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Displaying items by tag: Medevac

Aran Islands RNLI carried out a medical evacuation from Inis Meáin on Monday afternoon (6 November).

Volunteers’ pagers went off at 3.14pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go to the aid of a patient on the island neighbouring Inis Mór who was in need of further medical attention.

The lifeboat launched from the pontoon at Kilronan Harbour with a full crew and headed straight for Inis Meáin.

Weather conditions at the time of launching were fair, with a westerly Force 5 wind blowing, a two-metre sea swell, squally showers and good visibility.

At the pier in Inis Meáin, the patient was transferred safely aboard the lifeboat under the supervision of the volunteer crew and the lifeboat headed straight for Rossaveal Harbour and the waiting ambulance.

On the way back to Kilronan Harbour, the lifeboat undertook a training exercise with the coastguard’s Rescue 118 helicopter from Sligo in Galway Bay.

Speaking after the call-out, coxswain Declan Brannigan said: “There was a quick response time from the volunteer crew and we would like to wish the patient well.

“No matter the time, day or night, our volunteers will work to ensure we get to the patient as fast as possible and transfer them into the care of our colleagues in he ambulance service.

“We also thank our colleagues from Rescue 118 for the training exercise that followed after. Such training is essential in preparing us for joint operational activity as and when the time arises.”

The crew on this call-out with Brannigan were mechanic Tommy Dirrane, Joe Gill, Micheál Ó Culáin, Caelan Cullen Quinn and Billy Gillan.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Baltimore RNLI were called out to provide a medical evacuation on Friday morning (28 October) from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork.

The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat The Alan Massey at 10.44am following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to provide a medevac for a resident of the island.

The Baltimore crew arrived at North Harbour on Cape Clear Island at 11.08am where the casualty and the island nurse were waiting. The casualty was transferred onto a stretcher and then onboard the lifeboat, which departed at 11.30am and arrived in Baltimore half an hour later.

The casualty was then transferred from the lifeboat to the waiting ambulance and care was handed over to the HSE ambulance crew.

Conditions during the call-out were windy with a south-westerly Force 4-5 wind and a large sea swell.

Speaking later, Baltimore RNLI volunteer lifeboat press officer Kate Callanan said: “Baltimore RNLI often provide medical evacuations to residents of islands off the coast of West Cork. If you find yourself in need of medical assistance whilst on an island, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

There were seven volunteer crew onboard the lifeboat: coxswain Aidan Bushe, mechanic Cathal Cottrell and crew members Micheal Cottrell, Jerry Smith, Pat Collins, Stuart Musgrave and Emma Geary.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Aran Islands RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat responded to a medical evacuation request from Inis Mór on Tuesday (5 September).

The patient was transferred safely aboard the lifeboat under the supervision of the volunteer crew at the pontoon at Kilronan Harbour and the lifeboat headed straight for Rossaveal Harbour.

Conditions at the time of launching were fair with a Force 4 north-easterly wind blowing and slight seas.

The crew on Tuesday’s call-out were coxswain Aonghus Ó hIarnáin, mechanic Mairtín Eoin Coyne and crew Áine Ní Fhlaithearta, Alan O'Flynn and Caelan Cullen Quinn.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Aran Islands RNLI carried out a medical evacuation on Wednesday afternoon (19 July) after a visitor had a biking accident.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 3.31pm and proceed to the pontoon at Kilronan on the island of Inis Mór, where the patient was transferred safety aboard before the lifeboat headed straight for Rossaveal Harbour and the awaiting ambulance.

Conditions at the time of launching were good, with calm seas and a light breeze.

Speaking after the call-out, coxswain Aonghus Ó hIarnáin said: “This was another fast response time from the volunteer crew. We wish the patient a speedy recovery.“”

Joining Ó hIarnáin on the call-out were mechanic Mairtín Eoin Coyne and crew members Mairtín Dé Bhailis, Daniel O’Connell and Ciarán O’Donnell.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The volunteer crew of Aran Islands RNLI were requested to launch their all-weather Severn class lifeboat at 6.05pm on Monday (10 July) to attend a person on Inis Mór who was experiencing a health issue and indeed of further medical attention.

The patient was transferred safely aboard the lifeboat at Kilronan Harbour under the supervision of the volunteer crew. The lifeboat then launched under coxswain Aonghus O hIarnáin and a full crew for the mainland.

Conditions at the time of launching were good, with a Force 3 northerly wind blowing.

It was the second call-out in three days for the Aran Islands volunteers, who were also requested to launch early on Saturday morning (8 July) after a yacht broke its mooring at Kilronan Harbour and had run aground close to a rocky beach.

Shortly after 6.30am on Saturday, the Severn class lifeboat launched under coxswain Aonghus Ó hIarnáin and proceeded towards the yacht in challenging conditions, with a strong Force 8 southerly wind blowing.

Two members of the volunteer crew then launched the Y-boat, the 3m inflatable boat aboard the lifeboat, to allow the crew to get to the yacht in shallow water.

A tow line was established to the 24ft sailing yacht and it was pulled clear of the rocks on the in coming tide before being towed safely to the pier.

The yacht, a 24ft sailing vessel was was then towed safely to the pier.

Speaking after the call-outs, Ó hIarnáin said: “There was a good outcome to the yacht rescue what could have been a tricky situation, with the weather conditions becoming increasingly challenging.

“We also want to wish the patient who took ill yesterday a speedy recovery.”

The crew on Saturday’s call-out with Ó hIarnáin were mechanic Alan O'Flynn and crew members Joe Gill, Daniel O’Connell and Caelan Cullen Quinn. On Monday’s call-out with Ó hIarnáin were mechanic Máirtín Eoin Coyne, Caelan Cullen Quinn, Daniel O’Connell and Máirtín Dé Bhailis.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The volunteer crew of the Aran Islands RNLI were asked to launch their all-weather Severn class lifeboat two minutes after noon on Saturday 3 June after a gentleman visiting the island of Inis Mór for the day became unwell and was in need of further medical attention.

With the patient transferred safely aboard the lifeboat, Launched under coxwain Aonghus Ó HIarnáin and a full crew, they headed straight for Rossaveal harbour and the awaiting ambulance. Conditions at the time were good, with calm seas and a light breeze.

On return to the pontoon at Inis Mór, the crew were asked to launch again as another visitor to the island for the day had injured himself while swimming.

The crew transferred the patient safely aboard the lifeboat and headed straight for Rossaveal harbour.

Speaking after the callout, Ó HIarnáin said: “The volunteer crew didn’t hesitate to answer their pagers and get the patients on their way to the medical attention needed. We wish them both a speedy recovery.

“With the good weather forecast to continue, we advise the public to adhere to all the safety advice.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The volunteer crew of Clifden RNLI in Co Galway towed a broken-down boat with two people on board to safety yesterday evening and were tasked again at midnight to a medevac from the island of Inishbofin.

At 6.45pm on Friday (26 May), Clifden’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat was tasked by Malin Head Coast Guard to assist a boat that had broken down.

The crew launched Joyce King in beautiful sunny conditions, helmed by David Barry with crew James Mullen, Joseph Acton and Brian Ward. They were assisted by Neil Gallery and John Brendan Mannion on shore.

The crew arrived on scene to find the casualties had anchored and did not require medical attention. The stricken vessel was taken under tow back to a mooring in Clifden Bay, arriving without incident at 8.45pm.

Another callout came at midnight when Clifden’s all-weather lifeboat St Christopher was tasked to evacuate an injured person from Inishbofin. The casualty had sustained a head injury from a fall.

The lifeboat slipped her moorings under the command of coxswain James Mullen with John Mullen, Joseph Acton, Dan Whelan and Neil Gallery as crew.

The weather was calm en route with a beautiful night at sea, and the lifeboat made it to Inishbofin in excellent time. The crew met with the island nurse who provided a handover and then proceeded to transport the patient back to Cleggan pier. An ambulance was waiting to bring the patient to hospital for further treatment.

Speaking about the shouts, James Mullen said: “It was a busy night for our volunteer crew and I want to thank everyone involved, in particular the island nurse, An Garda Síochána, the National Ambulance Service and the coastguard who assisted in the multi-agency medical evacuation.

“Our volunteer crew remain on call 24/7, with the good weather promised we urge everyone to be safe around the water. If you get into difficulty, or see someone else in trouble, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Shortly before noon today (1st September), Valentia Coast Guard requested a launch to attend an elderly man who had collapsed on Spike Island.

The crew of Aidan O’Connor, Norman Jackson, Derek Moynan and Claire Morgan made best speed in calm conditions to Spike Island and located the casualty towards the top of the Island.

Casualty Care was administered and the casualty brought to the Island pontoon and onto the lifeboat before being brought to Crosshaven lifeboat station and handed into the care of NAS Paramedics and the lifeboat Doctor, Dr John Murphy. The casualty was removed to Cork University Hospital. 

Kieran Coniry of the Port of Cork, readied a RIB with the intention of transferring the Paramedics to Spike Island, but was stood down when it was realised the lifeboat was ready to leave the Island.

Launch and recovery crew: Ml McCann, Warren Forbes, Hugh Mockler, Susanne Deane, Jonny Bermingham and Gary Heslin. DLA was Darryl Hughes.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Following their two callouts on Monday, the volunteer lifeboat crew of Aran Islands RNLI were tasked again on Tuesday evening (31 May) to a woman in need of medical attention.

The Severn class all-weather lifeboat launched under coxswain in charge Sean Curtin and a full crew and headed straight from Inis Mór for the neighbouring island of Inis Meáin.

Conditions at the time of launch were good, with a northwesterly Force 3-4 wind blowing.

Once at the pier in Inis Meáin, the patient was transferred safely aboard and under the supervision of the volunteer crew, the lifeboat headed straight for Ros an Mhíl harbour and the waiting ambulance.

Speaking after the callout, Curtin said: “The volunteer crew responded quickly to the call and we got the patient safely on her way to the medical attention needed. we would like to wish her a speedy recovery.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The volunteer crew of Aran Islands RNLI on Inis Mór were requested on Tuesday evening (3 May) to launch their all-weather Severn class lifeboat to go to the aid of a patient on the neighbouring island of Inis Meáin.

Under coxswain John O'Donnell with a full crew onboard, the lifeboat launched for the medevac around 6pm in good weather conditions, with a southwesterly Force 3-4 wind, calm seas and good visibility.

Once at the pier in Inis Meáin, the patient was brought safely aboard the lifeboat by the crew and then transferred directly to Rossaveal Harbour and the waiting ambulance on the mainland.

Speaking after the callout, O’Donnell said: “This was a great response time from the volunteer crew who are always there to help anyone in need. We would like to wish the patient a speedy recovery.

“With the summer season fast approaching and the weather improving, we would advise anyone heading to the coast to heed all weather and safety advice.

“If you are planning a trip to sea, always wear a lifejacket or suitable floatation device for your activity, always carry a means of communication and let someone on the shore know where you are going and when you are due back.

“Should you get into difficulty, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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The Irish Coast Guard

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • handle 3,000 marine emergencies
  • assist 4,500 people and save about 200 lives
  • task Coast Guard helicopters on missions

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

Coast Guard helicopters

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

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

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

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

Irish Coastguard FAQs

The Irish Coast Guard provides nationwide maritime emergency response, while also promoting safety and security standards. It aims to prevent the loss of life at sea, on inland waters, on mountains and in caves; and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The main role of the Irish Coast Guard is to rescue people from danger at sea or on land, to organise immediate medical transport and to assist boats and ships within the country's jurisdiction. It has three marine rescue centres in Dublin, Malin Head, Co Donegal, and Valentia Island, Co Kerry. The Dublin National Maritime Operations centre provides marine search and rescue responses and coordinates the response to marine casualty incidents with the Irish exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Yes, effectively, it is the fourth "blue light" service. The Marine Rescue Sub-Centre (MRSC) Valentia is the contact point for the coastal area between Ballycotton, Co Cork and Clifden, Co Galway. At the same time, the MRSC Malin Head covers the area between Clifden and Lough Foyle. Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) Dublin covers Carlingford Lough, Co Louth to Ballycotton, Co Cork. Each MRCC/MRSC also broadcasts maritime safety information on VHF and MF radio, including navigational and gale warnings, shipping forecasts, local inshore forecasts, strong wind warnings and small craft warnings.

The Irish Coast Guard handles about 3,000 marine emergencies annually, and assists 4,500 people - saving an estimated 200 lives, according to the Department of Transport. In 2016, Irish Coast Guard helicopters completed 1,000 missions in a single year for the first time.

Yes, Irish Coast Guard helicopters evacuate medical patients from offshore islands to hospital on average about 100 times a year. In September 2017, the Department of Health announced that search and rescue pilots who work 24-hour duties would not be expected to perform any inter-hospital patient transfers. The Air Corps flies the Emergency Aeromedical Service, established in 2012 and using an AW139 twin-engine helicopter. Known by its call sign "Air Corps 112", it airlifted its 3,000th patient in autumn 2020.

The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which is responsible for the Northern Irish coast.

The Irish Coast Guard is a State-funded service, with both paid management personnel and volunteers, and is under the auspices of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. It is allocated approximately 74 million euro annually in funding, some 85 per cent of which pays for a helicopter contract that costs 60 million euro annually. The overall funding figure is "variable", an Oireachtas committee was told in 2019. Other significant expenditure items include volunteer training exercises, equipment, maintenance, renewal, and information technology.

The Irish Coast Guard has four search and rescue helicopter bases at Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo, run on a contract worth 50 million euro annually with an additional 10 million euro in costs by CHC Ireland. It provides five medium-lift Sikorsky S-92 helicopters and trained crew. The 44 Irish Coast Guard coastal units with 1,000 volunteers are classed as onshore search units, with 23 of the 44 units having rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) and 17 units having cliff rescue capability. The Irish Coast Guard has 60 buildings in total around the coast, and units have search vehicles fitted with blue lights, all-terrain vehicles or quads, first aid equipment, generators and area lighting, search equipment, marine radios, pyrotechnics and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Community Rescue Boats Ireland also provide lifeboats and crews to assist in search and rescue. The Irish Coast Guard works closely with the Garda Siochána, National Ambulance Service, Naval Service and Air Corps, Civil Defence, while fishing vessels, ships and other craft at sea offer assistance in search operations.

The helicopters are designated as airborne from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours, and 45 minutes at night. The aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, on inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains and cover the 32 counties. They can also assist in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and can transport offshore firefighters and ambulance teams. The Irish Coast Guard volunteers units are expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time of departing from the station house in ten minutes from notification during daylight and 20 minutes at night. They are also expected to achieve a 90 per cent response time to the scene of the incident in less than 60 minutes from notification by day and 75 minutes at night, subject to geographical limitations.

Units are managed by an officer-in-charge (three stripes on the uniform) and a deputy officer in charge (two stripes). Each team is trained in search skills, first aid, setting up helicopter landing sites and a range of maritime skills, while certain units are also trained in cliff rescue.

Volunteers receive an allowance for time spent on exercises and call-outs. What is the difference between the Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI? The RNLI is a registered charity which has been saving lives at sea since 1824, and runs a 24/7 volunteer lifeboat service around the British and Irish coasts. It is a declared asset of the British Maritime and Coast Guard Agency and the Irish Coast Guard. Community Rescue Boats Ireland is a community rescue network of volunteers under the auspices of Water Safety Ireland.

No, it does not charge for rescue and nor do the RNLI or Community Rescue Boats Ireland.

The marine rescue centres maintain 19 VHF voice and DSC radio sites around the Irish coastline and a digital paging system. There are two VHF repeater test sites, four MF radio sites and two NAVTEX transmitter sites. Does Ireland have a national search and rescue plan? The first national search and rescue plan was published in July, 2019. It establishes the national framework for the overall development, deployment and improvement of search and rescue services within the Irish Search and Rescue Region and to meet domestic and international commitments. The purpose of the national search and rescue plan is to promote a planned and nationally coordinated search and rescue response to persons in distress at sea, in the air or on land.

Yes, the Irish Coast Guard is responsible for responding to spills of oil and other hazardous substances with the Irish pollution responsibility zone, along with providing an effective response to marine casualties and monitoring or intervening in marine salvage operations. It provides and maintains a 24-hour marine pollution notification at the three marine rescue centres. It coordinates exercises and tests of national and local pollution response plans.

The first Irish Coast Guard volunteer to die on duty was Caitriona Lucas, a highly trained member of the Doolin Coast Guard unit, while assisting in a search for a missing man by the Kilkee unit in September 2016. Six months later, four Irish Coast Guard helicopter crew – Dara Fitzpatrick, Mark Duffy, Paul Ormsby and Ciarán Smith -died when their Sikorsky S-92 struck Blackrock island off the Mayo coast on March 14, 2017. The Dublin-based Rescue 116 crew were providing "top cover" or communications for a medical emergency off the west coast and had been approaching Blacksod to refuel. Up until the five fatalities, the Irish Coast Guard recorded that more than a million "man hours" had been spent on more than 30,000 rescue missions since 1991.

Several investigations were initiated into each incident. The Marine Casualty Investigation Board was critical of the Irish Coast Guard in its final report into the death of Caitriona Lucas, while a separate Health and Safety Authority investigation has been completed, but not published. The Air Accident Investigation Unit final report into the Rescue 116 helicopter crash has not yet been published.

The Irish Coast Guard in its present form dates back to 1991, when the Irish Marine Emergency Service was formed after a campaign initiated by Dr Joan McGinley to improve air/sea rescue services on the west Irish coast. Before Irish independence, the British Admiralty was responsible for a Coast Guard (formerly the Water Guard or Preventative Boat Service) dating back to 1809. The West Coast Search and Rescue Action Committee was initiated with a public meeting in Killybegs, Co Donegal, in 1988 and the group was so effective that a Government report was commissioned, which recommended setting up a new division of the Department of the Marine to run the Marine Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (MRCC), then based at Shannon, along with the existing coast radio service, and coast and cliff rescue. A medium-range helicopter base was established at Shannon within two years. Initially, the base was served by the Air Corps.

The first director of what was then IMES was Capt Liam Kirwan, who had spent 20 years at sea and latterly worked with the Marine Survey Office. Capt Kirwan transformed a poorly funded voluntary coast and cliff rescue service into a trained network of cliff and sea rescue units – largely voluntary, but with paid management. The MRCC was relocated from Shannon to an IMES headquarters at the then Department of the Marine (now Department of Transport) in Leeson Lane, Dublin. The coast radio stations at Valentia, Co Kerry, and Malin Head, Co Donegal, became marine rescue-sub-centres.

The current director is Chris Reynolds, who has been in place since August 2007 and was formerly with the Naval Service. He has been seconded to the head of mission with the EUCAP Somalia - which has a mandate to enhance Somalia's maritime civilian law enforcement capacity – since January 2019.

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

Sources: Department of Transport © Afloat 2020