Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: RNLI

Lifesavers at the RNLI are encouraging people to support them by signing up to host a Fish Supper this October or donate the price of fish and chips to raise vital funds for the lifesaving charity.

The RNLI's annual fishy fundraiser encourages people to host a Fish Supper during the month of October with donations being made in support of the lifesaving charity or if they prefer, to donate the price of a fish and chip supper.

With restrictions in place due to the Coronavirus pandemic, this year's Fish Supper event is a bit different. Therefore, the RNLI is encouraging people to host their Fish Supper online this year, if they can't have it with their household. Of course, if people prefer, they can always donate the price of a fish and chip supper online.

With the Coronavirus pandemic having a huge impact on the RNLI's ability to generate income, fundraising events like Fish Supper are more important than ever.

To give people some ideas, award-winning chef Derry Clarke, of L'Ecrivain restaurant has generously shared some of his favourite fish recipes and even accompanied them with a specially recorded video. Derry and Sallyanne Clarke are huge supporters of the work of the RNLI and Derry even wore his lifeboats t-shirt in the video.

Scallops

Mussels

The charity's lifeboat crews have faced an incredibly busy summer as people flocked to the coast and inland waters when restrictions eased. To sign up to host your own Fish Supper, and to find a load of fantastic recipes from some top celebrity chefs, visit: RNLI.org/Fish

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

A Wexford family has expressed thanks to the volunteers of Kilmore Quay RNLI who brought them to safety earlier this summer when their pleasure craft got into difficulty.

James Kehoe and his grandchildren Aisling, 13, Emily, 9, and Orla, 7, were rescued when their 7m boat broke down having sustained engine failure in Ballyteigue Bay, half a mile north west of Forlorn Point in county Wexford. The lifeboat under Coxswain Aidan Bates, went to the family’s aid and towed the vessel safely back to Kilmore Quay.

Such was seven-year-old Orla’s delight at being rescued by the lifeboat, she has since created a scrapbook about her adventure.

Emily, Aisling and OrlaEmily, Aisling and Orla

It also transpires that the family have a close RNLI connection with James’ late father and the girls’ great grandfather, Jimmy Kehoe, a former station mechanic who was awarded a Thanks of the Institution Inscribed on Vellum, by the RNLI, for his part in a dangerous rescue off the Saltee Islands 63 years ago.

Jimmy was one of seven crew members on the Kilmore Quay lifeboat Ann Isabella Pyemont, which successfully rescued 10 seamen from the ill-stricken French trawler Augusta Mariste, in a fresh south to southwesterly gale with gusts at times of Force 10, in Ballyteigue Bay on the 19 December 1957.

Kilmore Quay RNLI Coxswain Aidan Bates said: ‘We were delighted to be able to help the family during the summer and tow the vessel back to safety. It was lovely to hear that Orla went to such efforts to create a scrapbook about the rescue and to be reminded of the girls' great-grandfather Jimmy, one of seven former Kilmore Quay RNLI volunteers who were deservedly recognised for their selfless bravery and courage all those years ago.’

OrlaOrla

James Kehoe, skipper of the boat and the girls’ grandfather said: ‘It was good to experience the professionalism of the lifeboat crew through the eyes of my seven-year-old granddaughter Orla who took such a personal interest in the operation from start to finish.

‘When at sea with small children and the unexpected happens, it is so important to do the right thing. A good ship to shore communications system enabled me to contact Rosslare Coast Guard Radio – which is manned 24/7 – give my exact position and explain the situation. There is an instant response and the system works flawlessly.

‘Kilmore Quay RNLI has a proud history going back several generations. The current incredibly powerful all-weather boat is state of the art in terms of nautical sophistication. We always need to bear in mind that the service is manned by men and women who volunteer as crew members and who are prepared to take to the sea on a rescue mission in the most appalling weather conditions. Nothing will deter them in a real-life threatening emergency.

‘It is so important to remember that this incredible service is funded by voluntary donations. This year Covid-19 has meant the cancellation of the annual Lifeboat Day which is a significant fundraising event for the RNLI so next time you see that lifeboat box on a shop counter – be generous.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Tramore RNLI’s lifeboat volunteers were tasked to the aid of a female swimmer in difficulty at the Guillamene cove in Co Waterford yesterday afternoon (Sunday 27 September).

The inshore lifeboat was lunched at 1.55pm and within eight minutes was at the scene, where three people had been swimming near the rocks.

Easily identifiable by her yellow swimming hat, as WLR FM reports, the casualty had suffered a cramp and her companions swam back to shore to raise the alarm.

The woman was recovered from the water and on further medical attention was necessary.

Fergal McGrath, one of the helms at Tramore RNLI, said later: “This was our 23rd shout this year, making it our busiest year to date.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Aberdeen’s two RNLI lifeboats launched minutes apart around 9am this morning (Sunday 27 September) to a report of two surfers in danger at the entrance to Aberdeen Harbour in Eastern Scotland.

It emerged that the surfers had paddled out beyond the surf line and were being swept further and further offshore — the tide and wind preventing them from making their way back.

First on scene was the inshore lifeboat Buoy Woody with her crew of three, having been guided to the precise location — around half a mile offshore at the Footdee end of Aberdeen Beach — by coastguard volunteers ashore.

The two experienced surfers were uninjured but said they were both exhausted, having been in the water for almost two hours. They and their equipment were taken aboard the lifeboat to be returned to shore.

However, with the tide approaching high water, violent surf running up the beach, and the lifeboat RIB loaded to capacity, it was decided to transfer the surfers to the all-weather lifeboat Bon Accord which had arrived in the calmer water beyond the surf line.

Cal Reed, Aberdeen lifeboat’s coxswain on this service, says: “The member of the public who made the initial phone call did the right thing: if you think you see someone in difficulty at sea, always call 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

Elsewhere, on Friday afternoon (25 September) Belfast Coastguard in Northern Ireland requested Troon RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat to assist Arran RNLI with a vessel it had taken under tow to Ardrossan in Western Scotland with its Atlantic 85 inshore vessel.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

A new video from Dun Laoghaire RNLI explains the importance of checking the weather and tides before going out for a walk along the coast.

With Ireland's coastal areas getting a lot quieter as autumn begins and as we head towards winter, this can decrease the chances of someone near by spotting you in danger or in difficulty, such as getting caught out by the rising tide.

So, it’s more crucial than ever to plan ahead — and bring a means of communication to call for help if needed.

If you get caught out while walking on the coast, or see someone else getting into difficulty, always call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.

In other news, the RNLI has joined up with the RYA for a new series of videos with advise on how to safely enjoy being on the water.

Yachts and Yachting reports that the water safety videos — which will also cover topics such as electronic navigation, the shipping forecast and best practice when riding a personal watercraft — will be shared on the RYA and RNLI’s social media channels.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Portrush RNLI has rescued a teenage boy who got into difficulty while jumping into the sea off rocks at Portstewart Head yesterday afternoon.

The volunteer crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat by Belfast Coastguard at 2.42 pm following an initial request to go to the aid of someone in distress off Downhill Beach which subsequently transpired to be a false alarm with good intent. However, once on board, the lifeboat crew were alerted by the Coastguard to a separate incident after a 999 call was made by a member of the public to say a person was in difficulty in the water off Portstewart Head, some five nautical miles from Portrush.

The lifeboat launched under Coxswain Des Austin and with six crew members onboard and made its way to the scene arriving in less than 10 minutes.

Weather conditions at the time were challenging with a Force 6-7 north to northwest wind, some showers, and a rough sea with 2-3m swells. Visibility was good.

As the lifeboat approached the scene, the crew observed a person in the water waving their arms. A teenage boy who was wearing a wetsuit was struggling against an ebbing tide which was pulling him away from the land and out to sea off the west side of Portstewart Head.

The Coxswain manoeuvred the lifeboat close to where the casualty was in the surf and breaking waves while the station’s mechanic donned a dry suit and PPE. A line was then attached to the mechanic who jumped into the water and grabbed the casualty to safety. The remainder of the crew pulled the mechanic and casualty around to the starboard side of the lifeboat as the Coxswain manoeuvred into position.

A line was then attached to the lifeboat mechanic who jumped into the water and grabbed the casualty to safetyA line was then attached to the lifeboat mechanic who jumped into the water and grabbed the casualty to safety

The lifeboat crew administered casualty care to make the boy who was showing signs of hypothermia and exhaustion and was suffering from the effects of shock, comfortable, as the lifeboat made its way back to Portrush Harbour. He was then transferred into the care of Coleraine Coastguard and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service.

Speaking following the call out, Portrush RNLI Coxswain Des Austin said: ‘Conditions were challenging at sea today and time was of the essence. The tide was turning at the time the casualty got into difficulty and the conditions were pulling him out to sea.

The prompt actions of the lifeboat crew saved a life and we would like to wish the casualty well following his ordeal.

‘We would remind anyone planning an activity at sea to always respect the water. Always be prepared, always have the right clothing and safety equipment including a lifejacket or buoyancy aid. Conditions at sea can change quickly and it is important to understand how that affects the area of coastline.

Should you get into difficulty or see someone in trouble, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Denise Lynch, a volunteer lifeboat crewmember with Fenit RNLI in Kerry, has been passed out as an RNLI Coxswain. She is currently the only woman to hold the senior position on an operational lifeboat crew in Ireland and is the first woman to be appointed to the role in the country. Denise began as a volunteer in 2001 and has served on both Fenit RNLI’s inshore and all-weather lifeboats.

Denise became interested in lifeboats as a primary school student when her class visited the lifeboat station on a school trip. From a prominent fishing family in Fenit, as a child, she knew and looked up to the lifeboat Coxswain and decided that when she was old enough she would join the lifeboat crew. The middle of six children, Denise (37) is the only one of her family to serve on the lifeboat.

On her appointment, Denise said, ‘From the day I visited the station in primary school, I fell in love with lifeboats. I know my family and the lifeboat crew are proud of me and I feel incredibly honoured and ready for this new challenge. I have been a Helm on the inshore lifeboat and a navigator on the all-weather lifeboat for years. I think about how we are helping families whose loved ones are in trouble and it hits home how important the work of the RNLI is, along with that of our colleagues in the Coast Guard and other search and rescues agencies.’

While Denise is currently the only female Coxswain volunteering on operational lifeboat crew in Ireland, Helena Duggan, a staff Assessor Trainer with the RNLI, is also a Coxswain. There are currently 155 volunteer female lifeboat crew in Ireland. The charity is looking to recruit more volunteers for a variety of sea-going and station roles and Denise is keen to encourage others to follow in her footsteps.

Asked what advice she would have for other women who might be interested in becoming lifeboat crew, Denise is clear in her answer, ‘I’d say go for it. It’s no big deal to my male colleagues on the lifeboat crew that a woman is in this role, because they know me and they’ve been to sea with me in all weathers. The trust and respect are mutual between lifeboat crew. They know I can do the job and they know I’m there for them, whatever happens. If you’ve an interest, just give it a cut.’

‘The RNLI will provide the training and they’ll know if and when you’re ready to move into a different role. I want to thank everyone at Fenit RNLI for supporting me and the RNLI for giving me the opportunity. It’s very special to the be first but I hope there are many more to come. I hope it encourages more people to volunteer.’

Commenting on the appointment, Fenit RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Ger O’Donnell said, ‘ We are delighted to have a new Coxswain at Fenit. Denise is a great addition to our Coxswain team and has been a valuable member of the lifeboat crew for many years. We are lucky to have so many great volunteers at our station who fill a variety of roles, from fundraising to operations. We couldn’t function without them and they all play their part to save lives at sea.’

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Youghal RNLI in East Cork responded to the pagers today to a report of an unmanned yacht dragging its moorings in Youghal harbour.

At 4.32 pm the volunteer crew launched the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat in fresh conditions and strong northerly winds. The 19ft-yacht had broken its moorings and was entangled in the moorings of another vessel. Once on scene, the crew quickly freed the yacht. A tow was established and the vessel taken to a secure mooring a short distance away.

