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Displaying items by tag: O'Leary

#Canoeing: Patrick O’Leary finished ninth in the A Final of the KL3 200 metres at the Paracanoe World Championships in Racice in the Czech Republic. The race was won by Serhii Yemelianov of the Ukraine.

 Jenny Egan finished eighth in her semi-final of the K1 200 at the Canoe Sprint World Championships, also at Racice. She missed out on an A or B Final place. Egan is set to compete in the K1 5,000 metres on Sunday.

Published in Canoeing

#Canoeing: Patrick O’Leary set a new personal best for the second sucessive day, but just missed out on a place in the A Final at the Paracanoe World Championships in Duisburg in Germany this morning. The 43-year-old Irishman finished third in his semi-final of the KL3 200 metres. The top two from the semi-finals and the fastest third place finisher would go through – and O’Leary was pipped by less than seven tenths of a second by France’s Martin Farineaux for this place. Farineaux finished third in the fourth of the four semi-finals. O’Leary qualifies for the B Final.   

 In the canoe sprint European Olympic Qualifier, Ireland crews qualified for semi-finals through their heats. Michael Fitzsimon finished 4th in the K1 1,000, Jenny Egan fifth in the K1 500 and the K2 200 crew of Tom Brennan and Barry Watkins were sixth.  

Paracanoe World Championships, Duisburg (Selected Results; Irish interest):

Men - KL3 200- Heat Four (First Seven to Semi-Final): 2 P O’Leary 42.061. Semi-Final One (First Two and next best time to A Final; 3rd, 4th to B Final): 3 O’Leary 41.722.

Canoe Sprint European Olympic Qualifier, Duisburg, Germany

Men

K1 1,000 – Heat One (Winner to A Final; 2-7 to semi-final; rest out): 4 M Fitzsimon 3:31.693.

K2 200 – Heat One (First Three to A Final; 4-7 to semi-final): 6 T Brennan, B Watkins 34.350.

Women

K1 500 – Heat One (Three to Final; 4-7 to Semi-Final): 5 J Egan 1:55.428.  

Published in Canoeing

#CANOEING: Ireland’s Pat O’Leary had to settle for fourth at the Canoe Sprint World Cup in Duisburg, Germany today. The paracanoeist qualified for the final of the KL3 on Thursday. Germany’s Tom Kierey won, from Artem Voronkov of Russia and Britain’s Timothy Lodge – who was just .595 of a second ahead of O’Leary, who had also finished fourth at the European Championships earlier this month. 

Canoe Sprint World Cup, Duisburg, Germany (Irish interest)

Men

Paracanoeing: KL3 200 – Final: 1 Germany (T Kierey) 41.305, 2 Russia (A Voronkov) 42.247, 3 Britain (T Lodge) 42.891; 4 Ireland (T O’Leary) 43.486.

Published in Canoeing

#CANOEING: Pat O’Leary qualified for the final of the KL3 paracanoeing event at the European Sprint Championships in Racice in the Czech Republic today. O’Leary finished second in his heat of the 200 metre event. Barry Watkins and Michael Fitzsimons finished 2.82 seconds behind the winners, Lithuania, in the semi-final of the K2 1,000. This placed the Ireland crew sixth and ended their campaign as only the top three progressed to the final. Jenny Egan finished sixth in both her heat and semi-final of the K1 500. The top three in the semi-final qualified for the final. Egan is set to compete in the B Final.

European Canoe Sprint Championships, Racice, Czech Republic (Selected Results; Irish interest)
Men
K2 1,000 – Heat One (First Three Directly to Final): 7 M Fitzsimons, B Watkins 3:22.036. Semi-Final (First Three to A Final): 6 M Fitzsimons, B Watkins 3 mins 18.868 secs.
Paracanoe, KL3 200 – Heat Two (First Three Directly to Final): 2 P O’Leary 44.208 secs.
Women
K1 500 – Heat Three: 6 J Egan 1:58.704. Semi-Final (First Three to A Final): 6 J Egan (to B Final) 1:55.076.

Published in Canoeing

#PERTH 2011 – Missed opportunities on a crucial day afloat in the Star keelboat means Olympic qualification for Ireland's Peter O'Leary and David Burrows now goes 'to the wire'.  Disappointingly, the pair scored a 16th and a 24th today in a fleet of 41 and slip to 15th overall. It follows a black flag result on Tuesday. The top 11 nations will qualify for the Olympics in Perth and although O'Leary/Burrows are in the qualification zone, they will be well aware they occupy the last nation slot. The Cork-Dublin duo have been leapfrogged by the Swiss and now share the same overall score as Spain's Fernando Echavarri and Fernando Rodriquez on 97 points each with only one day of racing left before the medal race on Saturday.

star racing

Tight racing in the penulitmate rounds of the Star champs in Perth. Photo: Richard Langdon

The Star class have a rest day tomorrow with their final day of fleet racing taking place on Friday.
 

Published in Olympics 2012
#OLYMPIC – Ireland's Olympic sailing heavyweights Peter O'Leary and David Burrows are catching the new media wave and have launched a new twitter, facebook presence.

The team say they're completing final testing on a new website too. It will be live in the next week or so.

olearyburrowsstar

Downwind dazzlers – The Irish Star pair are renowned for their offwind speed

After a string of top results in 2011 the duo are bound for Perth 2012, a regatta where team officials remain confident of a top result.

Follow the Star keelboat duo here on twitter, facebook here and the team website will be here.

Podcast with Peter O'Leary here

Published in Olympics 2012

Pre-Regatta favoutite Anthony O'Leary has exited the All Ireland Sailing Championships in the qualfiying rounds. A start line penalty suffered in today's second race of flight two forced him out of the running.

The victorious Commodore's Cup captain, the current Irish Sailor of the Year, who has sailed in the event previously a dozen times and finished as runner-up on three occassions is the shock elimination as the fleet is halved from 16 to eight for tomorrow's final.

The flight two winners, who appear more evenly matched than flight one, were Flor O'Driscoll, Ryan Seaton, Noel Butler and Gordon Patterson.

The eight finalists are here.

Results from Flight 2

Flight

Boat

Name

R1

R2

R3

Total

2

3

Flor O’Driscoll

1

1

3

5

2

6

Ryan Seaton

3

2

2

7

2

2

Noel Butler

2

3

6

11

2

5

Gordon Patterson

4

4

4

12

2

7

Anthony O’Leary

5

OCS

1

15

2

8

Pat O’Neill

6

6

5

17

2

4

Brian Goggin

8

5

7

20

2

1

Alan Henry

7

7

8

22

Published in All Irelands
Tagged under

Anthony O'Leary ended up in the same position as he started the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup after yesterday's final rounds. The Royal Cork crew counted a 15 in the final race to end up eighth, the same as Monday's opening score. The sole Irish invitees were as high as sixth last Thursday.

In a reversal of fortunes from the inaugural event two years ago, the Terry McLaughlin-led team from the Royal Canadian Yacht Club persevered today to win the 2011 New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex, sailed in Swan 42s. The New York Yacht Club team finished second, with the Annapolis Yacht Club team, third. The final race days' light and shifty conditions gave all 22 teams the opportunity to shift positions on the leaderboard, but in the end most just solidified what they had already earned.

royalcorkny

Royal Cork's entry finished eighth in New York. Photo: Kurt Arrigo/Rolex

The Canadian entry, skippered by Olympic medalist and former America's Cup skipper, Terry McLaughlin, went into the day – and the final race – with a ten-point lead over the New York Yacht Club entry. But the Canadians took charge from the start, McLaughlin recounted their strategy, "We decided to go after New York, but it was tricky. It was five knots at the start, but it was very, very shifty and puffy, so if we let them sail their own race and we had tried to sail our own race.  There is a reasonable chance that they would have put ten boats between us, so we decided that 'ok listen' we've got to be near them. If we put them back at the start and we're back at the start than it doesn't matter and we couldn't lose.

"But, we still both had reasonable starts at the right end and we went right a little bit. Then they (NYYC) sort of got to us a bit, so I bailed left, but we happened to be in a great puff and gained on them a lot."

The Royal Canadian Yacht Club team, from Toronto, sailed a nearly flawless series with seven top five finishes – out of eleven races sailed. In races where the Canadians were deep in the fleet, McLaughlin, tactician John Togerson and crew inevitably overhauled the boats ahead. McLaughin said, "I think we came back quite well this series. Obviously yesterday was our best, going from nineteenth to sixth. Its important because you can't get off the line in great shape or get around the first mark in great shape, eleven races in a row."

The 55-year old sailor won a silver medal in the Flying Dutchman class in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and was the skipper of Canada I in the 1983 America's Cup challenger series. In fact, three of his current crew were holdovers from that Cup campaign. These days his business is importing clothing and footwear from Ireland, and his sailing more relegated to only occasional racing.

In a new addition to the event, the team leading in points at the end of each day flew a "gold" spinnaker in the following day's races. The Royal Canadian team quickly took that honor after the first day and never relinquished it for the week.

McLaughlin was quick to praise his crew, "It was a team effort. I mean, I make the final decisions, but I'm relying on guys that A) make the boat go fast and B) tell me what's going on."

Ken Colburn was skipper of the New York Yacht Club team, the only really viable threat to the Royal Canadian Yacht Club through the five days of racing, coming within five points midweek. Colburn was pleased, "You have to step back from this and say 'we came in second in this regatta to a team that was just doing everything well.' You've got to walk away from that pleased, with just slight disappointment that you didn't get all the way there. The Royal Canadian Yacht Club are the ultimate winner, and they deserve it."

Like many of the teams that only managed to get everyone in the same boat relatively late, the NYYC crew started sailing together for the first time over Labor Day weekend but, according to their skipper, they quickly gelled. Colburn from Marblehead, Massachusetts, was adamant that his crew was equally responsible for their success, "This is a team sport and I'm only driving the boat most of the time. I need tacticians and trimmers and strategists and bow people to do their jobs well, and they all did them superbly well. They were sportsmanlike, cordial, competitive, and always working to win, I couldn't be more proud of this team."

Peter McChesney, skipper of the Annapolis Yacht Club team which finished third, summed up what many competitors agreed, "It was certainly, arguably, the most unique, special, exciting regatta. The professional circuits, and Olympic campaigns, and lot of great one-design classes, but certainly this is a new unbelievable regatta with worldwide excitement."

While the North American teams dominated the top five overall positions, with Eastern Yacht Club, and Newport Harbor Yacht Club in fourth and fifth, the first international entry was the sixth-placed Japan Sailing Federation, skippered by Makoto Uematsu, followed by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (GBR), Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL), Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, and Yacht Club Argentino (ARG), rounding out the top ten finishers.

Following the success of the inaugural event in 2009, Event Chairman John Mendez and his Invitational Cup committee set to make several changes to improve the competition. Among these were changing to an all-amateur event, and on-the-water umpiring, both of which were unanimously well received by the competitors. Peter Shrubb, Chief Umpire from Bermuda, oversaw the ten-umpire team. Shrubb was pleased with the results explaining, "We're on the water and adjudicating any rule infractions. We can't catch everything, but we'd like to think we caught 95%.  We resolve them on the water, and it saves the competitors having to file protests against each other – it take out of their hands, puts it into our hands and makes for a friendlier, more Corinthian event."

The final Rolex Awards Dinner was held under the marquee on the New York Yacht Club's Harbour Court grounds. Competitors and guests enjoyed dinner and dancing overlooking Newport Harbor.

The Royal Canadian Yacht Club team, overall winner of the Invitational Cup were awarded a Rolex Submariner timepiece and presented the Invitational Cup trophy, which was commissioned by NYYC Commodore Robert James and past NYYC Trustee, Charlie Robertson.

NYYC's Harbour Court hosted 22 yacht clubs – representing 16 nations from six different continents – for the second edition of this biennial event.  Racing was conducted in NYYC Swan 42s on Rhode Island Sound and Narragansett Bay from September 10-17, 2011. The next edition of the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex will be held in September 2013.

Final Results – 2011 New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup

1) Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Canada, 47 points

2) New York Yacht Club, USA, 67 points

3) Annapolis Yacht Club, USA, 72 points

4) Eastern Yacht Club, USA, 89 points

5) Newport Harbor Yacht Club, USA, 105 points

6) Japan Sailing Federation, Japan, 105 points

7) Royal Ocean Racing Club, Great Britain, 112 points

8) Royal Cork Yacht Club, Ireland, 115 points

9) Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Hong Kong, 120 points

10) Yacht Club Argentino, Argentina, 121 points

11) Royal Yacht Squadron, Great Britain, 122 points

12) Nyländska Jaktklubben, Finland, 127 points

13) Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, Australia, 133 points

14) Clube Naval de Cascais, Portugal, 137 points

15) Norddeutscher Regatta Verein, Germany, 138 points

16) Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Bermuda, 144 points

17) Royal Cape Yacht Club, South Africa, 148 points

18) Itchenor Sailing Club, Great Britain, 150 points

19) Royal Norwegian Yacht Club, Norway, 154 points

20) Yacht Club Capri, Italy, 167 points

21) Real Club Nautico de Barcelona, Spain, 197 points

22) Yacht Club Punta Ala, Italy, 220 points

Published in Racing

Royal Cork Yacht Club is seventh overall after scoring an impressive third place in yesterday's race nine of the New York Invitational Cup. The Anthony O'Leary skippered yacht moved from tenth to seventh after scores of 3 and 12 in the penultimate day of the competition yesterday. The Crosshaven crew is five points behind sixth place Japan, a team that have consistently held an advantage over the Irish crew this week.

The New York Chamber of Commerce could not have arranged a more spectacular day for the 22 competing yacht club teams, representing 16 nations from six continents, than what was delivered today after a cold front that passed through the area overnight left behind a classic New England fall day to tantalize competitors at the 2011 New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex. And after sailing eight races over three days on courses set north of Newport's Pell Bridge, with the breeze from the north-northwest, and an ebb tide, the race committee made the decision to send the competitors out of the now-familiar Narragansett Bay to Rhode Island Sound for two races on the penultimate day of the series.

rcycnewyork

Royal Cork YC's entry in the New York Cup skippered by Anthony O'Leary with tactics from son Nicholas Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Remarkably, the first race of the day saw yet another yacht club team winning a race. Eastern Yacht Club became the ninth race winner, in nine races, when they took over the lead early in the race and held it all the way to the finish line.

"It was a good one," said Bill Lynn, helm of the Eastern Yacht Club team of the race as he explained that the EYC sailors liked the conditions today. "I think we're fast , but I don't think we're the fastest boat here, so I think getting out into some shifty, variable breeze with not perfectly flat water, suits our style in these boats a little better. We finally got a great start, which is kind of nice. It was probably our best start of the series so far, and then we just were patient. When we came off the windward end [of the starting line] and tacked onto port there were an awful lot of boats on port way up inside us. It looked grim there for a while. But we were going to stick to our guns and wait it out. And we did, and the righty finally came in at the end and got us around the mark in third and then after that it was playing the shifts [to stay at the top]."

When Lynn's team got through the first gate, they split with the Royal Yacht Squadron. "Fortunately we sent them around the wrong gate and we went around the right gate. When the breeze shifted back left we were crossing them. After we went through the gate and started going back upwind it got super windy, our gage was showing low 20s, and it stayed that way for the rest of the race. When it [the breeze] came smoking back in half-way through, that wasn't in anybody's forecast."

Lynn went on to explain that in a northwest breeze, you have to sail your own race and not worry too much about the other boats. "You almost have to pretend there are no other boats on the course. It's not about winning every race in a northwester, its about not blowing one." For race two, Lynn characterized Eastern's start as good, but in the wrong place on the line. They would go on to finish sixth, and now have 82 points on the scoreboard to stand fifth overall, while tied on points with Newport Harbor Yacht Club which is currently fourth.

For the second day in a row, the final race of the day has been won by the Clube Naval de Cascais (CNC) from Portugal, making them the first team in the 10 races to repeat as a winner. At the helm of CNC is Patrick Monteiro de Barros, whose varied sailing resume includes representing his country at the Olympic Games (twice), as well as circumnavigating the globe (twice). CNC placed 21st in the earlier race today, and with 128 points lies 16th overall.

It would certainly seem that the artic air from home brought additional good fortune for Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC), as they maintained their grip on the top-position in the overall standings. With finishes of 6-11 today, they not only have 46 points but also have increased the spread to 10 points over New York Yacht Club which has 56.

Annapolis Yacht Club has moved up to third overall on 68 points after finishing 4-2 today. Tactician John Torgerson compared the flukey conditions the AYC team is used to in Annapolis with what they saw today on Rhode Island Sound. "It was super-shifty for a while and we like that," said Torgerson. "We had a good idea of what we were going to do off the start and we executed it. For the first race it was light at the start. We saw as little as nine [knots] to as much as 22, it was a huge range. You just had to be able to shift gears. We have guys that are really good at figuring it out." AYC's strategy for the final day of racing is to "just go out and sail" and hope that the two teams above and below them take each other out.

The eleventh and final race of the series will be held tomorrow, Saturday, September 17, and is scheduled for 1100. It will be preceded by the fleet parading through Newport harbor at 0900, with competitors leaving NYYC's Harbour Court at approximately 0830. The winner of the 2011 New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex will be confirmed at the conclusion of racing.


Published in Racing

Anthony O'Leary's Royal Cork Yacht Club crew stay in the top ten overall after scoring two double digit results yesterday at the Rolex New York Invitational Cup. The Crosshaven crew counted a 20 and a 15 in the 22-boat fleet.

After several days of late summer breeze and sunshine, thick fog rolled into Narragansett Bay, greeting competitors of the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex and forcing a short postponement to today's racing. Twenty-two yacht club teams from 16 countries are here in Newport to contest the second edition of this biennial event.

After a delay of just under an hour, the fleet were sent up Narragansett Bay, north of the Newport Bridge where the flat water and 10-knot south-southwesterly built to a perfect 12-15 knots by the afternoon.

Yesterday after six races were completed, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club team, skippered by Olympic silver medalist Terry McLaughlin, had a solid lock on the top of the leader board with a 13-point advantage over the New York Yacht Club team.

But with a fleet this deep in talent, one bad race and a double-digit advantage can be whittled down. As McLaughlin presciently said yesterday, "That can disappear in a real hurry." Meanwhile the NYYC team, led by Ken Colburn with Phil Lotz, the 2009 Invitational Cup winner, as tactician kept their focus with fourth and second place finishes today and closed the gap with Canada to five points.

While Lotz' recap of their races sounded pretty matter-of-fact, the American team worked hard to get a good start on the right side and found a lane there that enabled them to tack when they wanted. Lotz said, "We were lucky enough that the right paid off and we kept our nose clean and got around the course. We were fortunate enough to get to the right side early." But with three more races planned, he was quick to add, "I think with a shifty nor'west tomorrow, it's anybody's game. Bad races are just as possible as good races. If it's more breeze and shifty, it's going to be a boat handling issue, and keeping your head out of the boat and seeing where the shifts are, and making sure you're going in the right direction."

Newport Harbor Yacht Club edged past Annapolis Yacht Club today to stand in third place overall.

The group of teams with first place finishes grew today with eight unique winners over the same number of races. Two boats that had barely cracked a top ten finish prevailed today: the German team from Norddeutscher Regatta Verein and Clube Naval de Cascais from Portugal.

For Patrick de Barros' Portuguese team, it all came together on the last race where they got off the start line well-positioned, rounded the weather mark in third, and then went to the left side of the course where they got in front and held their lead. Although NYYC team threatened, CN de Cascais covered them very closely at the finish and crossed ahead. Clearly buoyed by their performance de Barros said, "We have the speed, now we start to know how the boat functions. It's a very challenging course, a good course, but challenging. It's been really fantastic, we've enjoyed every minute."

The Royal Yacht Squadron enjoyed a good bump up the standings going from 11th to seventh. Helmsman Glyn Williams explained, "I was a little disappointed after yesterday's sailing, as I didn't feel we sailed to the potential. The team had done a lot of sailing together and we were just making unforced errors early in the week. So our first race today, we got cleanly off the line. At the top mark, we did a gybe set, which was incredibly clean and put us in the hunt. I told the team this morning that yesterday Annapolis moved from tenth to third, so there're options to go up in a series like this. The crew did a great job today!"

Oliver Stanley, RYS team captain, spoke of the competition, "I think the standard of sailing is as high as you get in any amateur regatta, anywhere in the world. It's a great privilege to be here -- make one mistake and you lose six places."

Stanley was with the team at the 2009 Invitational Cup event, when the RYS finished in 16th place overall. He recalled, "Given our finish, we weren't invited back on merit. We were invited on ancestry, history and tradition. It's very important that we're invited back on merit this time. We really want to be automatically invited, to have a top five finish. We'd be over the moon with that."

Racing continues tomorrow Friday through Saturday 16 - 17 September. Tomorrow's first warning signal is scheduled for 11:00 am.

Results after 8 races:
Team - Country - Points
1. Royal Canadian, CAN, 29
2. New York, USA, 34
3. Newport Harbor, USA, 61
4. Annapolis, USA, 63
5. Royal Hong Kong, HKG, 70
6. Eastern, USA, 76
7. Royal Yacht Squadron, GBR, 77
8. Japan, JPN, 80
9. Royal Cork, IRL, 86
10. YC Argentino, ARG, 89
11. Royal Ocean Racing Club, GBR, 91
12. CYC Australia, AUS, 95
13. NRV, GER, 99
14. Royal Norwegian, NOR, 102
15. Royal Cape, RSA, 104
16. CN de Cascais, POR, 106
17. Royal Bermuda, BER, 106
18. NJK, FIN, 112
19. Itchenor, GBR, 116
20. YC Capri, ITA, 123
21. RCN Barcelona, ESP, 148
22. YC Punta Ala, ITA, 160

The 22 entrants
By country, the roster of participating teams is: Yacht Club Argentino (ARG); Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (AUS); Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (BER); Royal Canadian Yacht Club (CAN); Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (HKG); Real Club Nautico de Barcelona (ESP); Nyländska Jaktklubben (FIN); Itchenor Sailing Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club and Royal Yacht Squadron (GBR); Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (GER); Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL); Yacht Club Capri and Yacht Club Punta Ala (ITA); Japan Sailing Federation (JPN); Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (NOR); Clube Naval de Cascais (POR); Royal Cape Yacht Club (RSA); Eastern Yacht Club, Annapolis Yacht Club, Newport Harbor Yacht Club and New York Yacht Club (USA).


Published in Racing
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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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