Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: Marina

#visitderry – Sail Ireland's North West and discover Donegal's rugged coastline and the River Foyle to the walled city of Derry~Londonderry, named by 'Lonely Planet' as one of the Top 10 Cities to visit in the World!

Follow the seaways from Scotland, England and Wales and, with good planning, the tidal streams will make light work of the passage across the North Channel and westward to the Foyle. Lying in wait is the fantastic coastline of Inishowen, with vistas of towering stacks, cliffs, beaches and a repertoire of heritage!

Sailing along the top of Ireland, take advantage of the sheltered delights of Lough Foyle and, at its mouth, the quaint village of Greencastle, the second-biggest fishing port in Donegal.

The harbour accommodates a wide range of yachts and a new permanent pontoon is planned for 2015. Trawlers from here ply as far as Rockall and the local mussel and oyster harvests supply restaurants across the region. Greencastle itself is home to a superb seafood eatery and its traditional Irish pubs are perfect places to relax and enjoy the 'craic' in this friendly village.

Visitors can also avail of a stunning shoreside walk and check out the Inishowen Maritime Museum – housed in the Coastguard buildings overlooking the harbour. Lough Foyle is shallow but a well-marked shipping channel runs all the way from Greencastle to Derry~ Londonderry's Foyle Marina, where two pontoons can berth up to 120 boats.

Named by acclaimed travel publication 'Lonely Planet' as a Top 10 City in the World, Derry is renowned as one of the finest walled cities in Europe and the defences celebrated their 400th anniversary in 2013 during Derry's iconic year as the inaugural UK City of Culture.

Take a trip back in time strolling along the famous 17th Century walls, and view one of the largest collections of original cannon in Europe, dating back to the days of the Siege. Or why not call in to one of the many museums and immerse yourself in the city's quirky history?

A hard day shopping and sightseeing is guaranteed to work up an appetite and whether you're looking for contemporary cuisine, a fine dining experience or somewhere to re-fuel the kids, you'll find it all here.

So where to next? Derry is home to a thriving music scene and the city is packed with lively bars, stylish clubs and traditional pubs.

Join the locals in an Irish trad 'seisiun' or catch a gig at one of Derry's cutting-edge music venues. Or why not check out one of the city's many events? Visit Derry recommends the City of Derry Jazz from April 30 to May 1 (cityofderryjazzfestival.com), and Flavours of the Foyle Seafood Festival (25-26 July).

Just minutes from Derry lies the stunning landscape of Donegal. Take a drive around its rugged coastline and marvel at endless beaches, medieval castles and natural wildlife. Challenge yourself and try your hand at angling, cycling, hiking or surfing. And let's not forget some of Ireland's finest links courses!

To the east of the city you will find the stunning natural hinterland of the North Antrim Coast. Explore the Giant's Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and take an 'Indiana Jones' style walk across the famous Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge, which is suspended over 100ft between two rugged cliffs – an experience that is definitely not for the faint hearted!

To finish your day, call into Bushmills Distillery for a drop of Northern Ireland's most famous exports, Bushmills whiskey.

On the doorstep of such stunning scenery, Derry~ Londonderry has to be one of Europe's greatest city experiences. With berthing fees from just £15 per night there really is no better time to visit. Make your next sail the North West of Ireland – it'll be 'LegenDerry'!

'The North West is among the most beautiful cruising grounds in the world'

During the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, the Derry~Londonderry stop–over was the best; not just from my slightly biased point of view, but also one shared by most of the crew on the other boats. The reception after the scenic trip up the Foyle into such a vibrant and friendly city is what made it so special.  The facilities in the new Foyle Marina and also nearby in Greencastle, Co Donegal are fantastic. It's great to see the development going into the port as it and the surrounding areas in the North West of Ireland are among the most beautiful cruising grounds in the world... especially when the sun shines!

Derry~Londonderry skipper Sean McCarter

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY!

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and Maritime Festival returns to the city – in Summer 2016!

Now firmly established as the No 1 stop–over destination on the Clipper Race circuit, Derry will host a week-long Maritime Festival to celebrate the arrival of this iconic race. Foyle Marina will transform into a summer promenade, complete with race village, marine marquees, award winning continental market and host of sea-faring activities on and off shore. At the centre of the festival will be the welcome of the 12-strong fleet of Clipper yachts, including Derry~Londonderry-Doire yacht. In 2014, the city welcomed more than 120 visiting yachts during the festival – make sure you are part of the celebrations next year!

