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Displaying items by tag: Rio 2016

#SailorOfTheYearOlympic hero Annalise Murphy has been named Afloat Irish Sailor of the Year for 2016.

August’s Sailor of the Month for her silver medal victory at Rio 2016 was presented with her prize by Irish Sailing Association (ISA) president David Lovegrove at the Volvo Irish Sailing Awards gala in Dublin’s RDS Concert Hall this evening (Friday 27 January).

Murphy was saluted by more than 300 of her fellow sailors, one of Irish sailing’s largest ever turnouts, for her Olympic triumph in the Laser Radial class – Ireland’s best achievement in sailing at the Games since David Wilkins and James Wilkinson won the Flying Dutchman silver at Moscow 1980.

That the National Yacht Club stalwart rallied from her heartbreak at London 2012, where she just barely missed out on a bronze medal, with an incredible display on the waters of Guanabara Bay made her success all the sweeter.

As Afloat.ie’s WM Nixon wrote in November, Murphy’s Olympic performance came after a 10-week transformation on the heels of a poor showing at the 2016 Worlds in Mexico:

“With her dedicated support team, she ensured that she’d become a hugely improved sailor, a fitter athlete and psychologically in a very good place, as she took on the Olympic challenge on August 8th with a cool confidence which in due course received its proper reward.”

It was an achievement that rightly captured the public’s imagination, too, providing Irish sailing with the greatest mainstream profile it’s enjoyed in years.

It’s already seen her recognised as The Irish Times/Sports Council of Ireland Sportswoman of the Year, Irish Tatler’s Woman of the Year, the Evening Echo’s Sports Star of the Year, and as one of Rehab’s two Sportspersons of the Year, not to mention her honorary membership of the Irish Sailing Foundation.

So it was surely to be expected that ‘Our Annalise’ would capture the public vote on Afloat.ie, as well as the votes of the judging panel to earn the prestigious award for a second time upon its 20th anniversary – two decades after first honouring that year’s own Olympic dinghy hero Mark Little, and four years on from her first win in recognition for her stellar efforts in London.

Accepting her prize, Annalise Murphy said: “As a kid I learned that maybe I wasn't the most talented, but I worked the hardest and that’s how I handled my sailing at the Olympics, and that’s what I’d advise all sailors to do now.”

Adding that the standing ovation from the ISA “means a lot to me”, she noted that it was “great to see all the Irish sailing achievements here, and that’s what I love in our great sport. It’s not all about the racing.”

Racing is still very much on Annalise’s agenda, however, with the first stage of her Tokyo 2020 campaign set for the Laser Radial Worlds this August.

Annalise’s accolade must also be seen in light of her fellow deserving nominees, all winners of Afloat.ie’s Sailor of the Month awards, and all of whom made remarkable and significant contributions to Irish sailing throughout the year.

Among them are a GP14 world champion in Shane MacCarthy, a Round Ireland record by Damian Foxall, a pioneering Vendée Globe effort by Enda O’Coineen, and youth sailor and future Olympic medal prospect Finn Lynch.

Irish sailing’s next generation was recognised in its own right on the night with the presentation of the Youth Sailor of the Year prize to Afloat’s racing Sailor of the Month for July, Ewan McMahon, alongside the Training Centre of the Year gong that this year went to Foynes Yacht Club, and two ISA President’s Awards – to Scottish Series racer Colin Moore, and Annalise Murphy's coach Rory Fitzpatrick, the latter of whom said of his eventful year: “It’s not just the Olympic result, it’s the inspiration of Annalise’s discipline routine in Dun Laoghaire that drives on our Laser sailors.”

 

In his address earlier this evening, ISA president David Lovegrove said he was “bowled over by the achievements of our sailors both at home and abroad.

“For such a small country, we achieve great things and our sailors are truly inspirational ambassadors for our sports and our country. 2016 was a year to make us all proud.”

But Lovegrove also took time to “celebrate the everyday heroes in sailing who don’t always get recognised by awards and cups – the volunteers who dedicate so much time, energy and passion to our sport, and who share their knowledge and expertise with other sailors.

“From the race officials to the instructors, to the coaches and the mark layers, the safety crews and those who carry out a multitude of tasks onshore: we simply could not enjoy sailing the way we do without you. Thank you.”

Hosted by master of ceremonies Fiona Bolger, chief executive of Spinal Injuries Ireland, along with Lovegrove and Afloat.ie’s own WM Nixon, the evening welcomed guests including members of the ISA Olympic and youth sailing squads, training centre principal, national senior and youth champions, class captains and club commodores, and a number of past Olympians and Sailors of the Year.

Among the crowd were the Royal Cork's Sally O’Leary and her husband Anthony, 2010's Sailor of the Year, who are looking forward to the club’s dinghy fest, along with a band of club mates including Gavin Deane, Admiral John Roche and Rear Admiral Kieran O'Connell and Tom Durcan, who has just welcomed home his son Johnny from Australia, and Ted Crosbie who recently retired from racing.

Brian O’Sullivan and Francis Clifford represented Tralee Bay Sailing Club in the audience this evening, while Paddy Boyd, who was returned from a stint as CEO of Sail Canada, was also present, as were Chris and Sandra Moore of the Dublin Bay Sailing Club, Peter Ryan of ISORA, ICRA Commodore Simon McGibney from Foynes Yacht Club, and Martin McCarthy of Annalise’s home club, the National YC in Dun Laoghaire.

Others in attendance included Cormac Devlin, Cathaoirleach of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, and Sport Ireland chief executive John Treacy.

Published in News Update

#Rowing - Paul and Gary O’Donovan were last night named Team of the Year at the RTÉ Sport Awards, as RTÉ News reports.

The Olympic silver medallists in the lightweight double sculls in Rio this summer captured the hearts of the nation with their light-hearted post-race interview and subsequent appearance on The Late Late Show with fellow Olympic hero Annalise Murphy.

And just like Murphy, who added The Irish Times/Sports Council of Ireland Sportswoman of the Year award to her long list of accolades on Friday (16 December), the Skibbereen rowing brothers (and Afloat.ie Rowers of the Month for August) show no signs of resting on their laurels.

"We’re young yet, we’re only starting out hopefully," said Paul on the night. "We’ve got a taste of success now, so we’re going to capitalise on it."

Indeed, his brother Gary was back in the boat just hours before the awards ceremony for the Ireland Assessment at the National Rowing Centre — Paul only missing out due to Christmas exams.

Published in Rowing

#Annalise - 2016 draws to a close with another accolade for Ireland’s Olympic hero Annalise Murphy, who was named The Irish Times/Sports Council of Ireland's Sportswoman of the Year in Dublin this afternoon.

The Laser Radial silver medallist was Sportswoman of the Month for August, the same month of that outstanding achievement for Irish sport in Rio de Janeiro.

And that’s not counting her Sailor of the Month nod from Afloat.ie in August, as well as Irish Tatler’s Woman of the Year gong last month, her honorary membership of the Irish Sailing Foundation, the Sports Star of the Year Honour at last night's Echo Sports Awards, and a share of Rehab’s Sportsperson of the Year Award.

The last one she couldn’t accept in person as she enjoyed a well-earned break, dabbling in her ‘hobby’ of Moth sailing at competition level in Bermuda.

That dedication to her craft — which included a 24-hour whirlwind round trip to bring home her medal-winning dinghy — is what we’ve come to expect from our Annalise over the years.

And this latest award shows how the rest of Ireland’s sporting world is catching on. Well done, Annalise!

More from David O'Brien in the Irish Times HERE

Published in Annalise Murphy

#Annalise - After a whirlwind 24-hour round trip by ferry and road to Britain this week, Annalise Murphy has returned to Ireland with the boat she sailed to a silver medal at this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio.

The idea of taking ownership of the historic Laser Radial dinghy was first mooted by our own WM Nixon back in August, and quickly gathered pace as Jim Cusask talked up the notion for the Irish Independent.

Here’s hoping Annalise and team have plans to let the public get a closer look at the dinghy she raced to success on Guanabara Bay at Rio 2016.

Published in Annalise Murphy

#ISF - Rio silver medallist Annalise Murphy is now an honorary member of the Irish Sailing Foundation (ISF) following her incredible Olympic success this past summer.

The announcement comes as the ISF, the new investment support structure for Ireland’s high performance sailing programme, celebrates a year of achievement at every level of competition.

Indeed, Murphy’s medal win wasn’t the only result for Irish sailing in August, with fellow Team IRL members Ryan Seaton and Matt McGovern making their medal race in a final hurrah before their recent split, Andrea Brewster and Saskia Tidey just missing out on their skiff final, and Finn Lynch putting in a strong performance as the youngest in his class in preparation for a medal challenge at Tokyo 2020.

Beyond the Olympics, August was a good month for Johnny Durcan, Fionn Conway and Ronan Walsh, who took second, third and fourth places respectively in the UK Laser Nationals, while Johnny’s twin Harry Durcan, with Harry Whittaker, won the UK 29er Nationals in Torbay, and Tom Higgins sailed the first Irish boat to win the Volvo Gill Optimist National.

Earlier in the summer, there was success for Ireland’s girls in the Topper Worlds at Ballyholme, as Sophie Crosbie, Ella Hemeryck and Jenna McCarlie claimed the podium from gold to silver in that order, though the boys didn’t fare too badly either, with Michael Carroll in fourth and Jack Fahy sixth.

Elsewhere, at the Laser Worlds in Dublin, Nicole Hemeryck — sister of Ella — placed seventh in the U19 girls competition, while Ewan McMahon was second among the boys. Nicole was also second in the under 19s( 13th overall) at the under 21 worlds in Kiel, Germany.

And even earlier in the year, there was a bronze medal for Dougie Elmes and Colin O'Sullivan at the ISAF 420 Youth Worlds in Malaysia, the first ever podium for Ireland in that competition.

Currently all development teams in the Laser, Laser Radial and 49er have moved to Cadiz to escape the cold ahead of January’s annual World Cup in Miami, with further training camps to follow in Spain and Malta in February and March.

But the year isn’t over yet, as Ireland will be represented by Nicole Hemeryck and Johnny Durcan at the Youth Worlds in New Zealand from 14-20 December.

Looking at the longer term, ISA performance director James O’Callaghan will be on hand at a Performance Pathway information meeting at the Royal Cork this Wednesday 30 November where he will discuss, among other things, the results of his recent fact-finding mission to Tokyo.

O’Callaghan was gathering intel on the sailing venue at Enoshima with a view to Team IRL establishing an early base there — identified as one of the keys to Annalise’s medal finish this summer. That will be especially important at Tokyo 2020, where temperatures and humidity will be significantly higher than they were in Rio.

Published in News Update

#AnnaliseMurphy - Congratulations once again to Annalise Murphy who was named Irish Tatler Woman of the Year at the magazine’s annual awards in Dublin last weekend, as Evoke.ie reports.

The prize is yet another appropriate tribute to the 26-year-old Laser Radial sailor’s convincing silver-winning performance at this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio.

But the National YC sailor was humble about the honour on Twitter, saying that it was “amazing to be in a room of so many inspirational women”.

Murphy was named Afloat.ie’s Sailor of the Month for August in recognition of her world-beating success on Guanabara Bay, four years after her heartbreak in London.

Published in Annalise Murphy

#AnnaliseMurphy - Barely a month after her silver medal victory at the Rio Olympics and Annalise Murphy, The Irish Times' Sportswoman of the Month for August, is already back on the water.

This time, however, it was the foiling Moth she describes as her hobby compared to the "day job" of the Laser Radial she sailed to a podium finish in Rio's Guanabara Bay on 16 August.

Murphy – who was also named Afloat.ie's Sailor of the Month for August – tells Mary Hannigan how she still wakes up feeling like her incredible achievement was a dream - though her newfound fame has certainly changed her everyday life as fans approach with their congratulations.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Annalise Murphy

#ISA - Annalise Murphy's success in Rio is bringing the sport of sailing to "a much wider platform", according to the Irish Sailing Association's performance director.

Speaking to Bobby Kerr on Newstalk's Down to Business yesterday morning (Saturday 3 September), James O'Callaghan remarked on the sheer number of people of all ages who turned out for the Laser Radial silver medallist's homecoming in Dun Laoghaire.

"That's the first big change: all of a sudden we have a sports star," he said of Murphy, who was a guest on Friday's Late Late Show.

But beyond the media profile was talk of the business of getting her to sailing's elite level – thanks in great part to investment from Sport Ireland, investment that's focused on the sailing classes where Ireland can be most competitive.

O'Callaghan said taxpayer support is "exactly what's needed for Ireland to succeed on the international stage. But it's limited; the sport budget hasn't grown in the last four years."

As a result, private sponsorship – both of the ISA's programmes and individual sailors – remains a linchpin of the sport's funding, while the new Irish Sailing Foundation aims to attract the backing of philanthropists with a passion for Irish sporting success.

Listen to the whole interview below:

Published in ISA

#AnnaliseMurphy - Annalise Murphy has spoken of how the sting of missing out on a medal at London 2012 haunted her over the years of preparations for the Rio Olympics this summer – till she decided to make sailing fun again.

The Laser Radial silver medallist was a guest on last night's Late Late Show on RTÉ One – now available to watch on demand on the RTÉ Player – where she opened up to host Ryan Tubridy about the pressure her experience in Weymouth put her under.

"That medal race in London, it's kind of haunted me for the last four years," she said. "I always had this sort of voice in the back of my head, thinking maybe that was my moment and I messed it up.

"Olympic medals, they're really hard to come by, and I thought, maybe I wasn't going to get a medal in Rio, and that was going to be as good as it was going to get."

Murphy described her training in the intervening four years as a "rollercoaster", in particular last year's test event at the Rio sailing course, intended to see what shape she was in for this summer's games, where she placed last in the first day's races.

"The harder I tried, the 'more last' I would come," she said. "I nearly had to see the funny side of it, [because] I'd trained so hard and it just wasn't working out for me."

Murphy said the turning point was when she realised "I haven't been having fun, I need to start enjoying this again."

As a result, she regained her confidence "and in the last couple of months leading into the Olympics, I really felt like I was having good form and everything might start to work out my way."

Murphy credits her coach Rory Fitzpatrick, sports psychologist Kate Kirby and training partner Sara Winther with establishing a routine during the daunting week of racing in Rio, and keeping her "always in a really good frame of mind, just really enjoying it. Not getting stressed out, when I think of how some of the other competitors were."

But into the final medal race, she says she "suddenly had the fear of 'Oh no, I'm going to finish fourth again, this is going to be terrible.'"

Getting out on the water, the windy conditions gave a boost to the erstwhile 'Queen of the Breeze'.

However, when things got a bit too gusty, and Murphy suffered a number of capsizes, the race was postponed and she recalls: "At that stage I just wanted it to be done.

"I went into that [rescheduled medal] race thinking 'If I'm afraid ... I'm going to lose out.' I went in with zero fear. I was just like, 'You have to go and attack this race and see what happens.'"

It wasn't till she was in second place around the last windward mark, alongside Great Britain's Alison Young, and knowing both were far ahead of their closest rivals, that she realised a silver medal was hers at the very least.

"For it all to suddenly come together at the right time, it was just this feeling of relief," she said.

"Now I can look back and go, 'That was a really good fourth place in London.'"

Earlier in the evening, rowing silver medallists at Rio – and Afloat.ie rowers of the month for May 2015 – Paul and Gary O'Donovan shared their own story with Tubridy from the Late Late Show couch, which is also available on the RTÉ Player till 2 October.

Published in Annalise Murphy

#AnnaliseMurphy - Olympic silver medallist Annalise Murphy has had a passenger jet named after her by an Irish airline, as Dublin Live reports.

But it's not just any aircraft, as its airline's chief pilot is her own father Con Murphy of the National Yacht Club.

A name well known to Afloat readers for his own sailing exploits, Con flies Boeing 757's for ASL Airlines Ireland, which operates both cargo and charter passenger flights.

But it's one of the airline's Boeing 737s plying the charter holiday trade between Ireland and European destinations that's now been rechristened 'Annalise Murphy'.

The touching tribute to Con's medal-winning daughter, who made the Laser Radial podium in Rio after narrowly missing out on bronze in London four years ago, was unveiled earlier this week.

Con was in Rio alongside his daughter earlier this month, but was unable to watch her medal-winning performance as he was fulfilling his own duties as a race official on another sailing course at the time.

Dublin Live has much more in the story HERE.

Published in Annalise Murphy
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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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