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Displaying items by tag: Radial

Annalise Murphy's defence of her 2016 podium result got off to a slow start in race one of the 2020 Olympic Games.

Her 35th place of the 44 sailors that started the race in an Easterly wind that never rose above 9 knots will hopefully be discarded later in the qualifying series.

Without the need for full hiking skills, the light winds were always going to prove problematic.

Spain, Greece and Malayasia took the top three spots in a race that saw many pre-regatta favourites struggle.

Murphy said: “I’m relieved to get the first day out of the way, disappointed it didn’t go as I wanted it to. I did exactly what I didn’t want to in the first race, had a bad race, went the wrong way, didn’t stick with my plan, got caught up in a bit of an incident with another boat. I dealt badly with that by freaking out and doing the wrong thing".

Attention to detail - Annalise Murphy's sail reveals a tiny self adhesive lucky shamrock on her tell talesAttention to detail - Annalise Murphy's sail reveals a tiny self-adhesive lucky shamrock on her tell tales

The 'incident with the other boat' happened just before the start of the first race which saw Murphy come together with the Fijian Sophie Francis Morgan, whose mainsheet became entangled around Murphy's boom impeding her start plans.

Rio Gold medallist Marit Bouwmeester (NED) was 21st, while Rio Bronze Medallist Anne-Marie Rindom (DEN) finished 6th. Alison Young (GBR) and Paige Railey (USA) finished 24th and 40th respectively.

There's just a glimpse of Annalise Murphy's second-row start to leeward of Peru (13 boats from right) in the first race of the Laser Radials in the Tokyo Olympic competition. The Irish Rio silver medalist started mid line and recorded a 35th in the first race of her 44-boat fleet, the biggest fleet of the Olympic regatta. Photo: Sailing EnergyThere's just a glimpse of Annalise Murphy's second-row start to leeward of Peru (13 boats from right) in day one of the Laser Radials in the Tokyo Olympic competition. The Irish Rio silver medalist started mid line and recorded a 35th in the first race of her 44-boat fleet, the biggest fleet of the Olympic regatta.  Photo: Sailing Energy

Second race in stronger breeze

The second race was in a slightly stronger breeze from the south and Annalise made big gains on the second beat which she maintained to finish in 12th place to lie 23rd overall.

Gemany leads, with Rio Bronze medallist Anne-Marie Rindom second and Croatia in third. Rio Gold medallist Marit Bouwmeester (NED) improved to lie 18th overall.

"I had a slightly better second race, I was gaining around the race course rather than trying to do damage control which was good. I’m glad the first day is done and I’m looking forward to moving up from here – no more mistakes.”, Murphy said.

With major rival Ann Marie Rindom of Denmark leading this group at the gybe mark, Annalise Murphy rounds just ahead of reigning gold medalist Marit Boumeester of the NetherlandsWith major rival Ann Marie Rindom of Denmark leading this group at the gybe mark, Annalise Murphy rounds just ahead of reigning gold medalist Marit Boumeester of the Netherlands

Few would have predicted that Germany’s Svenja Weger would emerge from the melée in first overall, following a solid fifth place in her opening race with a runaway victory in the next. Asked for the secret to her consistency, Weger said, "My coach gave me some really, really good information. I chose to go to the left side which was favoured a lot and which helped me have a good race. And then the second race, I don't know... I just started in the middle and played it from there."

The German couldn’t hide her excitement. "It's amazing. It's amazing. I don't know what to say about it. Like, I was almost crying when I was crossing the finish line, but it's a great feeling. I couldn't have imagined that the regatta would start like this for me."

Much more expected is that Anne-Marie Rindom sits in second overall after finishing sixth and fifth, and the Dane must be counting her lucky stars that she didn’t suffer the fate of other medal favourites. "I’m happy about my performance. It was a solid day. I made a great comeback in the second one, which I'm very proud of. It's not easy at the Games. There’s a lot of nerves."

Rindom was the bronze medallist from Rio 2016. Marit Bouwmeester, the reigning Olympic Champion from the Netherlands, opened her day with scores of 21,14, which leaves her in 18th overall. Five places further back in the standings is Murphy.

While some of the established names struggled with the unpredictable conditions, others seized the opportunity. Two points behind Rindom in third overall is Elena Vorobeva (CRO) who was vying for the front of the first race before being given a penalty for too much kinetics downwind. She came 11th in that heat and then followed with second place in the next.

Cristina Pujol (ESP) had the most thrilling of starts to her first Olympic Games. "I scored a first in my first race at the Olympic Games! I couldn't believe it! I'm very, very happy!"

On the other hand, spare a thought for Paige Railey of the USA who has been campaigning hard in the Laser Radial since 2005. Now at her third Olympic Games and widely considered a serious contender for the podium, she crossed the finish line of race one in 40th, and was disqualified in the next for starting too early. "It’s a rough day for me," said the 34-year-old. "Now I just need to take one race at a time and just do as good as I can."

Typhoon arrival 

As Afloat reported previously, a weakening approaching typhoon should bring stronger winds on Monday afternoon and Tuesday - meteorologists are predicting up to 25 knots for Tuesday.

Next races

Two more races are scheduled each day before a break on Wednesday.

The Radial fleet returns to racing on Thursday with the final qualifying race on Friday and the medal race scheduled for Sunday. 

The top ten boats from the series go through to the medal race.

Overall results are here

Published in Annalise Murphy

Leaving out the first two races of the ILCA 6 U21 European Championship & Open European Trophy 2021 in which she added more than 80 points, Howth Yacht Club sailor Eve McMahon later became the best of the sailors in the remaining seven races, adding only 23 points compared to the 26 collected by the champion.

Undoubtedly it has been a fantastic championship for McMahon — she also claimed the U19 silver medal — and a promising future for the 17-year-old Dubliner who has her eyes set on Paris 2024.

Despite efforts to get racing away on the final day, McMahon was unable to make any further gains in the 48-boat fleet, however, as racing was abandoned in Luštica Bay, Montenegro.

Eve McMahon out in front. On the penultimate day of racing at the U21 Europeans she counted 1.0; 2.0; 2.0 to place fourth overall Photo: Thom TouwEve McMahon out in front: on the penultimate day of racing at the U21 Europeans she counted 1.0; 2.0; 2.0 to place fourth overall | Photo: Thom Touw

5-1-4-3-3-5-5-5-1 was the consistent performance showed by Marilena Makri CYP during the nine races of this Under 21 Europeans, finishing the championship with 27 points and a “5th” discard. Undoubtedly an amazing job that well deserves the Champion’s title.

Marilena will be the ILCA6 Cyprus Olympic representative next month in Tokyo, so this triumph will serve her well in pursuing her Olympic dreams.

The second and third places were for other great and well-known youth European sailors: Chiara Benini ITA and Alessia Palanti CZE. The Italian sailor – 2019 Youth Sailing World Champion and 2017 Laser 4.7 Youth Champion – alternated the leadership with Marilena within the week, and finished finally second with 32 points. The Czech sailor – 2019 Laser 4.7 Youth European champion in Hyeres – completed the overall podium on third with 41 units.

Download results below

Published in Howth YC
Tagged under

There were mixed fortunes on day two for the Irish Women at the 2021 ILCA Vilamoura European Continental qualifier for the Olympic single-handed dinghy (M&W).

Aoife Hopkins of Howth Yacht Club climbed five places to 33rd posting a 6th and a 35th in today's two races.

Tokyo bound Annalise Murphy of the National Yacht Club scored 41st and 7th to lie 35th while Eve McMahon, HYC, is 79th after a 37th and 27th today.

The women enjoyed the better breeze in the later afternoon, but will probably have to put up with lighter breezes tomorrow as they go out ahead of the men.

Full results are here

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy marked her return to competition after a three-month break with a second overall after the first day of competition in the ILCA 6 (Laser Radial) at the Lanzarote Winter Series in the Canary Islands yesterday.

The National Yacht Club ace is on seven points after three races sailed, four points behind Denmark's Anne Marie Rindom who took three straight wins in the perfect sailing conditions that prevailed off the Arrecife coast.

As Afloat reported yesterday, a 39-boat fleet drawn from 25 countries is contesting the 14-race regatta that runs until Thursday as part of its winter training schedule.

The only Irish sailor so far qualified for Tokyo 2021 scored 3, 2, 2 in her boat named 'Ricky Bobby'.

Howth Yacht Club's Eve McMahon counted a 'Did Not Compete (DNC) in race two and is placed 30th. 

Finn Lynch lying sixth

In the men's ILCA 7 (Laser) class, Murphy's club mate Finn Lynch lies sixth overall in a 30-boat men's Laser (ILCA 7) fleet from 14 countries.

The fleet includes Robert Scheidt but the Brazilian legend, who is the holder of two gold medals, two silver medals and a bronze from five Olympic Games, is not having things his own way with France's Jean Baptiste Bernaz leading by four points and Lynch beating Scheidt in race two. 

Howth Yacht Club's Ewan McMahon lies 11th and Tom Higgins of the Royal St. George Yacht Club is in 30th.

Results here.

Published in Tokyo 2020

Light breeze dominated the first Final series day at the 2020 Laser Radial Senior European Championships and Open European Trophy in Gdansk, Poland today that sees Annalise Murphy maintain her 18th position overall in the 107-boat fleet.

Howth Yacht Club teenager Eve McMahon, however, has moved up four places to be within four places of the Rio Silver Medalist in 22nd overall. Aoife Hopkins, also of Howth, lies 30th.

Howth Yacht Club's Aoife Hopkins Photo: Thom TouwHowth Yacht Club's Aoife Hopkins Photo: Thom Touw

Murphy says she is enjoying the regatta and its efficient organisation when she is interviewed briefly in the day 3 video highlights below, scrub to 0.13, 1.01 and 1.49 on the timeline to hear the Irish star. 

Reigning 2019 European champion Anne Marie Rindom DEN (1-4-1-1-2-2-7) shows determined to repeat the title, although scoring her worst race today on the single race contested, leading the Radial Women’s championship with 11 points.

Polish sailor Agata Barwinska POL (22-1-3-4-2-8-2) is also determined to fight for that Gold medal, scoring a great result today on very difficult conditions and following the leader just 9 points behind.

Third place is now for consistent 2018 World champion Emma Plasschaert BEL (7-5-4-5-11-4-6) with 31.

2020 World champion and overnight second Marit Bouwmeester NED (2-3-2-7-23-3-20) is fourth now with 37, escorted by her teammates Maxime Jonker NED –41 pt– and Mirthe Akkerman NED –44 pt– on 5th and 6th.

Greek sailor Vasileia Karachaliou GRE has enter the top 10 now after winning the race today and holds the seventh position with 45.

The second day of finals racing continues tomorrow and the championships conclude on Tuesday.

Results here

Published in Tokyo 2020

Its gold fleet (or top 50% of the 107-boat fleet) for all three of Ireland’s female Radials sailors at the 2020 Laser Senior European Championships and Open European Trophy in Gdansk, Poland.

There’s little doubt Annalise Murphy, a former winner of this event in 2013, would have hoped for better than her current 18th overall as the fleet progresses to the final rounds of the championships tomorrow. A dip in performance in her last two races to give her a scoresheet of 9,5,11,9,50 and 22 means she is a full 49 points off the overall lead.

Murphy is already nominated for Tokyo next July 2021 but such is the calendar in these COVID-times, this Euro event represents the first big fleet sailing since the World Championships last January in Melbourne so it's an important one to register a top finish.

Talented teen - Eve McMahon of Howth Yacht Club is in gold fleet in GdanskTalented teen - Eve McMahon of Howth Yacht Club is in gold fleet in Gdansk Photo: Thom Touw

Joining Ireland’s Rio silver medalist in the gold fleet tomorrow is Howth teenager Eve McMahon and Aoife Hopkins in 26th and 34th place respectively.

Light wind conditions prevailed for the first time today and the reigning 2019 European champion Anne Marie Rindom DEN (1-4-1-1-2-2) conquered an interesting gap today for wrapping the Qualifying series, leading the Women’s championship now 10 points ahead of 2020 World champion Marit Bouwmeester NED (2-3-2-7-23-3).

Polish sailor Agata Barwinska POL (22-1-3-4-2-8) is still on third and only 1 point behind Marit, based on great consistency showed in her last 5 races.

“It was tricky and especially the second race was very interesting with huge pressure differences. I had a good strategy and was able to exclude it so it turned out pretty well for me” declared Rindom after the races.

Talking about consistency, 2018 World champion Emma Plasschaert BEL (7-5-4-5-11-4) now places now fourth with 25 points. Maxime Jonker NED is fifth with 27.

The final series will start tomorrow, where the Radial Women’s fleet will be split in Gold and Silver.

The first warning signal for the Radial will be at 11:45

Results here

Published in Tokyo 2020
Tagged under

Annalise Murphy has dropped five places to 15th overall in the 107-boat fleet of  Women's Laser Radial European Championships after the second day of racing on Gdansk Bay in Poland. 

Howth's Eve McMahon is in 24th and clubmate Aoife Hopkins is 30th. 

Tomorrow is another day of qualifying races before the fleets split for Sunday's final series.

Today was another day of great sailing conditions. A shifty NW breeze varying from 8-15 knots brought much longer waves than yesterday, although conditions were still choppy due to the 'unsteady' wind.

Reigning 2019 European champion Anne Marie Rindom DEN (1-4-1-1) scored perfectly today, leading the Radial Women’s championship with 3 points.

Second place for the reigning 2020 World champion Marit Bouwmeester NED (2-3-2-7) with 7. One point behind her is now Polish Agata Barwinska POL (22-1-3-4) on third place with 8 points.

Murphy from the National Yacht Club will be aware of the gap widening with the leaders which she will need to close on Saturday to have a realistic chance of catching her Tokyo 2021 rivals. 

Third of overnight leaders Line Flem Host NOR (2-3-7-17) dropped to 7th overall (6th European) with 12 points.

Fourth and fifth places for Maxime Jonker NED and Maud Jayet SUI with 10.

Mirthe Akkerman NED and Emma Plasschaert BEL – both with 14 points–, Wiktoria Golebiowska POL –15 pt– and Ecem Guzel TUR –17 pt– complete the European top 10 list. 

Results here

Published in Tokyo 2020

The first day of competition at the Laser Senior European Championship in Gdansk, Poland sees the National Yacht Club's Annalise Murphy finishing  in ninth place overall.

Fresh from victory at Italian Olympic Week, the 2016 Olympic silver medalist is a former winner of this event, sweeping to victory in a near gale on her home waters of Dublin Bay in 2013. 

Howth's Eve McMahon in 15th and Aoife Hopkins in 25th place in the 107-boat Women's Laser Radial fleet.

While the first races were held in ten knots of breeze off the land, the second races saw the wind increase to 15 knots from the same direction.

There's been a tight start to the Women’s championship, with three sailors sharing the top positions with 5 points: Anne Marie Rindom DEN (1-4), Line Flem Host NOR (2-3) and Marit Bouwmeester NED (2-3).

Mirthe Akkerman NED (6-1) is also close with 7 points and ranked fourth overall. Fifth European place and sixth overall for Emma Plasschaert BEL (7-5).

Denmark's Anne Marie Rindom said "It was one of those days where you have to look after the pressure and sail the shifts but still managed to not take to big risks. I finished 1 and 4 and I’m very happy about how it went. I’m coming back after a long time with an injury and just enjoying racing again "

Silvia Zennaro ITA, Murphy Ecem Guzel TUR and Pia Kuhlmann GER complete the European provisional top 10.

Sarah Douglas CAN is the only non-European sailor among the first competitors, holding the fifth place on rank.

Racing continues tomorrow.

Results here

Published in Tokyo 2020

A cut-short Olympic trial in the women's Laser Radial class has handed trials leader and Rio silver medalist Annalise Murphy selection for the Tokyo Olympics as Afloat reports here. News of this week's decision, however, has left two of the trialists, Aoife Hopkins and Aisling Keller, 'upset' and 'devasted' and questioning why the decision was ratified by the Irish Sailing board with the postponed Olympic Games still over a year away.

A third trialist, Irish Sailing Academy sailor Eve McMahon, says the circumstances of COVID-19 could not be foreseen and the trial, in so far as it went, was a 'tremendous experience' for her.

The remaining two Olympic trials events have been cancelled due to coronavirus and – as the four trialists were informed this week – selection has been based solely on the worlds from February, an event in which the National Yacht Club's Murphy finished 12th, well clear of her Irish rivals.

Keller of Lough Derg Yacht Club whose performance at the 2019 Australian World Championships qualified Ireland's only boat for the Tokyo Olympics so far, said she is "very surprised and upset that the remainder of the trials will not happen for the 2021 Olympics".

21-year-old Hopkins of Howth Yacht Club gave a similar reaction, "I really can’t understand the decision not to continue with the trials. I am utterly and completely devastated".

Both Hopkins and Keller were quick to take to social media to express their disappointment.

Both sailors say they were aiming to catch up in the next two trials after Murphy took the lead in the first of the three planned trials in a breezy world championships in Melbourne in February.

"Over the past few years, I’ve sacrificed a lot to fulfil my dream of becoming an Olympian. I am devastated to not even have the chance to try catch up to Annalise or Aoife over two more regattas, Keller says.

A third trialist, McMahon of Howth Yacht Club, current Gold Medal holder in the Laser Radial U17s World League after success in Canada joined the trial series at Christmas and told Afloat of the 'amazing opportunity to sail and train with the Olympic Radial Development Team'.

Read the full comments below

Team manager James O'Callaghan says "Annalise’s performance in the 2020 Worlds made her a clear favourite to win the scheduled trials. By nominating her now the Irish Sailing Board have ensured that team preparations can move focus to the Olympics rather than preparing for domestic trials”. He went on to say: “for sure this is tough on Aoife but she is still very young and can benefit massively from team training planned in Tokyo".

Murphy who returned to the Radial after failing to qualify for Tokyo in the 49erFX dinghy made an immediate impact on the Radial fleet, coming close to winning the Melbourne Worlds before finishing 12th after taking two penalties in final races.

Radial Reaction

Laser Radial sailor Aisling Keller Aisling Keller - surprised and upset that the remainder of the trials will not happen for the 2021 Olympics

Aisling Keller: “On Monday I got a courtesy phone call to be informed that The Olympic spot had been given to Annalise. I am very surprised and upset that the remainder of the trials will not happen for the 2021 Olympics. Over the past few years, I’ve sacrificed a lot to fulfil my dream of becoming an Olympian. I am devastated to not even have the chance to try catch up to Annalise or Aoife over two more regattas. I was planning on doing these regattas independently i.e not with Irish sailing, as I had resigned from Irish sailing in April due to my own lack of progress and my unhappiness with how I had been treated. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my supporters for everything over the past few years, especially everyone down in Lough Derg Yacht Club and my home town of Nenagh".

Laser Radial Sailor Aoife HopkinsAoife Hopkins - taking some time out for reflection and to reassess

Aoife Hopkins: “On Monday I was told that Irish Sailing did not intend to reschedule the remaining two trials events. I really can’t understand the decision not to continue with the trials. I am utterly and completely devastated. I am going to take some time out for reflection and to reassess. A huge amount of hard work, dedication, blood, sweat and tears went into this journey and I will use the next while to decide what direction my life will take. No matter what path I end up on, I will always be a sportswoman and an avid sailor, whether that be big boat or small! I would like to thank my family, friends and all my supporters both from within sport and the wider community, especially from my home town of Howth".

Eve McMahon - Eve McMahon - an honour and a privilege to be training alongside Annalise Murphy

Eve McMahon: “I had an amazing opportunity to sail and train with the Olympic Radial Development Team. Training alongside the Olympic medallist Annalise Murphy was both an honour and a privilege for me and gave me tremendous inspiration and experience which helped me enormously during the run up to the 1st Olympic trial - Senior World Championships in Melbourne last February. The trial selection process was interrupted by the Covid 19 world pandemic, which nobody could have foreseen. Annalise was a whisker away from winning that World Championship. I fully support her selection and wish her the very best of luck in her Tokyo campaign and have great confidence that she has what it takes to bring back the gold medal for Irish sailing.”

Published in Tokyo 2020

A new sailing video of youth Laser Radial star Eve McMahon gives a clear understanding of why the Howth Yacht Club ace was awarded the 2019 Irish Youth Sailor of the Year Award in February.

The video below prepared for HYC members also gives an interview with the rising star who is one of four sailors seeking the Irish Radial nomination for the Tokyo Olympic Regatta, a trial that sees her up against Olympic silver medalist Annalise Murphy.

McMahon had an outstanding 2019 season becoming Irish youth national Radial Champion at Royal Cork in May 2019 before going on to take the Under-17 World title in Kingston, Ontario in August, also impressively finishing 3rd in the overall competition.

She was certainly the in-form competitor at the World Championships in Melbourne in February this year, where she won the Gold Medal again in the U17 event. 

Advancing to senior competition at 15 years-of-age is one thing but Eve has taken this a step further with her involvement in the Olympic trials, a campaign that should prove invaluable for her long-term career prospects on the international sailing circuit, not least for her ambition to advance to Olympic competition level. Eve made the most of her Transition Year by linking up and training with the Irish Olympic squad, battling back from injury and showing a determination and grit that will undoubtedly stand to her in the future.

In a first for Irish Sailing, the 2021 trialists now feature McMahon siblings in two classes with Eve’s older brother Ewan competing in the men’s Laser class and with Olympic qualification in his sights.

Eve took some time out before the COVID-19 'lockdown' to post a video on youtube to tell HYC members of her year and her plans ahead in a specially recorded interview with her other brother Jamie. The interview is below.

Published in Howth YC
Page 1 of 10

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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