Book your berth now!

Contact FOYLE Port
+44 (0) 28 7186 0555

www.foyleport.com 

www.visitderry.com

 

Published in Cruising

#foreshore – The Irish Marine Federation (IMF) has given a cautious welcome to much heralded changes to the foreshore bill that is designed to streamline the development consent process.

The government has published its Legislation Programme for Spring/Summer 2015 and the Maritime Area and Foreshore (Amendment) Bill is among a list of key Bills of interest which currently before the Houses of the Oireachtas.

The Bill will streamline the development consent process for the foreshore, including the integration of certain parts of the foreshore consent process (under the Foreshore Act 1933) with the existing on-land planning system.

The IMF, the national federation of the marine leisure industry in Ireland, has long held out that the failure to manage Ireland's natural resources "in a consistent or coherent manner" has led to serious setbacks in the support of marine tourism on the island.

The IMF has long argued the State must develop a clear and simplified pathway for the licensing of offshore and foreshore activity - in marina development, aquaculture, and energy exploitation. Currently, there is no timeframe for the granting of permissions leaving many developers facing a lifetime of unneccesary bureaucractic hurdles that stymies development, according to one marina developer.

In 2002, there was an attempt to address this when the Marine Institute published 'A Development Strategy for Marine Leisure Infrastructure'. Shortly afterwards, however, the responsibility for marine tourism research was transferred from the institute to the then Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism. It would appear that during this move, a disagreement over how this new responsibility for marine infrastructure was to be resourced led to its not being resourced at all.

In 2007, the Marine Institute followed up with another report - the Marine Tourism and Leisure Development Strategy 2007-2013 - which valued the water-based tourism and leisure sector at €630m and anticipated it would grow to €1bn by 2013.

That report identified a failure to manage Ireland's natural resources "in a consistent or coherent manner" in support of marine tourism. That report, and and its recommendations, was left to gather dust alongside its 2002 predecessor.

So it is something that the Government's new marine plan, 'Harvesting our Ocean Wealth' aims to develop a national maritime spatial plan, and recognises the need to engage with experts and stakeholders. But it is imperative that government does not overlook the various barriers and pressures that exist in our various sea areas.

Above all, the key to unlocking Ireland's marine potential, according to the Irish Marine Federation is to complete the necklace of marinas around our coast - marinas which can provide a lifeline for struggling coastal communities with the sort of jobs that cannot be shipped abroad.

Ireland has a chronically underdeveloped marina system. The single marina in La Rochelle, France, for example, has the same capacity as our entire island. There are more berths in North Wales alone than there are in all of Ireland.

Marinas create small hubs of marine enterprise, supplying services to cater for the boat owners gathered there or just visiting, and bringing massive spin-off benefits for the neighbouring coastal communities. Studies show that for every €10 spent by a yachtsman in a marina, €100 is spent in the local town in shops, pubs and restaurants.

A visiting overseas boat leaves €132 per night. A visiting Irish boat leaves considerably more at over €300 per night. The average spend of a boat owner in a marina berth is in excess of €8,000 per annum. Most of this stays in the local community. One full time job is supported by every 3.7 marina berths according to Federation reports.

Published in Marine Federation

#marinas – Edinburgh Marina - the 400 berth marina, residential, retail and spa hotel development that will be the focal point of Granton Harbour's regeneration, is set to be at the forefront of Scottish Marine Tourism's strategic growth, as announced by the British Marine Federation Scotland (BMFS).

The new strategy, announced last week by BMF Scotland at a Glasgow event chaired by MSP Stuart McMillan, aims to grow the total value of Scottish marine tourism by 25%, from £360m to £450m, by 2020.

Just 2.5 miles from Edinburgh City Centre, Edinburgh Marina will accommodate in excess of 320 moorings for boats of all types and sizes.

Kevin Fawcett of Granton Central Developments Limited said: "This is excellent news for Scotland and Edinburgh Marina's key location will make it a vital part of BMFS' strategy – it is in pole position to help grow Scottish Marine Tourism. Edinburgh Marina will be a world-class destination for boating enthusiasts from all over the world. The marina is long overdue for Scotland's capital city – especially a city with such rich marine heritage."

