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Cork East Fine Gael TD and Minister of State at the Department of Justice, David Stanton has welcomed the funding announcement of €112,500 for the development of a pontoon and gangway in Youghal

News of the proposal broke on Afloat.ie last March here.

“The announcement is great news for Youghal and will allow for the supply and installation of a pontoon and gangway in Youghal Harbour. Cork County Council has done a huge amount of work to get this project underway and has already secured the necessary planning permission and foreshore licence to allow the development to proceed”, said Minister Stanton.

“Last year eight visitor buoys were put in place in Youghal harbour and these have been very successful in attracting marine leisure tourism to the town. I am confident that the pontoon will build on the success of these buoys and greatly enhance Youghal’s marine tourism offering and lead to an increase in visitors to this historic town.

“This funding is another substantial investment in Youghal’s tourism product. In addition to the development of Youghal’s heritage trail which includes the Raleigh Quarter, the medieval town walls, St Mary’s Collegiate Church and gardens next door, Youghal Clock Gate was opened to the public at the end of last year and is proving very popular. The refurbished boardwalk is also widely used by locals and visitors alike.

“Youghal wastewater treatment plant is also due to be completed by the end of this year and this project along with the other wastewater infrastructure works will allow for further development in the town into the future.

“I am very pleased that Youghal pontoon project has been awarded funding under the Local Authority Harbour programme. This scheme provides for 75% funding by the Department of Marine with the balance being supplied by Cork County Council. I would hope that, if this project is as successful as expected in attracting visitors to the town, this project would lead to further investment in marine leisure facilities in Youghal in the not too distant future.

Published in Irish Marinas
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The Royal Cork Yacht Club in Cork Harbour achieved second place in a strong international field at the International Marina of the Year Awards and, as previously reported by Afloat.ie, were just pipped to the post by the Karpaz Gate Marina, located in northern Cyprus.

Gavin Deane, General Manager at the Royal Cork Yacht Club, said: “We are delighted to receive this significant award from TYHA. This is as a result of the hard work of the Executive Committee and Club Staff since the Royal Cork attained the Five Gold Anchor Status in late 2011. The award means so much to everyone at the Club as it is voted for by both our berth holders and visiting boats”.

For more on this story click here

Published in Irish Marinas

Royal Cork Yacht Club recently became the first Yacht Club marina in the country to receive the Fáilte Ireland Welcome Standard accreditation for accommodation on its marinas and facilities. “The Club are delighted to have received this accreditation from Fáilte Ireland and we hope the ‘Welcome Standard’ will help attract even more visiting boats from around Ireland, the UK and further afield to visit Cork Harbour. There is plenty to see and do around the harbour as in recent years there has been a huge increase in infrastructural development, with Camden Fort Meagher and Spike Island being two great examples” commented General Manager, Gavin Deane.

Fáilte Ireland's (FI) role is to support the tourism industry and work to sustain Ireland as a high-quality and competitive tourism destination.

With the Quality Assured banner FI have developed new standards to allow for greater innovation, individuality and authenticity in their approved tourist accommodation businesses.

The standards recognise accommodation businesses of all types and styles that are committed to tourism and to maintaining high standards and practices throughout their business. It is targeted at atypical tourist accommodation businesses who do not fit in the existing approval frameworks such as glamping, pods, shepherd huts, yurts, lighthouses and marinas.

The standards identify the strengths of businesses, without taking away any of the character and style of the individual property.

Published in Royal Cork YC
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The ICOMIA World Marinas Conference in Amsterdam (17-19 November 2016) provided the ideal backdrop for the presentation of the latest two Global Marina Institute (GMI) certificates.

Michelle Hitchcock, Head of Business Development at MDL Marinas Ltd, was awarded the Certified Marina Professional (CMP) certificate. Michelle is the first woman in the world to be accredited as a CMP, since its inception in 2012.
Designed to recognise the skills and experience of those working in the marina sector, but not directly managing marinas, Michelle is the perfect candidate to receive this accolade. She has worked at MDL Marinas Ltd since 1999 in a variety of roles but is now Head of Business Development.

Working at one of Europe’s leading marina groups, she is responsible for the company’s training development and delivery, the monitoring of customer service and quality and overseeing all operational aspects of business systems throughout the group’s 100+ marinas located across the UK, France, Italy and Spain.

