, and by the 1980s the new look was personified by the Moody 29 which looked good and punched way above her weight in the accommodation and performance stakes.

I can fondly remember the battles we had throughout the 1980s racing in Class 3 against the Moody 29 Mystique of Malahide campaigned by Robert & Rose Michael, a super boat which cruised as successfully as she raced. More recently, an excellent exponent of this Moody size and type has been Donal Walsh's Dungarvan-based Lady Kate, a Moody 31 of later vintage, being the 1986 interpretation of the Moody 29 concept. Just last year, Lady Kate won the Irish Cruising Club's Round Ireland Cup for an exemplary circumnavigation of our wayward island.

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The Moody s31 Corona has a sensible and unextreme shape with the safety and convenience bonus of a sugar-scoop stern.

Corona is the 1996 development and enlargement of this theme, and she's a 31 footer which packs a good performance with an exceptionally comprehensive range of equipment, as in her seventeen years of life she's had three loving owners each of whom seems to have hoped to outdo his predecessor in lavishing care and goodies on the boat. The price of £45,000 reflects this very full inventory, and also the fact that the boat has been immaculately maintained. For a family thinking of moving into the performance cruiser bracket, she's a very manageable boat, absolutely ready to go. And with her proven performance and comfort, she might also be ideal for someone thinking to downsize from a larger offshore racer while not entirely hanging up the racing boots.

Down in Crosshaven, the Afloat.ie brokerage site draws attention to an interesting larger boat on Hugh Mockler's books, a boat which he admits has been well and very actively used, and thus she might need a bit of TLC. But with a price of just €37,500 this 1987 Jeanneau Sun Shine 38 has to be interesting, even if you note things that show you how much has changed in the 37 years since this boat was built, such as a Yanmar Diesel of only 24HP.

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The 1987 Jeanneau Sun Shine 38 is that perfect size which suggests all sorts of cruising possibilities.

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The Sun Shine 38 looks well-lived-in, but a bit of TLC will bring her back to showroom condition.

Nevertheless, the interior photos show us a boat which those of us whose boats are earlier than 1987 would think is in very sweet order indeed. And 38ft is for many sailors the perfect size – just big enough, but not too big.

Back on the east coast, James Kirwan at BJ Marine has two interesting craft in the same size range, but at very different prices. Around 2000, Beneteau up-graded their previously rather bulbous-looking Oceanis marque, and produced a range of boats which were notably handsome, with very positive and elegant sheerlines, and a nicely balanced profile. They looked well in all colour schemes, but they looked sensational in the Beneteau blue, and the Dublin office of BJ has a 2006 Beneteau Oceanis 373 in this particular shade of blue - she looks well in any company.

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The Beneteau Oceanis range was at a handsome stge of development around 2006. This Oceanis 373 is for sale through BJ Marine at €79,900.

Her engine size reflects the change in attitudes to available auxiliary power over the years, as it is 40HP compared to the older Sun Shine's 24HP, but the use of a Yanmar is continued. The price is €79,000, which feels right, and you get a fine cruiser which might just surprise the opposition in club racing.

Another BJ boat which talks more clearly of racing potential is a First 40 which was sold new by the firm in 2009. In fact, this was one of the very first of the boats which replaced the well-proven First 40.7, but as she wasn't intended for racing, she has the shoal draft configuration. The year after she was built, the deep keel version of this new First 40 achieved international success by taking first and second overall in the 2010 Sydney-Hobart Race. But despite that, this boat has stayed resolutely in cruising mode – "neither raced nor rallied" as they say in the car business – and is on the market for €149,000.

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This five year old First 40 from BJ Marine is the shoal draft cruising version of a racer which dominated the 2010 Hobart Race

Meanwhile MGM boats in Dun Laoghaire are in the almost-new area with a 2011 Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 33i at €79,950. It makes you realise how completely Irish life came to a stick-in-the-mud halt during the depth of the recession years, as this boat is now three years old, yet she looks super-modern by comparison with almost all of the current Irish fleet. And there's more to her than meets the eye. She has been used only in fresh water, and she's the lifting keel variant. Not everyone needs that option, but for those who might, it greatly broadens the scope of your sailing where the water is thin.

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A Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 33i from MGM Boats is unusual in having a lifting keel, and she has only been used in fresh water.

For those who might be interested in an American take on modern cruising yacht design, MGM have a 2000-built Hunter 340 priced competitively at €39,950. This will be of particular interest to someone who's utterly realistic about the kind of sailing most of us do in the Dublin area, as she has a very commodious saloon, and a large cockpit. If we're honest about the way we sail and use our boats, this is an arrangement which ticks most boxes.

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The American-designed and built Hunter 340 has an exceptionally large saloon and very roomy cockpit

Leinster Boats by contrast have a cruiser which has classic seagoing as a priority. She's a quality Swedish-built Malo 36, yet though she's well able for ocean voyaging, and is kitted accordingly, she has generally been lightly used with short-passage cruises in the hands of a fastidious owner.

The price reflects the boat's high standard, indeed you'll have to contact Leinster Boats to find what it is, but the company have no hesitation in stating the price quoted for their Springtime bargain. For €13,400, you can secure a vintage Rival 32, designed by the great Peter Brett. The boat has been laid up for three or four years, but she's a gallant cruising yacht, and at a very manageable price.

Last year' whirlwind tour of Ireland's East Coast by the Old Gaffers Association for their Golden Jubilee cruise gave prominence to the "plastic gaffers" which are now an accepted part of the OGA fleet. We've been accustomed to the Heard range based on the sea-tested Falmouth working boats, craft such as incoming OGA President Sean Walsh's own Tir na nOg, but last summers events brought to prominence boats which more thoroughly exploit the possibilities of glassfibre construction while continuing to set gaff rig.

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The Cornish Pilot Cutter 30 from Crosshaven Boatyard is the sister-ship of a successful participant in the Old Gaffers Association Golden Jubilee events in 2013.

One which particularly impressed was veteran gaffers Tim and Liz Dodwell with their new-style Cornish Pilot Cutter 30 High Barbaree, which spectacularly got the best of the squally start for the Leinster Plate race in Dublin Bay. Now there's a sister-ship of High Barbaree for sale in Cork. Hugh Mockler of Crosshaven Boatyard has her on his books for €97,500, she's in mint condition having been built in 2004, and as she has a centreplate and a 29hp engine, this is one versatile boat and definitely of interest to anyone who only feels happy sailing under a four-sided mainsail.

But if you feel only happy with a four-sided mainsail atop a vintage hull, shape your course for Gareth Courtney at BJ Marine in Bangor, who has the classic 1920 48ft Dickie's of Tarbert gaff ketch Morna on his books for £129,950. She has recently had a major refit and has an immaculate teak deck, while the rig is notably easily handled, and there's just something very special about this boat.

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The 48ft gaff ketch Morna is pure gold classic, yet easily handled with her compact rig while having a good sailing performance.

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Morna's large area of teak laid deck is impressive, but such beauty doesn't come cheap

Another vessel in the higher dream stakes is on Lee Stevenson's books at Blue Flag Boats, this is a Hylas 49 fom the Sparkman & Stephens' board. This yacht really has sailed the oceans, yet you'd think she is fresh out of the box, and the price is £245,000 absolutely ready to go across the high seas with quality sailing.

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The blue water dream is just ready to come to life again. This immaculate Hylas 49 from Blue Flag Boats has already proven her ocean sailing credentials.

But those who have done their duty by sails are always on the lookout for a powerboat which would appeal to former sailing folk, and Hugh Mockler in Crosshaven reckons he has her on his varied list. She's an Oyster LD43, built 2005, flawless condition, oodles of power to match that stunning hull, and yours for £235,000. And yes, that – like the Hylas – is indeed sterling. Dream on.

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The perfect fast powerboat for former sailing fanatics – the Oyster LD43 on sale with Crosshaven Boatyard.

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Restrained style with impressive comfort – the deck saloon in the Oyster LD43 is the essence of good taste.

Published in W M Nixon

#sunseeker – Is this the biggest boat owned by an Irishman? Sunseeker's largest ever yacht for Irish Formula One mogul Eddie Jordan has been revealed this weekend at Poole Quay in Dorset, the Bournemouth Echo reports.

The 155–foot yacht, reported to be worth £32 million, was painstakingly moved out of the shed by Sunseeker staff on Saturday and took more than an hour to move the short distance into the yard.

Eddie Jordan has been enjoying a lot of time on the ocean waves of late. Afloat previously reported (this time last year) on the start of Jordan's Round the World Rally. He was joined on that voyage by Dun Laoghaire sailing school instructor Paul Adamson on the Oyster 885, Lush, for the first ever Oyster World Rally.

Meanwhile in Poole, Stewart McIntyre, Managing Director at Sunseeker, whose Irish agents are MGM Boats in Dun Laoghaire, said yesterday: "This is an extremely exciting time for Sunseeker as we inch ever closer to the completion of the 155 Yacht.

"This is the biggest project we have ever undertaken and since the announcement of its build it has been the talk of the industry.

"We are incredibly proud of what we have created and look forward to showcasing it to the world."

The impressive accommodation can cater for 12 guests and 10 crew, and has an on board nightclub, a panoramic viewing area, a dining area, bar and its own garage for jet skis.

The largest luxury boat ever built by the company had to be moved using a radio controlled multiple wheeled unit from its build shed onto the quay at Poole for the final fitting out.

An extra radar mount was needed to complete the boat but it was far too tall for the current shed so the boat will have to spend at least one or two more weeks on the harbourside before it can be finally launched into the water.

More from the Bournemouth Echo here

 

Published in News Update

#boatsforsale – Ireland's MGM Boats got off to a busy start at this weekend's opening of Boot, the Dusseldorf Boat Show. It's an upswing in fortunes for yacht sales that that started off at the London Boat Show earlier this month where the international brokers also reported the strongest interest in five years. The MGM Yachts for Sale Stand is the only Irish and UK broker exhibiting on its own stand in Hall 4 of this week's massive German Show.  

The Dun Laoghaire firm is promoting more than 300 used boats from its international brokerage listing as well as promoting the Aquador, Jeanneau, Sunseeker and Lagoon marques.  

Published in Marine Trade

#mgmboats – Irish boat firm MGM Boats has proved a big hit with its boats for sale stand at this week's London Boat Show, according to managing director of the Dun Laoghaire company, Gerry Salmon.

Salmon says clients are looking for more from a broker these days than just a simple website listing, his advice comes at a time when the UK boat market is in a state of flux, according to one UK Trade Association

"Web sites are great, and we all need them in business, but you still have to engage your clients face to face", Salmon told Afloat.ie

The Irish company has the biggest brokerage stand at the British marine showcase event at the EXCEL centre in London's docklands. 

The MGM brokerage stand has had an average of 100 inquires a day since last Saturday. Salmon says he has had to put on extra staff to cope with demand.

"We get the listings because the clients see the level of commitment we give their boat as well as the web site marketing we do" Says Salmon.

Aswell as a base in Dun Laoghaire, MGM boats also has offices in Portugal, Belfast, Cork and on the UK south coast on the Hamble.

Encouragingly, there is a real buzz of activity at the 2014 show. 'we have had more Irish visitors to our stand this year ,than in the past five years. It's great to see our clients showing confidence and optimism. Bring on 2014" he concludes.

Published in Marine Trade

#mgmboats – Marine firm MGM Boats from Dun Laoghaire are open for boat brokerage business at this week's Southampton boat show. As part of its continued marketing drive, the Irish firm has eight sales people on Jeanneau, Aquador, Sunseeker stands at the show plus its own dedicated brokerage boats for sale stand featuring over 300 boats.

Published in Marine Trade

#mgmboats – Go ahead yacht broker MGM boats of Dun Laoghaire features in this morning's Irish Times in a piece entitled 'Setting sail for calm waters of recovery'. In it co-founder Martin Salmon describes how the company has recently established two new bases in the Mallorca and Portugal and how the business has evolved in recession. 'We're now estate agents for boats', he told journalist Mark Paul.

As previously reported by Afloat.ie, the Irish marine firm has currently 300 boats on its books and has expanded by attending international boat shows. Salmon expects numbers on its listings to rise in the coming seasons. A welcome bonus is the return of some Irish folk to boating.

 You can read the full piece on the back apge of Friday's business supplement. (August 23 2013).

Published in Marine Trade
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#mgmboats – Irish boat firm MGM Boats has announced two new yacht and boat brokerage sales offices in the mediterranean. 'We have been working on this project for 18 months and have decided to select Cala d'Or Mallorca and Vilamoura Portugal as our first phase of expansion into the med market' explained director Martin Salmon.

In Mallorca, MGM are based in Port Petit and are working alongside Nick Jones from International Boat Centre.

Nick Jones has operated a boat sales and maintenance business in the picturesque port of Cala d'Or since 1989. We have done a lot of business together over the past five years and have co-brokered a lot of deals.

In Portugal, MGM are based in Vilamoura next to the town marina. They are working alongside Chris Watson of Algarve Marine Services who has over twenty years' experience in the service and maintenance sector in Portugal. "We have worked together on many deals in that region, Chris has handled all of our maintenance storage and logistics, said Salmon.

MGM Boats are an established international yacht broker. They currently have over 300 brokerage boats for sale and these are berthed in a wide variety of locations throughout Europe.

'With our two new Mediterranean locations we intend to greatly increase our market share and increase our listings particularly in the larger boat sector, ' said Martin.

The contact details for MGM in the med are:

MGM Boats Mallorca
International Boat Centre
Port Petit 320-321
07660
Cala d'Or
Mallorca
Spain

MGM Boats Portugal
Edificio Vilammarina Office 60,
Marina de Vilamoura
Quarteira
8125-401
Portugal

Published in Marine Trade
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Leading Irish boat sales firm MGM Boats is preparing a summer long celebration of its 15–years in business and a new logo is part of the firm's birthday rebranding. Afloat.ie brings you a sneak peek of the new MGM look above that will shortly be emblazoned on a new boat sales website along and a a new office in Carrickfergus. There will also be other staff announcements as the company continues its international developments.

Enterprising broker Gerry Salmon of MGM Boats has been in the Middle East last St. Patrick's weekend attending the Dubai International Boat Show. The Dun Laoghaire firm who specialise in international yacht brokerage have spent the winter months working hard to sell clients boats at foreign boat shows.

Not content to limit themselves to a depressed Irish market the go ahead firm headquartered in Dun Laoghaire harbour regularly attend established shows in Southampton, London, Paris and Dusseldorf as well as Helsinki.

The reason behind this Summer's rebranding is a rapid exansion of its brokerage division in Europe and the Middle East. It is an opportunity to give ourselves a unique and prestigious brand identity. 

'Our new logo and corporate identity will work well across all mediums of communication. It will complement our Boat Show Brokerage stands at the fifteen planned international events for the 2003/14 season' says MGM managing director Gerry Salmon.

Published in Marine Trade
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#mgmboats – Go ahead Irish yacht brokerage firm MGM Boats Ltd of Dun Laoghaire are exhibiting this weekend at the Stockholm Boat Show in Sweden.

Irish boat firm MGM Boats Ltd is marketing 300 brokerage craft valued at €50m at world boat shows over the Spring season.

The leading Irish marine firm is the Sunseeker, Jeanneau and Aquador agent in Ireland and has had a winter tour of the world's boat shows at Paris, London and Dusseldorf.

The main thrust of the firm's activity is the marketing of Ireland's largest brokerage listing in Ireland.

In the last 12 months, MGM has also travelled to many other foreign markets including Dubai, Finland, Siberia and Moscow as well as the more common European yachting centres in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and the Balearic Islands.

The firm is also making a push on the Lagoon 39 catamaran, a brand new model from the French manufacturer. 'Live aboard cruising is a growth area on big catamarans' says the firm's Ross O'Leary who was on the Lagoon stand at the Paris and Dusseldorf shows.

The Swedish show opens tomorrow and runs until Sunday 10th. The firm's Joe Hill is working the first part of the week, Martin Salmon doing mid week with brother Gerry finishing next weekend.

The show opens Monday - Friday*, 12 noon - 8 pm and Saturday - Sunday, 10 am - 6 pm. More details here

Published in Marine Trade
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#boatsales – Irish boat brokerage firm MGM Marine Boats are exhibiting at this weekend's Miami Boat Show in Florida. John O Kane (pictured left) and Gerry Salmon are both working on the impressive Sunseeker stand with Ross O'Leary working on the Lagoon Catamaran stand.

The brokerage firm headquartered in Dun Laoghaire has been active over the winter period at key international boat shows and attended the Dubai Show in the United Arab Emirates and the Russian show in central Moscow.

Published in Marine Trade
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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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