The marina facilities have been designed to put Edinburgh firmly on the charts as a marine destination, whilst creating over 700 new jobs and injecting a £30m boost to the local economy each year - over half of which is projected to come from marine related tourism.

The Edinburgh Marina master plan includes local shopping and leisure facilities, a best of Scotland indoor produce market and a hotel, restaurant & health spa - all essential ingredients in successfully growing Scottish marine tourism in line with the strategy announced by BMF Scotland.

Edinburgh Marina: Fact Box

Spa Hotel: 123 beds

Residential: 1,881 units

Retail: 9220 square metres

Leisure: 4220 square metres

Commercial: 5000 square metres

Marina: 400 berths

Distance from Edinburgh City Centre: 2.5 miles

Developer: Granton Central Developments Limited

Architect: Wilson Gunn Architects, Glasgow

Planning Consultant: Paton Planning & Development

Marine Consultant: MDL Marinas

Website: edinburgh-marina.co.uk

Published in Irish Marinas
Tagged under

#royalcork – Royal Cork Yacht Club has retained its Five Gold Anchor Marina award as well as an ICOMIA (International Council of Marine Industry Associations) Clean Marina Award.

The Royal Cork became the first Yacht Club in Ireland to be awarded this prestigious title in 2011 and further to a recent inspection, the Club has again retained this status. Ratings range from one to five gold anchors and for the Royal Cork to attain the maximum number of anchors again is a fantastic achievement by all of the Club staff involved.

Preparations for a busy summer of visiting yachts from all corners of the globe and organisation for some of Ireland's most prestigious sailing events are well under way. Gavin Deane, General Manager commented "This year is gearing up to be a busy one for the Club and retaining our Five Gold Anchors was a fantastic way to start 2015. Through our involvement in the Gold Anchor scheme we hope to see an increase in our visitor numbers again this year which is great news for the Club and also for the local economy. In addition to hosting a number of high profile events this year, we hope to expand on our training offering for both children and adults. Last year the Club was awarded the Irish Sailing Association 'Training Centre of the Year' and we have witnessed a significant increase in numbers coming to try sailing for the first time"

Mark Ring, Racing & Marina Co-ordinator at the Royal Cork, who has qualified as a Certified Marina Manager since our last inspection commented "We are delighted to retain the coveted TYHA Five Gold Anchor Award in 2015. This award is very much a team effort and everyone's input is necessary both in preparing for inspection day and maintaining the five Gold Anchor standard, while upholding that essential customer service ethos. There is an enormous sense of pride amongst all of the staff that our members and visitors will receive excellent service and high standards at the Royal Cork Yacht Club under the THYA Five Gold Anchor scheme."

The Gold Anchor award scheme is a voluntary assessment programme focused on customer service and providing Quality Assured Berthing for any boat owner. The scheme is designed for the marina consumer by The Yacht Harbour Association with contribution from the RYA. With 26 years' experience of Gold Anchor standards, this is a point of reference for all boat owners to make an informed decision on where to berth.

Published in Irish Marinas

#greystoneshm –  Expansion plans for extra berths have been accelerated at Wicklow's newest marina at Greystones Harbour.The harbour facility that opened during Easter 2103 (see above vid) is now thriving with full capacity – and above – reached a number of times during the 2015 season. Additional berthing is proposed for 2015 and Afloat.ie understands this maybe up to fifty extra berths.

The Greystyones facility is the latest marina to be added to a necklace of marina facilities around the coast.

Bernard Gallagher of Greystones Marina cites the 'massive visitor numbers' at the deep water marina and its fine dining and entertainment options locally, only a Dart ride from Dublin city centre, as major factors in its initial success.

Published in Greystones Harbour
Tagged under

#arklowberths –In a further boost for marine lesiure and the necklace of Irish marinas around the coast, the 'Garden County' has announced 20 new berths for Arklow Harbour. It's a bid, says Arklow Harbourmaster Paul Ivory, 'to generate tourism and providing additional berthing facilities for the Arklow area'.

Ivory expects the new facility, built by Irish firm Inland and Coastal, to open before the end of the year.

It's another berthing option that follows on the successful opening of the 200–berth Greystones Harbour Marina in April 2013.

Commissioning work is still taking place in Arklow (see pontoon layout above) and rates have yet to be calculated by Wicklow County Council, who now operate Arklow Harbour. 

The Marina is located in the Dock at Arklow, which has been recently dredged to an average depth of 3.0m Chart Datum, acccording to Ivory.

The new pontoons have the following berth capacity; 4 x 10m vessels on 7.5m long berths and 16 x 12m vessels on 9m long berths.

Further details are as follows:

General:
− Wheelchair accessible gangway
− Rolec service pedestals for 16amp electricity supply with smart card metering
− Fresh water taps at each pedestal
− Safety ladders and lifebuoys fitted
− Security gate at gangway
− No toilet, shower or laundry services available yet
− Price of berths to be published soon

Technical:

− Built by Inland & Coastal Marina Systems Ltd.

− Walkway units with mooring cleats, 500mm freeboard
− Berth spacings are as per Pianc (The World association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure) guidelines
− Hardwood timber fenders
− Glassfibre Reinforced Concrete (GRC) decking
− Floatation provided by GRC encased expanded polystyrene floats, minimum GRC skin thickness 10mm

Published in Irish Marinas
Tagged under

#corkharbour – Cove Sailing Club will finally have a home in Cork Harbour and Cobh town will get a marina, according to Commodore of Cove Sailing Club Adrian Tyler on Friday.

The new Cork Harbour marina facility adds another important link in the necklace of up to 60 marinas around the Irish coastline.

Tyler made the announcement following a meeting of Cove Sailing Club members it was unanimously passed to go ahead with a 74 berth marina at Whitepoint, Cobh.

The new facility will be built in two phases. The first phase is for thirty berths and this is expected to be operational by early in 2015.

Rear Commodore Derry Allister said that the works will begin immediately. The funding for this 'community marina' is made up of SECAD funding of €125,000 a grant from Cork County Council of €200,000 and club members have sponsored the remaining €300,000 for the project.

President of Cobh & Harbour Chamber Brian Curtis said this marina was a welcome boost to tourism in Cobh this news on the back of Cobh retaining its silver medal position in the tidy towns competition ends a great week for Cobh and gives all the community a boost for next year's tourist season.

Brian Curtis stated that the marina will allow more tourists to visit Cobh and they will at last have a marina to tie their boats up. Without the assistance of our four newly elected councillors working together at Cork County hall with the marina committee this great news would not be possible today.

The marina group also acknowledged the assistance of Mr Louis Duffy of Cork county council in guiding them through the storms of financing the marina.

CSC will be holding a meeting for potential berth holders shortly.

Published in Irish Marinas
Tagged under

#dunmoreeast – The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney TD, today announced details of a €4m dredging project at Dunmore East Fishery Harbour Centre on the occasion of the official opening of a €450,000 renovation of the Marine Leisure Area at the western end of the harbour.
At the opening, the Minister said "I am delighted to officially open this. The completion of this project adds greatly to the Harbour for marine activities generally. This end of the Harbour was in need of revamping for some time, and I prioritised works to make it a fit for purpose amenity which will benefit and promote the marine leisure industry in this area".
Leisure activity in Dunmore East has been increasing substantially in recent years with 180 visiting yachts from all over Ireland and abroad using the harbour in 2013, more than a threefold increase on previous years. Cruise line passengers nearly doubled in 2013 to 9,500 and with the newly renovated slipway it is expected that usage by members of the public will double in 2014 from around 600 in 2013.
The €450,000 renovation included extending the existing slipway, widening it from five to twelve metres, resurfacing and generally improving vehicle and pedestrian access, the development of a promenade with street lighting, improved access to the beach, and a rock armour embankment to protect the development from severe weather conditions.

Commenting on the works the Minister said "This is an excellent piece of infrastructure and is now a top class amenity which will lend itself to the further development of the leisure industry in Dunmore East, and the spin off that will have for tourism and jobs locally".
Announcing the €4m dredging project for Dunmore East to resolve the impacts of years of siltation in the harbour, which has restricted vessel traffic and made manoeuvrability and fish landings problematic for fishermen the Minister said "This significant investment in Dunmore East from the 2014 Fishery Harbour Capital Programme is an indication of this Government's commitment to the fishing industry in the South East. When complete, not only will the harbour be more accessible to larger vessels, landing times and management will be much improved as will the usability of the syncrolift".
Latest figures indicate that the value and volume of fish landings in Dunmore East has been on the increase for a number of years. Between 2010 and 2013 landings increased by 40% from 8,387 tonnes to an estimated 11,718 tonnes. The equivalent value of these landings went from €13.7m in 2010 to an estimated €17.5m in 2013 an increase of 28%.
The Minister went on to say "Taking account of the increased level of fish landings I am conscious of the need to dovetail the much needed dredging works with the seasonal work patterns of the fishing industry to cause as little disruption as possible. With that in mind every effort will be made to ensure that the works will be completed in advance of the important herring fishery later in the year".
Groundwork for the project is well advanced; a public procurement exercise will be initiated in May, with a view to awarding the contract in time for an August commencement date.

Concluding the Minister said "The development and upkeep of Dunmore East as a state of the art Fishery Harbour Centre, supporting a broad range of marine related activities is and will remain an ongoing process. These two major projects and the recent installation of floating pontoons within the Harbour are part of a long term strategy to deliver on the potential of Dunmore East for job creation for the fishing industry and as a marine leisure and tourist destination".

Published in Coastal Notes

#greysyonesharbour – Greystones Harbour Developer Sispar has published an upbeat newsletter in the first weeks of 2014 outlining a growth of visitor numbers to the east coast port in 2013. It's all thanks to the new town marina now operated by BJ Marinas Ltd since last April. Over 1000 boats visited Greystones in County Wicklow over the Summer months according to Sispar and nearly 100 boats and 500 sailors attended the 'Taste of Greystones Regatta' weekend last September.

The town now has a purposes built modern facility at a cost of some €70m as opposed to the 200–year–old harbour wall that was badly silted up, the newsletter says. The benefits are being felt by local business and a Chamber of commerce spokesperson says the marina in only its first season has made a 'great difference'.

There are now 60 dinghies in the sailing club pen, 40 boats in the rowing club and 90 on the marina, according to the latest Sispar figures. It's part of a strategy of making Greystones one of the top three east coast harbours. 

The North Pier will open to the public with the access route to be determined by future safety requirements and as Afloat reported previously, a new 30–ton travel hoist allows visiting an resident boats to be lifted for maintenance and repairs.

 

Published in Greystones Harbour
Tagged under

#marina – Kinsale Yacht Club (KYC) marina, recently announced as the starting point of the new tourism initiative, "The Wild Atlantic Way", has been awarded Five Gold anchor accreditation by the International Yacht Harbour Association (YHA).

The Atlantic way is set to be Ireland's first long-distance touring route, stretching along the Atlantic coast from West Cork to Donegal. Kinsale Yacht Club is delighted that this announcement coincided with their achieving the much coveted 5 Anchors award for their recently upgraded marina.

Thus KYC is now poised to play an important role for all of those intending to cruise the Wild Atlantic Way.

"Over the last three years KYC invested a lot of resources and time into the marina ensuring that we are providing a top quality service to the visitor. Our efforts have now been rewarded, KYC rear–commodore told Afloat.ie

The 5 Anchors Award is an international standard for marinas that offer excellent facilities and a very high level of service to members and visitors. It also incorporates the ICOMIA clean marina standard which is fitting for the commencement point of the Wild Atlantic Way.

Kinsale has evolved from a Medieval fishing port and is today central to the "Cruising Hub of Ireland". Visiting yachts use it as an ideal location to start and finish their cruises along the beautiful South West coast of Ireland. The natural harbour is renowned for its beautiful scenery and is situated approximately 12 miles south west of Cork harbour entrance. Kinsale is 120 nautical miles from Wales, 240 nautical miles from northwest France and 500 nautical miles from the Galician coast of northern Spain.

The Kinsale Yacht Club marina offers the single largest berthage to visiting yachts in Ireland.

There is150 meters of dedicated marina space. It also caters for deep draft vessels proving popular with Superyachts.

In 2013 Kinsale Yacht Club completed major renovations to its Club House. It now offers state of the art, wheelchair accessible facilities; including a laundry room, Inhouse dining and an extended balcony, enabling visitors to relax and enjoy the breathtaking vista
of Kinsale Harbour.

The Marina is located in the heart of the town of Kinsale close to cafes, shops, a wide choice of restaurants and pubs. Kinsale is regarded as Ireland's Gourmet capital and is an essential stop on the tourist trail. The town is situated 20 minutes from Cork International airport and boasts excellent tourism and marine facilities. It is world renowned for the welcome it extends to its maritime visitors.

Published in Irish Marinas
Page 6 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

Who is Your Sailor of the Year 2020?
Total Votes:
First Vote:
Last Vote:

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating