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Displaying items by tag: Met Eireann

A Status Orange weather warning is in place for all Irish coastal waters and the Irish Sea as strong gales are set to develop overnight with the arrival of Storm Aiden, the first of the new storm season.

Met Éireann reports that winds will reach storm force off the South and South West Coasts in the early hours of tomorrow, Saturday 31 October, later veering westerly during the day and reaching gale to storm force on all coastal waters and the Irish Sea.

Tomorrow morning’s winds will reach mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h, with severe and damaging gusts of 100 to 130km/h, affecting Cork, Kerry, Waterford and Wexford as well as Carlow, Kilkenny and Wicklow.

Later in the day these severe winds will veer west over counties Clare, Galway, Mayo, Sligo and Donegal. The rest of Ireland is under Status Yellow with lesser but still potentially damaging gusts forecast, as well as a risk of coastal flooding.

A surfer rides a large wave at Mullaghmore, Co Sligo on Wednesday (Noel Fitzpatrick/Met Éireann)A surfer rides a large wave at Mullaghmore, Co Sligo on Wednesday | Noel Fitzpatrick/Met Éireann

The storm follows the remnants of Hurricane Epsilon, which brought ‘phenomenal’ class seas to the West Coast on Tuesday and Wednesday — just the ticket for the big wave surfing enthusiasts of Mullaghmore Head.

Local surfers told RTÉ News that the swells of earlier this week were some of the biggest they’ve ever seen here, and Conor Maguire was among those up for the challenge.

Published in Marine Warning
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Met Éireann has issued a Status Red marine warning as Storm Ellen approaches today, Wednesday 19 August.

Gale- to storm-force winds, southeast veering southwest, are forecast for this evening and tonight on all Irish coastal waters and on the Irish Sea.

Winds will even reach violent storm Force 11 for a time on the South and West Coasts from Carnsore Point to Valentia to Slyne Head.

From tonight to early Friday the weather may result in unsafe conditions and disruption especially over high ground, lakes and sea areas.

There is also a risk of flooding from storm surges as heavy rains meet spring tides at their highest.

Cork will bear the brunt of the storm, which will produce a core of very severe and destructive winds between 9pm and midnight tonight.

Published in Marine Warning
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A Status Red marine weather warning is in place this morning (Saturday 29 February) as Storm Jorge brings southwesterly winds to gale or strong gale force on all Irish coastal waters.

Winds will veer westerly later this morning and this afternoon, increasing from gale force to storm force, and reaching violent storm force for a time between Loop Head and Erris Head.

On land, Met Éireann says the strongest winds will be experienced in Galway and Clare, reaching mean speeds of 85 to 100km/h in places this afternoon with gusts of 130 to 145km/h, and with an elevated rusk of coastal flooding.

“The combination of high seas and strong winds or stormy conditions associated with Storm Jorge may increase the possibility of coastal flooding, especially in flood-prone areas along the Atlantic coast on Saturday (particularly when coincident with high tides),” the meteorological service adds.

A Status Orange wind warning is in place for the rest of the country as severe winds, southwest quickly veering wet and later northwest, will reach mean speeds of 65 to 80km/h with gusts of 110 to 130km/h — possibly higher in very exposed areas — with an elevated coastal flood risk.

Heavy rainfall over this weekend is expected to compound flooding issues with water levels already elevated nationwide, particularly in the northern half and in the Midlands.

Among events schedules for this weekend that have been cancelled is the Lagan Head of the River rowing event, which may be rescheduled for later this year.

Published in Weather
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A Status Yellow gale warning remains in place for all Irish coastal waters after Storm Atiyah brought high winds across the country yesterday (Sunday 8 December).

Northwesterly gales were expected for a time on waters from Malin Head to Howth Head to Roches Point and on the Irish Sea after the first winter storm of the current season tracked eastwards across the island of Ireland.

In addition, southerly gales or strong gales are forecast to develop tonight on all coastal waters and on the Irish Sea, in the warning posted by Met Éireann in effect from 6am this morning (Monday 9 December).

Earlier yesterday, a Status Red wind warning — the most severe — was issued for Kerry with gusts expected to reach over 130km/h yesterday evening, as RTÉ News reports.

Turkey Shoot sailing was cancelled for Dublin Bay due to the rising winds, as was the scheduled dinghy Frostbites event.

Reports of severe weather damage and other incidents came from around the country, with ESB Networks dealing with numerous power outages, fallen trees and debris on roads and rail lines — and one motorist who left their car too long on the shoreline Co Donegal saw the vehicle swamped by the tide.

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“The sea will come and take” Dublin and Cork by 2050 if nothing is done to deal with the consequences of climate change, Gerald Fleming will say in an RTÉ TV documentary tonight as The Irish Times reports.

The former weather presenter and head of forecasting at Met Éireann adds that the port towns of Drogheda, Galway, Limerick, Waterford and Wexford are also particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels, increasingly severe weather, more frequent storm surges and extreme flooding.

Fleming explores the direct effects climate change has already had on the likes of Greenland, while he and researcher Cara Augustenborg will present computer models that show the damage that could be caused to Ireland in the not too distant future.

Will Ireland Survive 2050?, part of RTÉ’s new On Climate season, screens tonight (Monday 11 November) at 9.35pm on RTÉ One. Fleming tells more about the programme at RTE.ie.

Published in Maritime TV

Met Éireann says the progress of Hurricane Lorenzo this week and any potential impacts for Ireland “are being closely monitored”.

The powerful weather system, which is currently threatening the Azores in the mid-Atlantic, was recently the most easterly Category 5 hurricane on record, surpassing Hurricane Hugo 30 years ago.

Forecasts beyond the next 48 hours “still of low confidence given the uncertainty” of the storm’s current behaviour.

Numerical prediction models currently show a wide spread of outcomes for the storm track ranging from Greenland to the north of France.

As of today (Monday 30 September) it’s expected that Lorenzo will transition into an “extra-tropical depression” between noon and midnight on Wednesday 2 October.

Met Éireann says its most likely path after this transition brings it to the northwest of Ireland without making landfall.

However, even at that it “still brings the risk of severe winds, possibly stormy conditions and very high seas”, as Met Éireann’s Deirdre Lowe told BreakingNews.ie.

Latest updates will be provided on the Met Éireann website HERE.

Published in Weather

The weather warning issued by Met Éireann for Co Clare has been upgraded to the most severe Status Red as Storm Hannah is expect to brings gusts of up to 150km/h this evening (Friday 26 April).

Meanwhile, the marine warning has been upgraded to Status Orange, as cyclonic variable winds will increase to gale Force 8 or strong gale Force 9 on Irish coastal waters from Howth Head to Mizen Head to Rossan Point and on the south Irish Sea during this afternoon and evening.

Winds are forecast to reach storm Force 10 to violent storm Force 11 this evening and early tonight between Carnsore Point and Slyne Head.

The extreme weather has seen the cancellation of sailing and watersport events nationwide, including rowing’s Limerick Regatta which had been scheduled for tomorrow.

Published in Weather
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#StormFionn - Met Éireann has issued a Status Orange marine weather warning for all coasts of Ireland and on the Irish Sea today (Tuesday 16 January) as Storm Fionn sweeps in.

Westerly gales or strong gales with mean speeds of up to 80km/h and gusts of as much as 120km/h are forecast for all coastal waters, increasing to storm force from Roches Point to Slyne Head to Malin Head later this afternoon, this evening and tonight.

Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Cork and Kerry are under a Status Orange wind warning till late tonight, with much of the rest of the country under Status Yellow for mean wind speeds of between 55 and 65km/h and gusts of around 100km/h expected.

The sixth winter storm of the current season comes two weeks after Storm Eleanor, the brunt of which was felt in Donegal and Northern Ireland.

Published in Weather
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#StormEleanor - Just days after Storm Dylan swept across the north of Ireland, winter storm number five is set to move in off the Atlantic later this afternoon (Tuesday 2 January).

Met Éireann has issued a Status Orange weather warning for Munster, Leinster, South Galway and for small craft in all Irish coastal waters as the storm system moves quickly across the country this evening, with southwest to west winds of mean speeds of 65 to 80 kmh, gusting to 110 to 130 km/h.

Gale to stormforce south to southwest winds will veer westerly on all coasts of Ireland and on the Irish Sea, with a risk of violent Force 11 winds briefly on some western and eastern coasts and on parts of the North Irish Sea.

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#Weather - Barely a month after Storm Caroline, a Status Orange gale warning is in effect on all Irish coastal waters and on the Irish Sea as Storm Dylan is forecast to sweep over the country this evening (Saturday 30 December).

South to southwest games or strong gales are expected to develop around the coast tonight, reaching storm force in western areas, with a Status Yellow small craft warning also in effect.

Met Éireann says the expected track of the fourth winter storm of the current season is north-eastwards through Donegal Bay and along the North Coast.

The biggest impact from the storm will be across Connacht and Ulster, where west to southwest winds will hit with mean speeds of 60 to 80 km/h with gusts of up to 120km/hr. High seas along the west coast are also expected, with the risk of coastal flooding.

The national Status Orange wind warning applies from 9pm this evening till 6am tomorrow (Sunday 31 December) in all counties of Connacht; Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal; Longford, Louth, Meath and Westmeath. A Status Yellow warning is in place for all counties in Munster, and Leinster counties Dublin, Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Wexford, Wicklow and Offaly.

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The Irish Coast Guard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coast Guard helicopters

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

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

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

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

Irish Coastguard FAQs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources: Department of Transport © Afloat 2020

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