Upon receiving her certification, Micelle Hitchcock commented: “I am honoured and proud to be awarded my CMP accreditation by the GMI. This is a major highlight of my career, made more special as the presentation was in front of an audience of my peers at the ICOMIA World Marinas Conference.”

Can Akaltan was also presented with his Certified Marina Manager (CMM) certificate during the Conference. Can is General Manager at Cesme Marina in Izmir, Turkey. Building on his successful career as a yacht captain, he joined Cesme Marina as the Marina Manager and has since been promoted to the position of General Manager.

Can Akaltan also remarked: “I feel privileged to be awarded the only internationally recognised certificate in the marina industry for marina professionals. It is also a great pleasure to become part of a very special group of industry pioneers.”
John Hogan, Chairman of the GMI, added: “It is good to have our first female CMP, particularly as she is from Europe, to add to those marina professionals already certified in Australia and Asia. I am hopeful that Michelle will pave the way for others who work in the industry to look to CMP as a way of developing and recognising their talents. It is also good to see another CMM recognised in Turkey.”

Today the GMI has awarded 130 active CMMs and CMPs across the globe and looks to continue this growth into 2017.

British Marine contributes to this by running a series of GMI marina management courses in locations across the UK and Europe. 

Published in Irish Marinas
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New navigation buoys have been installed at the entrance to Lawrence Cove, near the village of Rerrin on Bere Island, one of the most sheltered harbours in Bantry Bay on Ireland's South–West coast. 

A marina at Lawrence Cove is located opposite the fishing port of Castletownberehaven at the North side of Bere Island. Lawrence Cove Marina is the only fully serviced marina between Kinsale and Cahirciveen making it an important stop–over location for cruising yachts.

Published in Coastal Notes

With aerial views of the Charles Fort, James Fort, visiting Super yacht 'Grace E' and the town marina, Kinsale is filmed by drone pilot Daniel Foran with spectacula results for the harbour that marks the start of the Wild Atlantic Way.

 

Published in Kinsale
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#Rowing: Alan O’Keeffe of Presentation College had less than a length to spare over Conor McCarthy of Cork Boat Club in one of the two Cork Sculling Ladder challenges held at the weekend. Kieran White of Cork beat Jack O’Donovan in the other race. The Ladder continues until Sunday, March 28th

Cork Sculling Ladder Challenges, Saturday, March 5th.

Race 1.   (29) Alan O’Keeffe,  Presentation College Rowing Club bt  (31) Conor McCarthy,  Cork Boat Club  4 feet.

Race 2.   (46) Patrick Kennelly,  Presentation College Rowing Club  r/o.   (50) Conor Twohig  -  Cork Boat Club.  Did not race. Ill.

Race 3.   (77) Kieran White,  Cork Boat Club bt (60) Jack O’Donovan,  Presentation College Rowing Club  5 lengths.

Challenges :

Sunday, March 13th 

09.00am.  (41) Cian O’Sullivan  -  Cork Boat Club  v  (33) Eoin Gaffney  -  Shandon Boat Club.

Date and times to be arranged for the following :

(8) Barry O’Flynn  -  Cork Boat Club  v  (6) Sean Lonergan  -  Shandon Boat Club.

(12) Liam O’Connell  -  Cork Boat Club  v  (10) Cathal Merz  -  Shandon Boat Club.

(13) Barry Connolly  -  Cork Boat Club  v  (11) Thomas Murphy  -  Lee Rowing Club.

(21) Cormac Corkery  -  Cork Boat Club  v  (18) Hugh Sutton  -  Lee Rowing Club.

(23) Evan Curtin  -  Cork Boat Club  v  (22) Luke Guerin  -  Lee Rowing Club.

(59) Ross Cudmore  -  Cork Boat Club  v  (57) Noel Carey  -  Shandon Boat Club.

(88) Conor O’Callaghan  -  Cork Boat Club  v  (81) Jack Aherne  -  Cork Boat Club.

Published in Rowing
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Rugged Donegal in the far northwest of Ireland is unknown territory for many Irish people whether by land or sea - and even more so for people from further afield writes W M Nixon. Yet for people who live in this picturesque but challenging region, it’s the hub of the universe, and for Donegal-located sailing enthusiasts, it can be a cruising paradise.

This was brought home to the rest of us at the recent Irish Cruising Club prize-giving, when the Glengarriff Trophy for the best cruise in Irish waters went to Dr Paul McSorley, who sails from Lough Swilly. Despite 2015’s mixed weather, he made a very detailed cruise of the Donegal coast with his daughter Eimile in the 27ft International H Boat Wild Cat. While the H Boats were developed in Finland as a fast weekend cruiser with genuine race potential (they’re now an International Racing Class), it’s unlikely that designer Hans Groop envisaged them cruising the monumental Donegal coast with its challenging location on the Wild Atlantic Way.

don1aAn H Boat in cruising mode. Paul & Eimile McSorley’s cruise in Donegal in 2015 with with the H Boat Wild Cat was awarded an ICC Trophy

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A Land Apart – Donegal is Ireland’s ultimate cruising challenge

Yet on a good day, you could see resemblances between the myriad of islands on the Finnish coast and the maze of islands north and south of Arranamore between Dawros Head and Bloody Foreland, the area on which Wild Cat’s cruise was concentrated. The difference, of course, is the tide. But Donegal aficionados reckon that the tide adds a special spice in which the Baltic is woefully lacking……

Whatever, there’s no doubt that Donegal is a special place for many cruising folk, and in recent days the ever-curious Norman Kean and Geraldine Hennigan of Courtmacsherry, who edit the Irish Cruising Club Sailing Directions, have been in Donegal sussing out welcome new developments. In a sense, it was something of a home-coming, for when Norman first came from Scotland to settle in Ireland to work in a chemical plant in Derry, Lough Swilly Yacht Club became his home base, and it was a cruise from there to the Faroes in an own-built Sadler 25 which first put him on the cruising map.

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This is the start of something very worthwhile – the first pontoon berths in place in Killybegs in Donegal last week. Photo: Geraldine Hennigan

In Donegal in late February 2016, they found that the further you go south, the more promising are the developments. Best of all is the mighty fishing port of Killybegs on the south coast facing into Donegal Bay, a wonderful natural harbour for a bustling place which is said to be a town of 23 millionaires. For although not everyone does well in the fishing, some busy and innovative types do very well indeed.

For quite some time there’s been talk of the provision of pontoon facilities in Killybegs, but for 2016 Donegal County Council - where Cathal Sweeney has become the enthusiastic harbour engineer - have just gone ahead and done it with a minimum of fanfare, installing a 63-berth pontoon setup with plenty of room for expansion. (As first reported by Afloat.ie in March 2013). The pontoons were supplied and fitted by Oliver Shortall's Inland and Coastal Marinas Ltd of Banagher in County Offaly.

At present it’s called a “Small Craft Harbour”, which at first you might think reflects the reluctance of local authorities, the further north you go in Ireland, to describe a new amenity of this type as a “marina”. A case in point is Ardglass in County Down where the excellent little marina – one of the greatest boons to East Coast cruising – is still referred to as the “Phenick Cove Boat Park”.

On the other hand, Cathal Sweeney sounds a no-nonsense kind of guy, so maybe he won’t describe the very welcome new facility in Killybegs – which will transform Donegal as a cruising ground in providing a convenient base where a boat could be confidently left with good if distant communications with the rest of the country –  as a marina until it has the full shoreside facilities.

Then the cruising options from Killybegs have been improved too, as to the westward a fine big pontoon has now been provided at the west pier in the lovely inlet of Teelin right beside the majestic cliffs of Slieve League. But then as we head north along the massive Atlantic seaboard, proper facilities are sparse enough, though in the case of both Burtonport and Bunbeg, it’s surely only a matter of time before a proper recreational-use pontoon or two gets installed.

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Bunbeg on Donegal’s northwest corner is a little port which would benefit from a modest pontoon facility. Photo: W M Nixon

Cruising Donegal’s north coast, it still remains a source of wonder and delight that Tory Island now has a proper pier, albeit a tiny one, at which a cruising yacht can confidently overnight. And further east we hear that the most sheltered anchoring spot on the entire north coast, Fanny’s Bay on the west side just inside the entrance to Mulroy Bay, is a real possibility for a small marina facility.

Nevertheless in cruising Donegal, your first requirement is for your vessel to have her own fully operational and very substantial ground tackle, for apart from this being the seamanlike approach, the choice of anchorages which opens up when you know you’ve an anchor which will hold, and a windlass which will retrieve it, is almost boundless.


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After many years, the shoreside cohesion of Fahan Marina on Lough Swilly with its landward neighbourhood south of Buncrana still seems a long way off. Photo Kevin Dwyer/Courtesy ICC

In the northeast of this enormous county of Donegal, there has of course long been a convenient if somewhat tide-ridden pontoon at Rathmullan on the west shore of Lough Swilly, but across-lough at Fahan, the marina – the great white hope of Donegal sailing – continues in a sort of semi-functional limbo, an unfinished, disconnected piece of work which nevertheless gives enough hint of what might be, if only someone could find a way through various legal and commercial impasses.

don5
The berthing facility at Bunnagee near Culdaff took a battering in the winter storms. Photo: Geraldine Hennigan

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Storm damage to one of the Bunagee pontoons. Photo: Geraldine Hennigan

Up to the north of Inishowen, what was hoped to be a “marina” at the lovely little bay of Bunagee at Culdaff has seen its pontoon damaged in winter storms, for even in summer this is a restless if attractive anchorage. But on the east coast of Inishowen the Greencastle-Moville area has seen significant improvement with summer harbour for Moiville Yacht Club close south of Greencastle, where the main harbour itself has seen work resumed on some improvements.

don7
Greencastle is a fishing port where occasionally working boats and leisure craft can become very crowded……Photo: W M Nixon

don8….but immediately south of Greencastle this new pontoon facility provides a summer berth for local craft. Photo: W M Nixon

don9
The new Greencastle pontoons looking east across Lough Foyle. In time, an additional sheltering pier may make this a more attractive proposition for visiting cruising boats. Photo: W M Nixon

So Donegal calls. It may get some of the roughest weather in Europe, but when summer comes to stay for a week or two, it’s a cruising paradise.

Published in Irish Marinas

#Rowing: The Cork Sculling Ladder hosted a number of races in very good conditions on an outgoing tide at the Marina in Cork today. There are four more weeks until the conclusion of the 2015/20016 series on March 28th.

Cork Sculling Ladder, Results  

Sunday. 28.02.2016.

FC (30) Evan Curtin  -  Cork Boat Club bt  (23) Peter Jackson  -  Lee Rowing Club.  5L.

 (91) Mia Kovacs  -  Shandon Boat Club.   v  (87) Erika Deasy  -  Cork Boat Club.  Postponed.

(85) Sophie Grey  -  Lee Rowing Club. bt  (86) Julie Harrington  -  Shandon Boat Club.  5L.

(72) Chelsey Minehane  -  Shandon Boat Club.  2.  (69) Jennifer Crowley  -  Shandon Boat Club.  5L.             .

(31) Conor McCarthy  -  Cork Boat Club.  2.  (45) Jerome Arrigan  -  Shandon Boat Club.  5L.

(FC) (43) Alex Byrne  -  Shandon Boat Club.  2.  (32) Eoin Gaffney  -  Shandon Boat Club.   3L.

(47) David Cosgrove  -  Shandon Boat Club.  2.  (FC) (62) Jack Leggett  -  Shandon Boat Club.  4L.

(40) Cian O’Sullivan  -  Cork Boat Club.  v  (37) William Ronayne  -  Shandon Boat Club. Cancelled. Ronayne ill.

Starter : Finbarr Desmond.

Umpires : Kieran Hughes and Pat Hickey.

Published in Rowing

Planning permission for a 235–berth marina is due to run out in 2017. General Election Candidate and former Mayor of Cork Cllr Alan Coleman has claimed that funding to get the marina and pier extension project in Schull up and running must be a priority for the next government in a report in the West Cork Times

The €6million project requires €2.5 million Government funding, Coleman says.

Schull Harbour Sailing Club based in the picturesque harbour that is part of the Wild Atlantic Way says 'If the funding can beorganised this could be a major advance for marine activity around Schull and West Cork'.

Coleman claims the West Cork town 'has been let down by the present government despite three government TDs in West Cork'.

“This marina can be a huge attraction to the area to broaden tourist season and make Schull and the Mizen a destination of choice, says Coleman.

“I have seen the huge economic benefit of investing in three marinas in Kinsale and it has sustained a longer season and made the area more attractive for visitors. A more vibrant tourist season will make the rural economy more sustainable' he said.

More on this story from West Cork Times here

Published in Irish Marinas
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Page 3 of 13

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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