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#FirstVisit - The newest Naval Service patrol vessel, LÉ William Butler Yeats, the third so far of the OPV90 class has made a maiden call to Dun Laoghaire Harbour this afternoon, writes Jehan Ashmore.

LÉ William Butler Yeats made her delivery voyage from UK shipbuilders to Cork Harbour in July, had berthed alongside Dun Laoghaire's Carlisle Pier (No 2 berth) this afternoon. The 90m newbuild will remain until Sunday afternoon. On this first call the OPV will not be open to the public.

A twinning ceremony of LÉ William Butler Yeats is to he held next month in city of Galway, the adopted homeport of her direct replacement, LÉ Aisling. The veteran Emer class OPV dating from 1980 was in the summer decommissioned. 

Designed by Vard Marine and built at Babcock Marine in Appledore, north Devon, the newbuild follows a previous pair of the OPV90 class or Samuel Beckett-class in which the namesake ship departed Cork Harbour today to the Mediterranean. This is her second deployment for search and rescue mission of migrants.

The second OPV sister LÉ James Joyce, last year was named at a ceremony held in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, whereas proceedings for the LÉ Samuel Beckett took place at Dublin’s city quays.

Together they were ordered by the Department of Defence under a £81m contract from Babcock Marine in October 2010, with the option of a third vessel.

LÉ William Butler Yeats which was floated out in March at the Appledore shipyard near Bideford.

#BeckettReturns - L.É. Samuel Beckett departed Cork Harbour for the Mediterranean this morning, writes the Evening Echo, as the Naval Service continues its role in European search and rescue operations in the region.

The OPV90 class patrol vessel departed from Haulbowline Naval Base at 10am, and is set to return in mid-December, taking over from L.É. James Joyce which returns home next Friday, September 30, following three months at sea.

The LÉ James Joyce successfully located and rescued a total of 531 people over a recent weekend in two operations conducted with the Italian Coastguard North West of Tripoli.

The crew most recently rescued 265 people in a humanitarian operation off Libyan coast last week. Tragically attempts to resuscitate some of those found failed, with one man and four women, one of whom was heavily pregnant, declared dead by a Red Cross doctor.

Published in Navy

#Recovery - In a search and rescue mission, LÉ James Joyce, tragically recovered bodies while locating 265 migrants from two rubber vessels 32 nautical miles NW of the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

A total of 5 people were declared dead, including one heavily pregnant woman.

At 9.20am LÉ James Joyce initially rescued the 106 migrants on board the first vessel before moving to a second vessel which contained 164 migrants including several people that were in need of urgent medical attention.

Those people in need of attention were immediately taken to LÉ James Joyce for treatment which was provided by both Defence Forces medical personnel and the Red Cross. Sadly, one male and four female migrants, one of whom was heavily pregnant, were pronounced dead.

The other 265 migrants are now on board LÉ James Joyce, where they are receiving food, water and medical treatment where required.

LÉ James Joyce was to transfer all 265 rescued migrants, along with the deceased, to the Italian Navy ITS Bersagliere which will transfer them to a designated Port of Safety.

 

Published in Navy

#migrantsrescue - A Naval Service vessel writes The Irish Independent at the weekend rescued more than 400 migrants as part of its operations in the Mediterranean.

The LE James Joyce and her crew were part of a mission co-ordinated by Italian Maritime Rescue to save almost 2,000 people at risk in 18 separate boats off the coast of Libya. The refugees were trying to enter Europe.

The rescue happened about 40 nautical miles northwest of the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

For more click here.

Published in Navy

#CrewMedal - The Defence Forces writes The Irish Independent, have awarded a new military medal to members who have been deployed on humanitarian missions.

It will be presented to personnel who have taken part in overseas missions with the prior approval of the Government.

Up to now, the military have been awarded medals by either the United Nations, the EU or Nato for most missions outside of the State.

But those deployed on humanitarian missions, such as the current Operation Pontus, where the Naval Service have been rescuing migrants from the Mediterranean since last year, have not been similarly recognised.

The decision to award the new medal was announced yesterday by Minister with responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe, when he visited the captain and crew of LE James Joyce in Cagliari in Sardinia. The presentation of the medals will take place in Rosslare, Co Wexford, next month.

LE James Joyce is the fifth Naval vessel to have been deployed since the Irish joined the Mediterranean mission in May last year.

Sixteen bodies have been recovered so far by the 59-strong crew of LE James Joyce and a total of 1,882 migrants, including 56 children, have been rescued.

Published in Navy

#MigrantRescue -LÉ James Joyce has rescued a total of 165* migrants in three separate vessels during search and rescue operations north-east of Tripoli,Libya

The search and rescue (SAR) request came earlier today from the Italian Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre.

During the first operation, 15* migrants were rescued from a wooden vessel located 40 nautical miles north-east of Tripoli. The rescue commenced at 6.40am and all migrants were taken on board LÉ James Joyce and are now receiving food, water and medical treatment where required.

The LÉ James Joyce was re-tasked to assist with the rescue of a further 150* people from two rubber vessels also located 40 nautical miles north-east of the Libyan capital. The second rescue commenced at 7.50am and all migrants are currently on board.

A further search and rescue operation is currently underway.

*Figures for today's operation are provisional until confirmed by the Italian authorities.

LÉ James Joyce departed Naval Service Headquarters in Haulbowline, Cork to assist the Italian Authorities in operations in the Mediterranean in May The OPV90 class ship first deployment in SAR began on 8 July.

Published in Navy

#NewestOPV90 - The newest addition to the Naval Service fleet, the OPV90 class LÉ William Butler Yeats (P63) was boarded by Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr. Paul Kehoe yesterday Haulbowline, Cork Harbour

The Minister was welcomed on board by the Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service Commodore Hugh Tully and the ship’s Captain Lieutenant Commander Eric Timon.

The ship is the same class as LÉ Samuel Beckett (P61), delivered in 2014 and LÉ James Joyce (P62) delivered in 2015. The ship recently completed successful Sea Acceptance Trials in the United Kingdom and arrived in the Naval Base last month on Saturday 23rd July, following a handover from the shipyard as previously reported on Afloat.ie

LÉ William Butler Yeats will be formally commissioned later in the autumn and is replacing the recently decommissioned LÉ Aisling (P23) in service.

Minister Kehoe said that “the arrival of LÉ William Butler Yeats and its entry into service is another key milestone in the history of the Naval Service. In light of operational demands the provision of key equipment such as this is extremely important. I am pleased that the ship is destined to play an integral part in the protection of Irish maritime waters for many years to come and will also be available to participate in humanitarian operations such as Operation Pontus in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Government remains fully committed to ensuring that appropriate resources are provided going forward to enable the Defence Forces to carry out all of the roles assigned to them. The Government has provided a significant boost in capital funding for the Defence Sector for the period up to 2021, which will allow for considerable investment in equipment and infrastructure based on the priorities set out in the White Paper on Defence.”

The Minister went on to wish the Captain and his crew the best of luck as they continue to work the ship up to full operational capacity.

Published in Navy

#400plusRescued - A request from the Italian Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre led to LÉ James Joyce rescue a further 278* migrants from a rubber craft 40 nautical miles NW of Tripoli,Libya.

The operation on Friday commenced at 09.57am and concluded at 1.25pm and brings the total number of migrants rescued by LÉ James Joyce to 433*.

LÉ James Joyce was subsequently tasked to rendezvous with the NGO vessel, Luventa, from which a further 163* migrants were transferred to the LÉ James Joyce. LÉ James Joyce was to transfer all 596* rescued migrants to a designated Port of Safety where they will be transferred to the Italian authorities

*Figures for this latest operation are provisional until confirmed by the Italian authorities.

The LÉ James Joyce departed Naval Service Headquarters in Haulbowline, Cork to assist the Italian Authorities in the humanitarian search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean on the 2nd of May. The ship’s search and rescue operations began on 8 July. 

The role of the Irish Naval vessel is to provide a search and rescue capability and to undertake humanitarian rescue operations at sea in the Mediterranean. Assistance to persons in distress at sea is provided in accordance with the applicable provisions of international conventions governing search and rescue situations.

Published in Navy

#AdmiralBrown - Argentinian Navy school tallship, ARA Libertad is docked in Dublin Port for a four day visit, to highlight the historical connections between the south American country and Ireland, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The naval cadet sail training vessel, designated as a 'frigate' for midshipmen and women, has visited the capital before, is berthed along Sir John Rogersons Quay. At the quayside is a statue dedicated to Admiral William Brown, the Irishman born in Foxford, Co Mayo, who founded the Argentinian Navy.

ARA Libertad’s visit on this occasion is special, as 2016 marks the 200th anniversary of Argentinean independence. The three masted tallship is on world voyage and has been called by the navy ‘the bicentennial journey’.

In total the world voyage is to take 196 days, and calling to ports in Brazil, USA, the Netherlands, France and the UK, from where her most recent leg from Liverpool was completed yesterday. The tallship is open to tours until this Sunday, the same day in which the vessel is due to depart.

Published in Navy

#NewestShip - The Appledore shipyard in the UK has completed its third Irish Naval Service patrol vessel as it prepares to start work on the next one.

According to the North Devon Gazette, the offshore patrol vessel (OPV) LE William Butler Yeats (P63) built at Babock Marine & Technology has been successfully handed over to the Irish Naval Service.

It had been on sea trials for several weeks and was spotted off the North Devon coast by many.

A spokesman for shipyard operators Babcock said: “LE William Butler Yeats has now successfully completed sea trials and has been handed over to the Irish Naval Service.

“Preparation work for our recent contract extension to build a fourth OPV is also well underway with production due to start in August.”

For more photos taken by Norman Hardaker of the third of this OPV90 'Beckett' class batch, click here. 

 

Published in Navy
Page 5 of 23

Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard is Ireland's 4th 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.

Introduction

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 around 2000 times (40 times to assist mountain rescues and 200 times to carry out aeromedical HEMS missions on behalf of the HSE), Coast Guard volunteer units will respond 1000 times and RNLI and community lifeboats will be tasked by our Coordination Centres about 950 times
  • evacuate medical patients off our Islands to hospital on 100 occasions
  • assist other nations' Coast Guards about 200 times
  • make around 6,000 maritime safety broadcasts to shipping, fishing and leisure craft users
  • carry out a safety on the water campaign that targets primary schools and leisure craft users, including at sea and beach patrols
  • investigate approximately 50 maritime pollution reports

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

List of Coast Guard Units in Ireland

  • 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

The roles of the Irish Coast Guard

The main roles of the Irish Coast Guard are 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.

Each year the Irish Coast Guard co-ordinates the response to thousands of incidents at sea and on the cliffs and beaches of Ireland. It does this through its Marine Rescue Centres which are currently based in:

  • Dublin
  • Malin Head (Co Donegal)
  • Valentia Island (Co Kerry).

Each centre is responsible for search and rescue operations.

The Dublin National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) provides marine search and rescue response services and co-ordinates the response to marine casualty incidents within the Irish Pollution Responsibility Zone/EEZ.

The Marine Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) Valentia and MRSC Malin Head are 24/7 centres co-ordinating search and rescue response in their areas of responsibility.

The Marine Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) Valentia is the contact point for routine operational matters in the area between Ballycotton and Clifden.

MRSC Malin Head is the contact point for routine operational matters in the area between Clifden and Lough Foyle.

MRCC Dublin is the contact point for routine operational matters in the area between Carlingford Lough and Ballycotton.

Each MRCC/MRSC broadcasts maritime safety information on VHF and, in some cases, MF radio in accordance with published schedules.

Maritime safety information that is broadcast by the three Marine Rescue Sub-centres includes:

  • navigational warnings as issued by the UK Hydrographic Office
  • gale warnings, shipping forecasts, local inshore forecasts, strong wind warnings and small craft warnings as issued by the Irish Meteorological Office.

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.

The Coast Guard can contract specialised aerial surveillance or dispersant spraying aircraft at short notice internationally.

Helicopter tasks include:

  • the location of marine and aviation incident survivors by homing onto aviation and marine radio distress transmissions, by guidance from other agencies, and by visual, electronic and electro-optical search
  • the evacuation of survivors from the sea, and medical evacuees from all manner of vessels including high-sided passenger and cargo vessels and from the islands
  • the evacuation of personnel from ships facing potential disaster
  • search and or rescue in mountainous areas, caves, rivers, lakes and waterways
  • the transport of offshore fire-fighters (MFRTs) or ambulance teams (MARTs) and their equipment following a request for assistance
  • the provision of safety cover for other search and rescue units including other Marine Emergency Service helicopters
  • pollution, casualty and salvage inspections and surveillance and the transport of associated personnel and equipment
  • inter-agency training in all relevant aspects of the primary role
  • onshore emergency medical service, including evacuation and air ambulance tasks
  • relief of the islands and of areas suffering from flooding or deep snow

The secondary roles of the helicopter are:

  • the exercise of the primary search, rescue and evacuation roles in adjacent search and rescue regions
  • assistance to onshore emergency services, such as in the evacuation of high-rise buildings
  • public safety awareness displays and demonstrations
  • providing helicopter expertise for seminars and training courses

The Irish Coast Guard provides aeronautical assets for search and rescue in the mountains of Ireland. Requests for Irish Coast Guard assets are made to the Marine Rescue Centres.

Requests are accepted from An Garda Síochána and nominated persons in Mountain Rescue Teams.

Information courtesy of Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (July 2019)

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