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Displaying items by tag: Marina

Royal Cork Yacht Club's marina has been awarded five gold anchors by the Yacht Harbour Association and becomes the fourth facility on the coast of Ireland – and the only one on the south coast – to win the distinction.

The 200 berth facility on the Owenabue river in Cork harbor joins Dun Laoghaire marina, Carrickfergus marina and Bangor marina on the east coast with the five anchor flag.

There are over 25 coastal marinas in Ireland and the facilities are key to providing marine tourism revenues from visiting yachts and boats.

The award follows two major reports that recognise that Cork's long and varied coastline is one of its greatest assets. The Mayor of Cork County, Councillor Kevin Murphy, and the County Manager, Martin Riordan, launched two major reports on Cork's coastal areas last Summer; a Marine Leisure Strategy for South Cork, and a Draft Study of Cork Harbour.

The Marine Leisure Infrastructure Strategy for South Cork, 2010-2020 is a document that has paved the way for additional marine leisure facilties to get established in the harbour.

Royal Cork also picked up an International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) Clean Marina during a recent inspection.

The awards are a short in the arm for the world's oldest yacht club who debated the future direction of the club at its annual forum last November. The club are preparing for its 400-boat biennial Cork Week 2012 regatta this July.

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 Roysl Yachting Assocation. With 23 years experience of Gold Anchor standards, the award is a point of reference for all boat owners to make an informed decision on where to berth.

Published in Irish Marinas
Tagged under

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Work on exterminating sea squirts at a marina in north Wales has begun.

The £250,000 (€301,000) project by the Countryside Council for Wales involves attaching giant bags to the subsurface structures around the marina in Holyhead, which is hoped will stop the clean flow of water to the sea squirts, causing them to suffocate and die.

Marine biologist Rohan Holt, who is managing the project, said: “If we successfully eradicate the sea squirt, we will work hard to make sure that it does not recolonise.

"This will mean careful monitoring in Holyhead marina and other marinas and popular mooring areas throughout Wales to check that it hasn’t reappeared."

The sea creature threatens shellfish by spreading like a blanket across the seabed and other surfaces.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, colonies of the invasive Japanese sea squirt are posing a throat to mussel and scallop bed in the Menai Strait between Anglesey and the mainland.

Boats from Ireland have been blamed for carrying the invasive pest into Holyhead.

The Daily Post has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#PORTRUSH – A study of Portrush harbour in County Antrim is being carried out to investigate the feasibility of creating a marina facility of up to 200 berths in the Northern port.  The study is sponsored by the Sail West project which aims to promote sailing tourism between the west of Scotland and Northern Ireland and Donegal. The small harbour at Portrush is usually busy with small pleasure and fishing boats in the summer season. The nearest marina to Portrush is the 74-berth Ballycastle marina, 17 kms away, that is in full use by local fisherman and yachtsmen alike.


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Published in Irish Marinas

 

#JETSKI–A new marina in Poole has launched a specialist area for jet skis.

The Port of Poole Marina in Dorest, which enjoys views of Brownsea Island and is close to the historic Poole Quay, is offering 13 permanent berths for jet skis.

John Binder, marina manager, said: "The hassle of storing a jet ski at home, towing it by car, paying to launch it at Baiter Park and having to head home to shower afterwards can detract from the fun of a day on the water. Our new facility offers jet ski owners a place to store their craft, with immediate access to the open sea and a chance to shower and enjoy the local social scene afterwards."

Among those to use the site to store his jet skis is Arran Scott, Principal of Absolute Aqua watersports academy. He said: "The new marina is perfect for us. Until now we've had to store boats further away and our lessons started with a frustratingly slow trip to open sea through areas with a restricted speed limit. Now we're right by the open sea, there's no wasted time, we can park on site and the facilities are excellent."

The marina, which opened this year, was constructed by Walcon Marine (the company behind the marina at the Dubai International Boat Show). It occupies the former Ro-Ro1 Brittany Ferries berth and offers on site toilets, showers and parking and a free water taxi service to nearby Poole Quay.

As well as berths for ribs and jet skis, it houses 59 boats between 10 and 15 metres in length and has visitor berthing for up to six deep-draught super yachts.

Published in Jetski
Tagged under

#MARINA – Inspite of the recent positive news about the opening of the interim harbour at Greystones there is still no more no more definite news on the planned marina there.

Developers Sispar, with assistance from Greystones Sailing Club, Greystones Motor YC and local Councillors are putting together a list of prospective users together with a view to holding a meeting to assess whether there is enough demand to justify putting pontoons down for next Summer's boating season. 'Progress on this has been slower than hoped', Councillor Derek Mitchell told Afloat.ie

Published in Greystones Harbour
Tagged under
#AQUATIC TOURISM - Charter yacht trip firm GoSailing.ie is weathering the recession, as the Sunday Business Post reports.
The venture - which provides daily and corporate yacht excursions since setting up in 2000 - reacted to a shortfall in customers due to the changing ecomonic climate by relocating from Westport to Dun Laoghaire marina, where business has been brisk.
Aaron O'Grady, a veteran of the Irish Olympic sailing squad, started the business with his father Pauric, the duo investing in a 54-foot yacht The Explorer to run sailing trips off the Mayo coast, helping novices learn to sail.
They later teamed up with business manager Bref Kennedy, who says that the recreational sailing business has plenty of room to grow.
"Our main goals are trying to break the perception of sailing that pervades in Ireland and also to introduce people to the exciting world of sailing on the extremely under-used and beautiful coastline that exists right on our doorstep," said Kennedy.
GoSailing is also the only company providing a charter yacht service on the east coast, according to Kennedy, which is "amazing considering we are an island nation".
Charter yachting trips around Dublin Bay, Killiney Bay and Dalkey Sound typically go for around €35 a head for groups of 12. For more details visit GoSailing.ie.

#LEARN TO SAIL - Charter yacht trip firm GoSailing.ie is weathering the recession, as the Sunday Business Post reports.

The venture - which provides daily and corporate yacht excursions since setting up in 2000 - reacted to a shortfall in customers due to the changing ecomonic climate by relocating from Westport to Dun Laoghaire marina, where business has been brisk.

Aaron O'Grady, a veteran of the Irish Olympic sailing squad, started the business with his father Pauric, the duo investing in a 54-foot yacht The Explorer to run sailing trips off the Mayo coast, helping novices learn to sail.

They later teamed up with business manager Bref Kennedy, who says that the recreational sailing business has plenty of room to grow.

"Our main goals are trying to break the perception of sailing that pervades in Ireland and also to introduce people to the exciting world of sailing on the extremely under-used and beautiful coastline that exists right on our doorstep," said Kennedy.

GoSailing is also the only company providing a charter yacht service on the east coast, according to Kennedy, which is "amazing considering we are an island nation".

Charter yachting trips around Dublin Bay, Killiney Bay and Dalkey Sound typically go for around €35 a head for groups of 12. For more details visit GoSailing.ie.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

#MARINA– Greystones Harbour developer is considering whether there is enough demand to open the planned Greystones marina next Summer following the opening of the interim harbour to the public last Saturday (November 5th).

Initial marina plans focussed on the installation of a 200-berth facility but subsequent market research cast doubt on whether the marina could be filled in the downturn.  The research also showed that 80% of the berths required would be less than eight metres.

The new interim harbour consists of two public slipways, also beach launching facilities, boat compounds for the Sea Scouts, Rowers, Divers, Sailors and Anglers. The South Harbour Wall and the beach are now available for walking, opening it up for all to use according to Cllr. Derek Mitchell.

mitchellgreystonesharbour

Councillor Derek Mitchell at one of the new slipways now open at Greystones harbour

‘The boat launching facilities are the best in the country and will provide adults and the youth with great sporting opportunities’. The photo shows Cllr Mitchell standing at the top of the new slipway, Mitchell said.

Nama have said they hope to make a decision soon as to whether to fund stage 2 consisting of the Primary Care Centre, five clubhouses and a much better quality finish for the Public Square than at present. The Coastguard and the Council are considering going to tender to construct the Coastguard station. ‘I hope these proceed soon so we can finish the job’ the Councillor added.

All Afloat's Greystones Harbour News here

Published in Greystones Harbour

#JOBS – Cork County Council have issued a notice of intention to grant planning permission to allow the expansion of Cork Harbour Marina, Monkstown to a larger and more comprehensive 285 fingered berth marina as reported previously on Afloat.ie. The expansion will allow for 175 car parking spaces, a marina pavillion building to incorporate a provisions shop, cafe/bar/restaurant, chandlery, marine and boat sales office, Gym, changing rooms with showers, toilets and laundry facilities. All 285 berths are fully serviced, secure fingered berths ranging in size of up to 18m in length, a reception berth, a fuelling berth with diesel and petrol available and a pump out facility berth. The car park and pavillion will be encompassed by a public promenade with seating, panoramic viewing platform, viewing deck promontory and a nature awareness garden.

corkharbourmarina

An artist's impression of plans for an expanded marina at Monkstown

This expansion will lead to one of Ireland's finest marinas facilities which will support up to 90 jobs both directly and indirectly, of these 32 will be full time permanent jobs on the completed Marina complex. The Marina is a unique development, destined to be the South of Ireland's first Blue Flag marina with world-class facilities for berth holders and visitors alike which will allow Cork to capture a bigger slice of the world marine leisure market worth approx €928 billion annually. Initially, set up to address the deficit of safe berths in the Monkstown Bay area the facility is a credit to the Irish team that invested, designed and built it, and of their ambitious plans for its expansion to a five star facility to rival any that Europe has to offer.

A €1.5 million investment into the Irish economy was required to complete the first phase, namely an 82 berth state of the art floating concrete marina. Project co-coordinator James O'Brien advised that "having secured a grant from SECAD (South and East Cork Area Development) and private investment, Monkstown Bay Marina Company proceeded with the totally Irish construction project. All local contractors were employed, from engineering to carpentry to provision of water supplies, to mooring and anchoring specialist teams".

When questioned if he felt that it was wise to undertake such a project during a recession, Mr O'Brien felt that the project will actually help Cork recover from the recession, "In recent years, the lack of marina and berthing facilities in Cork Harbour, the second biggest natural Harbour in the world has been recognised as having a negative impact on the amount of yachts and marine leisure holidaymakers visiting the harbour, and utilising onshore facilities, both in the in the immediate locality and Cork County". Located just 7kms from Ringaskiddy Ferry Port, with access to the UK several times a week and Roscoff in France once a week. A weekly service to Spain is also under negotation, at this time making Cork Harbour Marina the ideal place to winter a visiting boat or to place it in Ireland for multiple family visits, and with the world class cruising grounds of West Cork.

Having a slip (or berth) at a marina offers convenience, security, services, amenities, and a social atmosphere to enjoy. There are broader quality of life benefits for users also, such as improved safety, to-and-from access, and the availability of other essential services, such as electricity to effect repairs, fuel at a convenient marina location, or provisions, parts or repairs being delivered directly to any boat as necessary. Berth spaces are currently available to rent long and short term, at competitive costs.

The boating public have eagerly awaited the new marina for many years, and the response has been one of huge endorsement and positivity, with rapid take-up of berths, and a high incidence of short stay and overnighting too, all bringing much needed tourism revenue to a village that most, up to now, would have sailed or motored past!

Cork Harbour Marina offers an asset-backed; Bord Failte approved BES scheme, in one of the only tax shelters left available to the Irish investor. Full details of this BES scheme are available on request. Berths are allocated on a first come first served basis, all enquiries regarding berthing space should be directed to James O'Brien on 087 3669009

Monkstown is an attractive seaside village that offers visitors beautiful walks in a stunning location - even walking the marina, visitors can enjoy this tranquil and picturesque harbour setting.

South of the city, the marina is also served by a regular bus route, No 223, allowing easy access to Cork City's shopping and social scenes, one of the top cities in the world for a short break, according to a recent Trailfinder survey. Cork Harbour Marina is also only 2kms from the Cross River Ferry, giving easy access to Great Island and East Cork.

For those choosing to stay for an extended period, various ancillary services can be organised - provisioning, refuelling, cleaning, antifouling, boat maintenance and repairs, sail repair, and winter storage both outdoor and covered. The marina team can also organise a boat delivery or recovery service provided by competent Offshore Yacht masters.

Cork Harbour marina is the closest marina to the suburbs of Douglas, Rochestown and Passage West, nestles right in front of the stunning Monkstown village, is convenient to Monkstown Sailing, Rowing, Golf and Tennis Clubs, and the world renowned Bosun Restaurant and Guesthouse, the convivial Monkstown Inn, and the proposed Monkstown Amenity Park, which the local communities are pushing toward completion.

In brief, Cork Harbour Marina is Ireland's newest coastal marina with all year round berthage. The marina itself can accommodate boats up to 17m and consists of an outer perimeter of floating concrete break waters with fingered berths contained internally.


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Published in Irish Marinas
Celebrating its 25th year, the organisers of Scotland's Boat Show 2011 at Kip Marina say it was a record breaker from the start and they say established itself 'as the largest show in Scotland and the third major boat show in the UK'.

Opening its gates at 10am last Friday and  the first boat being sold just 10 minutes later.  Organisers confirmed to Afloat.ie that the numbers of visitors from both Ireland - north and south - was up on previous years. The buoyant feed back is a fillip for the marine leisure indsutry here and in the UK.

Scotlands_Boat_Show_1

A busy pontoon during the show

The records continued to fall from there on with first day attendances more than double the previous year – a statistic which was to repeat throughout the show - ending up with a massive 12,000 visitors more than any previous show and bucking the trend elsewhere for declining visitor numbers at boat shows.

Scotland's Boat Show 2011 attracted visitors from all over Scotland, the North & South of England, Ireland and even from Europe but none could compare with the couple who arrived from New Zealand having added the show to their European itinerary after reading about it on the internet! They even had a chance to watch their beloved All Blacks play courtesy of Boat Electrics who were demonstrating satellite TV systems!

Throughout the show as the thousands of visitors flocked to Kip Marina to view the best and brightest of the boating world, it became apparent that exhibitors were also enjoying a bumper weekend – the Directors of Inspiration Marine who sell Hanse, Dehler and Moody yachts said "This is better than Southampton! We have done more business here in three days than we did in 10 days on the South Coast"

Prosser Marine MD Stan Prosser said "The 2011 Scotland's Boat Show has proved beyond doubt that if you are in the boating business anywhere, you need to be in Scotland every October!"

Boat sales during the show totalled an incredible £1.3m and, with many dealers having a diary full of viewings still to come, that figure will rise steeply over the coming weeks.

Scotland's Boat Show was officially opened by Education Secretary Mike Russell MSP who said of the shows 25th Anniversary, "Twenty-five years is a long time and the show has gone from strength to strength. What is really important is the strong impact it has on the local economy. We are talking about very serious money being spent here this weekend.

Kip Marina's Managing Director Gavin McDonagh said "With possibly the busiest day in Kip Marina's 40 year history, it is proof that the show has become the premier boat show in the North of the UK. We are delighted that all the exhibitors who have made the journey straight here from Southampton Boat Show had such a rewarding show and look forward to welcoming many more next year!

With so many attractions at this year's show – over 150 boats for sale, from a £500 dinghy to a half a million pound luxury motor yacht, more than 30 marine trade companies from all over the UK exhibiting the latest trends and products in the world of boats plus the chance to see 'Quantum of Solace' the 43' Sunseeker Superhawk powerboat from the James Bond film of the same name, a full range of Aston Martin and Rolls Royce motor cars together with the limited edition Volvo Ocean Racer 4x4's.

Published in Marine Trade
With an asking price of just €149,000, the high quality log cabins at River Valley in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan could make the perfect getaway for river boating enthusiasts.
Nestled in a scenic forest area just two hours from Dublin on the banks of the Shannon-Erne waterway with a private marina on-site, these properties are ideally suited for use as a family home or an upmarket holiday retreat.
Located only four miles from the town of Ballyconnell and eight miles from Ballinamore, the unique gated development offers privacy for any buyer, with each property sited on approx 0.22 acres of grounds surrounded by trees.
With an option to purchase/lease a berthing space, these spacious homes (circa 150 sqm) comprise a porch, fitted kitchen with appliances, dining area, sitting room, balcony and living area, bathroom and three bedrooms (one ensuite).
Other features include a private gated entrance, spacious secluded sites, and a private marina.
Viewing at River Valley is strictly by appointment only with Gordon Hughes Estate Agents at 071 964 5555 or www.ghproperty.com.
More details about the properties at River Valley are available HERE.

With an asking price of just €149,000, the high quality log cabins at River Valley in Ballyconnell, Co Cavan could make the perfect getaway for river boating enthusiasts.

Nestled in a scenic forest area just two hours from Dublin on the banks of the Shannon-Erne waterway with a private marina on-site, these waterfront properties are ideally suited for use as a family home or an upmarket holiday retreat. 

Located only four miles from the town of Ballyconnell and eight miles from Ballinamore, the unique gated development offers privacy for any buyer, with each property sited on approx 0.22 acres of grounds surrounded by trees.

With an option to purchase/lease a berthing space, these spacious homes (circa 150 sqm) comprise a porch, fitted kitchen with appliances, dining area, sitting room, balcony and living area, bathroom and three bedrooms (one ensuite). 

Other features include a private gated entrance, spacious secluded sites, and a private marina.

Viewing at River Valley is strictly by appointment only with Gordon Hughes Estate Agents at 071 964 5555 or www.ghproperty.com.

More details about the properties at River Valley are available HERE.

Published in Waterfront Property
Page 10 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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