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#10,000rescued - The Irish Naval Service were praised by Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Paul Kehoe for their continued success in assisting with the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.

To date, the Naval Service has rescued more than 10,000 people since the navies vessels were first deployed to the humanitarian operation in May 2015.

In the period May to November 2015, a total of 8,592 people were rescued in the Mediterranean by the navy. In 2016 L.É. Róisín, which was deployed to the Mediterranean on 1 May, rescued a total of 1,264 people.

L.É. James Joyce, which replaced L.É. Róisín as previously reported on Afloat.ie began operations in the Mediterranean on 16 July.

Following the rescue of 162 people on Tuesday, L.É. James Joyce rescued a further 63 people yesterday. This brings the total number of migrants rescued by the Naval Service to date to 10,081.

Since the Irish Naval Service vessels were deployed on the humanitarian mission they have provided assistance to a further 2,209 migrants, who were transferred from other vessels onto the Naval Service vessels and then transited to safety.

Minister Kehoe said “I wish to congratulate the Naval Service for the excellent role they have played in saving the lives of so many migrants since Naval Service vessels were first deployed in May 2015. The Government and I are very proud of your efforts.”

Minister Kehoe added “The deployment of Irish Naval vessels to the Mediterranean to engage in humanitarian search and rescue tasks is an important element in Ireland's response to the migration crisis in the Mediterranean. The success of these operations demonstrates clearly the value of Ireland’s participation in this important work.”

Minister Kehoe went on to say “Unfortunately thousands of people continue to make the very dangerous journey across the Mediterranean. The requirement for humanitarian search and rescue operations in this part of the world remains and Ireland will continue to play its part.”

Published in Navy

The Irish Coast Guard co-ordinated a very successful Marine Search and Rescue demonstration yesterday, Saturday 16th July. As Afloat.ie reported previously, the exercise in Moville Co Donegal involved some of Ireland’s principal Search and Rescue resources. Participants included Donegal based volunteer Coast Guard units, the Sligo based Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter, Naval ship LÉ Orla, Air Corps Casa, RNLI’s new Shannon Class All Weather Lifeboat, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, UK Maritime Coastguard Agency, Irish Water Safety, Mountain Rescue Ireland and the Civil Defence.
Speaking after the event Gerard O’Flynn, the Coast Guard’s Search and Rescue Operations Manager said: ‘This exercise afforded the public a wonderful opportunity to see Ireland’s search and rescue resources conducting a series a realistic but challenging tasks, more importantly it enabled the Coast Guard to exercise interoperability between the different assets.”
The event included a series of water based safety demonstrations.
“Prevention and adherence to basic safety is the key element in minimising loss of life at sea and on our waterways”, concluded SARs Manager Gerard O’Flynn.
The main events:
Mud rescue demonstration by nearby members of the Maritime Coastguard Agency, Bay Field in the low water river bed.
The Donegal Mountain Rescue team along with their colleagues in the Civil Defence also at Bay Field displayed their new Drone
Greencastle Coast Guard unit executed a number of cliff rescue displays.
Rescue 115, the Sligo based rescue helicopter along with the crew of LÉ Orla completed a number of winching exercise. From the deck of LÉ Orla and a “wet” lift.
The Air Corps Casa demonstrated the use of airborne life rafts as well as conducting communications exercises with air and surface resources.
Over the course of the day, Volunteer Coast Guard units from Donegal, Mulroy, Killybegs, Greencastle and Bunbeg completed number of rescue manoeuvres including - man over board, swimmer/paddle board in difficult, fishing vessel on fire.

Published in Coastguard
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#Rendezvous - L.É. James Joyce which has been tasked to continue humanitarian duties in the Mediterranean made a rendezvous with L.É. Roisin, east of Gibraltar yesterday, writes Jehan Ashmore

OPV LE James Joyce departed the Naval Base, Haulbowline on Friday, to assist the Italian authorities in the continuing search and rescue (SAR) humanitarian operations of migrants off north Africa.

Under command of Captain, Lieutenant Commander Neil Manning and his crew and medical personnel of 59 persons, L.É. James Joyce, is the Navy Service’s newest operational OPV90 class vessel. Next month, a third sister which has undergone trials, L.É. William Butler Yeats is expected to be delivered to Irish waters.

The L.É. Roisin was making a homeward bound voyage from Valetta, Malta. During the meeting, both OPV’s carried out parallel courses for a period and transferred medical and IT equipment.

L.É. James Joyce becomes the fifth ship deployed by the Naval Service to the Mediterranean Sea as part of Operation PONTUS.

Published in Navy
Published in Navy
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#ConcernsIncinerator - Concerns have been raised over development of Dublin’s Poolbeg incinerator by US waste firm Covanta, writes The Irish Times, following the failure of emissions tests by a Canadian plant built by the company.

Covanta last May had to close one of the two boilers or “stacks” at its newly built Durham York incinerator near Toronto after emissions exceeded the limits set by the Canadian ministry of environment for dioxins and furans by 13 times.

Dioxins and furans are toxic byproducts that can result from burning waste. For more on the concerns raised click here.

While in Cork Harbour, Minister with Responsibility for Defence as stated operational requirements of the Defence Forces will be reviewed, depending Bord Pleanala’s decision on an application by Indaver to build an incinerator at Ringaskiddy. The proposed site is next to the Naval Service base on Haulbowline Island. 

 

Published in Dublin Bay

#YeatsSeaTrials - Newest Naval Service OPV, L.É. William Butler Yeats (P63) began builder’s sea trials in the Bristol Channel until returning today to Appledore in the UK, writes Jehan Ashmore.

L.É. William Butler Yeats was floated-out in March from Babcock Marine & Technology’s yard at Bidna, Appledore in north Devon. The 1,900 displacement newbuild directly replaces the recently decommissioned L.É. Aisling (P23). 

If the series of trails that began on Sunday, proceed according to plan, it is envisaged the OPV90 or 'Beckett' class newbuild will be delivered to the Naval Service base in Cork Harbour next month. 

The newbuild represents the third OPV90 in which two such ships were originally ordered by the Irish Government. They are an improved version of the 'Róisín' class.

The successor class are the most sophisticated vessels of the Naval Service. They are equipped with Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) to carry out tasks in covert surveillence operations among them drug interdiction duties.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, last month an order for a fourth of the class costing €54.3m (€66.8m after VAT) was contracted to Babcock International, again to the same UK shipyard.

Now that L.É. Aisling (P23) has been taken out of service from what was an eight-strong fleet, the current total is six vessels that is serving in domestic waters.

The seventh vessel L.É. Róisín (P51) since May has been deployed on a humanitarian role in rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean, though she is due to return to Ireland this month in mid-July.

In turn LÉ James Joyce (P62) is due to depart the Naval Base at Haulbowline this Friday. The second of the OPV90 Beckett class is to take over the Irish contribution to the humanitarian mission.

Published in Navy

The Minister with Responsibility for Defence has stated that the operational requirements of the Defence Forces will be reviewed, depending on the outcome of Bord Pleanala’s decision on the application by Indaver to build an incinerator at Ringaskiddy in Cork Harbour close to Naval Service operational headquarters on Haulbowline Island.

The Department of Defence has warned that this has strategic implication for the State.

What the Minister means by his statement and what effect it could have on Naval Service operations at their headquarters is unclear.

The Minister was replying in a letter to Independent Dublin TD, Tommy Broughan, who questioned him about the “strategic implications for the Navy” and the impact on joint operations with the Air Corps, which were identified by the Department of Defence at the Bord Pleanala inquiry hearing into the Indaver planning application.

Mr.Kehoe said in his letter “As the planning application on the building of an incinerator in Ringaskiddy is currently under consideration by An Bord Pleanala it would not be useful at this time to consider what the outcome might be. The operational requirements of the Defence Forces will be reviewed in the context of the planning decision however it would be inappropriate to comment further on the matter at this time.”

In a previous response to Deputy Broughan and in a reply by the Taoiseach to Cork TD Mick Barry, Minister Kehoe and the Taoiseach, who is also Minister for Defence, had both acknowledged the Department of Defence concerns but had refused further comment pending the decision of Bord Pleanala.

Minister Kehoe’s second response, to Deputy Broughan, is the first indication that the operations of the Naval Service and Air Corps will be reviewed in the light of the Bord Pleanala decision.

Published in Navy

#RoisinRescues - Once again the Naval Service OPV LÉ Róisín has been kept busy having been deployed in successfully locating and rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean Sea.

The operations carried out on Monday involved the saving of 371* migrants in total, following requests organised by the Italian Maritime Rescue Co-Ordination Centre. This saw three separate rubber vessels located 37 nautical miles north-west of the Libyan capital Tripoli.

The first rescue commenced at 6.50am, a total of 114 migrants are now on board and are receiving food, water and medical treatment where required.

LÉ Róisín was immediately re-tasked with the rescue of a further 115 people from a rubber vessel in the same area. All persons were on board by 9.15am.

The final operation search and rescue operation took place again north-west of Tripoli, where a further 142 migrants were taken on board.

*Figures for these operations are provisional until confirmed by the Italian authorities.

 

Published in Navy

#Decommissioning - Minister with Responsibility for Defence, Mr Paul Kehoe, yesterday attended the decommissioning ceremony of LÉ Aisling in Galway Docks.

LÉ Aisling was the longest serving vessel in the Irish Naval Service fleet. The ‘Deirdre’ class vessel built by Verolme Cork Dockyard was also an improved version as the final third ‘Emer’ class. She entered service in 1980.

The decommissioning ceremony took place of LÉ Aisling alongside Molvoy Quay at the port's Dun Aengus Dock. The direct successor will be newbuild OPV90 class LÉ William Butler Yeats which is to undergo builder’s trials next month.

Also previously reported on Afloat.ie the Government has placed an order for a fourth OPV90 'Beckett' class costing €54.3m from Babcock International’s north Devon yard.

In his address Minister Kehoe stated that: LÉ Aisling has been decommissioned after 36 years of outstanding service to the State and noted that during this time she travelled in excess of 628,000 nautical miles, an equivalent of circumnavigating the globe 32 times. Her crew has boarded over 5,500 vessels at sea and detained over 220 fishing vessels.

The Minister recalled that during her service, LÉ Aisling has been involved in many successful operations. The most notable of these include the arrest of the ‘Marita Ann’ in 1984 and her activities as the first vessel on the scene of the Air India disaster in 1985, for which several of her crew were decorated.

The Minister also stated: In pursuit of our commitment to progress the Ships Replacement Programme, the Government has provided a significant increase in capital funding to enhance the capabilities across the Defence Forces. The replacement vessel for LÉ Aisling, LÉ William Butler Yeats is scheduled for delivery shortly and the signing of contracts this week for delivery of a fourth vessel (see above), represent tangible demonstrations of this commitment.

LÉ Aisling is twinned with Galway and has had a long association with the city. The minister also praised the men and women who sailed on LÉ Aisling throughout her years of service, and marked out the great pride they had shown in her close association with the city and the many thousands of euro raised by them on behalf of the Children’s Ward in Galway University Hospital.

Published in Navy

#NATOfrigate -  A Royal Canadian Navy ‘Halifax’ frigate is to call to Dublin Port next week and which has been deployed on Operation Reasurrance for a NATO Force.

HMCS Frederiction is to join the Standing NATO Maritime Forces fleet based in the Mediterranean Sea. This is part of NATO’s assurance measures, promoting security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe.

The ship will replace HMCS Winnipeg, which has been part of Standing NATO Maritime Forces since July 2015.

HMCS Fredericton will provide Canada the flexibility to execute a range of missions across a broad spectrum of operations in support of Allied efforts in the region, including surveillance and monitoring, regional defence, diplomatic engagement and capacity building.

Operation Reasurrance is HMCS Fredericton’s second deployment in support of NATO assurance measures. It was the first modernized frigate to deploy in support of Government of Canada objectives in 2014.

The Halifax-class modernization/frigate life extension (HCM/FELEX) is a $4.3 billion program to upgrade and enhance the Royal Canadian Navy’s existing fleet of frigates.

The project includes a new Combat Management System, a new radar capability, a new electronic warfare system upgrade, and upgraded communications and missiles, as well as a new Integrated Platform Management System.

Published in Navy
Page 6 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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