The crew under the Helm of Erik Brooks returned to the station at 5 pm where with the help of the awaiting shore crew a thorough clean of the lifeboat and all equipment was undertaken in line with the RNLI and Government guidelines regarding the Coronavirus.

John Griffin, Youghal RNLI Volunteer Deputy Launching Authority said:’With the strong wind today the swift response meant that the casualty vessel was brought to safety before any damage could occur. It was a good team effort by the volunteer crew’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Tagged under

Dunmore East RNLI has been saving lives off the South East coast since 1884. Since then Lifeboats based in the village have launched nearly 1000 times and saved over 305 lives and aided 1315 people in distress on the seas along the Waterford and Wexford coast.

David Carroll the son of Captain Desmond Carroll, a former Harbour Master in Dunmore is currently completing a book on the history of the Dunmore East RNLI Lifeboats and the community from which the crews are drawn. David grew up in Dunmore East and whilst moving from the village in his 20s to pursue a career he has always retained a great love for the maritime heritage he inherited growing up in the village. David has spent nearly two years researching this book which is now near completion. The book, which is based on archives both here in Ireland and the RNLI archives in Poole, England, will detail the boats that were stationed in Dunmore and the stories of the rescues they carried out. Also included in the book will be many interesting and unique photographs that have not appeared in public before. The story of the village itself, and its link as a fishing community with the Lifeboats and crews, brings the reader from the earliest times of saving lives at sea in the area up to the present.

Author David Carroll is the son of Captain Desmond Carroll, a former Harbour Master in DunmoreAuthor David Carroll is the son of Captain Desmond Carroll, a former Harbour Master in Dunmore 

David Carroll, author of Dauntless Courage said: ‘“I feel that I have been extremely fortunate to have been given this wonderful opportunity of writing a history of the Dunmore East RNLI Lifeboats and their volunteer crews. As a small boy, I used to see the names of the Henry Dodd and Fanny Harriet on the records boards that were in a small fuel store on the pier. I never could have imagined that one day, I would be researching and writing about these famous lifeboats”.

Brendan Dunne, RNLI volunteer crew with Dunmore East RNLI said: ‘As crew we are delighted to see a book of this calibre been written. It is a testimony to the maritime history of the village and the volunteers who go to sea to rescue people in distress. David has ensured that the legacy of RNLI volunteers and supporters past and present will always be remembered in times eye and that the Lifeboat is an integral part of the community in Dunmore and surrounding areas’

Dauntless Courage: Celebrating the History of the Dunmore East RNLI, their crews and the Maritime Heritage of the Local Community. All proceeds from the book will be going to the local Dunmore East Lifeboat Fundraising Branch to support the saving of lives on our seas.

For pre-orders and further information on the book please see here

Published in Book Review
Tagged under

The Galway father and son who located two missing paddleboarders off the Aran islands last month have recorded another rescue.

Patrick and Morgan Oliver pulled a man from the river Corrib this morning after he was spotted in the water by a pedestrian shortly after 9 am.

The father and son located the man off Nimmo’s pier, and he was taken by ambulance to University Hospital, Galway.

“We were just going fishing around 9 am and one of the Galway RNLI lifeboat crew told us there was a man in the water, so we headed out and located him off Nimmo’s pier,” Patrick Oliver said.

“He was conscious, and the jacket he was wearing kept his head above water, so we brought him up to the Claddagh quay,” he said.

Members of the Galway Fire “Swift” rescue service assisted, and the Galway RNLI lifeboat was also preparing to launch. The man was taken by ambulance to University Hospital, Galway.

Last month, the Olivers located cousins Sara Feeney (23) and Ellen Glynn (17) several miles south of the Aran island of Inis Oírr, some 15 hours after north-easterly winds had swept their paddleboards from Furbo beach out to sea.

The quick response of the pedestrian in spotting the man in the river was praised by RNLI deputy launch authority Barry Heskin.

Published in Galway Harbour
Tagged under
Page 6 of 214

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

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating