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Displaying items by tag: Royal Cork Yacht Club

Royal Cork Yacht Club in Cork Harbour has expressed disappointment that there has not been more clarity on when sailing can see a full return to the water following yesterday's Government announcement on the easing of lockdown restrictions.

RCYC Admiral Colin Morehead told Afloat “I was disappointed that we did not receive clarity on when we can see a full return to our sport".

Morehead said sailing, powerboating and windsurfing are recognised as inherently low-risk activities with regard to infection or transmission of Covid-19 as they are carried out in an open and unsheltered environment.

As Afloat reported earlier, there was a little of concrete in the easing of restrictions to allow regatta organisers to make decisions for summer events.

The Government has announced the phased easing of some Covid-19 restrictions during the month of April.

RCYC Admiral Colin MoreheadRCYC Admiral Colin Morehead

Royal Cork Yacht Club was forced to cancel a range of events in 2020 as part of its tricentenary celebrations, including its internationally famous Cork Week Regatta in Crosshaven.

"We continue to plan for a full schedule of events across the summer albeit yesterday’s lack of clarity is creating significant challenges from a planning perspective", Morehead said.

"I am delighted to see the return of sail training for our Junior Sailors in pods from April 26th and will, of course, continue to promote the support of, and compliance with, whatever Covid19 restrictions are outlined by the Government, Health Authorities and Irish Sailing to ensure we return to full on the water activities for all our members, young and old as quickly as possible.”

The Government says it plans to continue this cautious approach, gradually easing restrictions, while a substantial level of the population is vaccinated during April, May and June, after which, it should be safe to reopen society more widely.

Tagged under

The start of the sailing season with two events in March in Cork Harbour has been set back.

Two scheduled events have had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, both by the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

The first of these is the popular and very well-supported PY 1000 All-In Dinghy Race, which takes its name from the value of the cash prize.

Also cancelled is the keelboat March League for cruisers.

Published in Royal Cork YC

More than 120 crews from over 15 nations are expected in Cork Harbour at the Royal Cork Yacht Club when the 2022 5O5 World Championship is hosted in Crosshaven from 1st -13th August 2022.

This will be the fourth time the club will have hosted the 505 World Championships, having welcomed visiting crews previously in 1959, 1964 and 1982. 

Founded in 1720, the Royal Cork Yacht Club is the oldest yacht club in the world and the 505 World Championships will form part of the club’s continued Tricentenary celebrations.

The 505 has been established and racing around the world for over 60 years. However, combined with that rich history and past success the Class continues to surprise and remains one of the most successful two-person sailing choice in the world.

The 2022 505 World Championships at Royal Cork Yacht Club logo

Once one of the most popular dinghy classes in Ireland, there was a gathering of 505 sailors at the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay in 2019 where the fiftieth anniversary of the staging of the European Championships was remembered.

The class is still raced at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club in Cork Harbour both on a one design and PY basis.

Home of the 505 Worlds - the picturesque village of Crosshaven in Cork is home to the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the oldest yacht club in the world Photo: Bob Bateman

Royal Cork says next year's event is likely to draw the world’s top sailors and past Olympians such as Howie Hamlin (Multiple World Champion in 18ft skiffs, 14 ft skiffs, 5o5s), Mike Martin and Adam Lowry (US Yachtsmen Of The Year 2020), Boris Herrmann (5th 2020/2021 Vendee Globe) and Ian Pinnell (multiple dinghy World Champion). 

Local 505 dinghy racing in Cork Harbour(Above and below) Local 505 dinghy racing in Cork Harbour Photos: Bob Bateman

Local 505 dinghy racing in Cork Harbour

Other notable events in Royal Cork's celebrations include the hosting of the Topper World Championships in July 2021 and the biennial, world-renowned, Cork Week which will take place in July 2022. Colin Morehead, Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, commented, “we are proud that such a prestigious regatta will return to Cork. Our priority is to make this an unforgettable regatta for the sailors and fans, leaving a lasting legacy on dinghy sailing in the club and country.”

The 60-year-old design of the 505 has proven to be timeless, with continued innovation and use of the most modern materials ensuring the 505 class remains one of the best dinghy racing fleets in the world. Image courtesy of 505 International Class/Christophe Favreau

Alex Barry, Event Chairman and 505 sailorAlex Barry, Event Chairman and 505 sailor

Alex Barry, Event Chairman and 505 sailor, commented, “it’s a privilege for us to be bringing the world’s best sailors to Cork. The event is already generating interest throughout the Irish sailing scene and the local fleet is beginning to build. With many members having sailed in the previous editions of the event in Cork, it’s a great opportunity for sailors young and old to come to Cork and be involved. The 1982 event was the springboard for our own Mark Mansfield who went on to represent Ireland four times in the Olympics, this event will inspire sailors of all abilities throughout the country.”

Published in Cork Harbour

The oldest yacht club in the world has noted an increase of interest amongst members in motorboating.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club at Crosshaven held a webinar in response to the interest of members in using motorboats to access areas of Cork Harbour which would not be accessible to keelboats. Seventy members took part and the webinar recording has since been viewed on YouTube by 350 people.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club at Crosshaven held a popular webinar on powerboatingThe Royal Cork Yacht Club at Crosshaven held a popular webinar on powerboating in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman

It was organised by Alex Barry, the club's Chairman of the Membership and Events sub-committee: "We pulled together a list of different spots in Cork Harbour which could be accessed by powerboats. There was good interest. With the impact of Covid and holidays being limited, I think people have an interest in exploring places a bit closer to home and there are areas of the harbour, unique spots that they may not have been to before. I was surprised by some that were identified."

The unmistakable silhouette of Belvelly Bridge. In order to circumnavigate the Great Island of Cobh, you need to pass under this railway bridge. Even small craft find carrying a pole useful as it has got very shallow at the eastern side. Photo: Bob BatemanThe unmistakable silhouette of Belvelly Bridge. In order to circumnavigate the Great Island of Cobh, you need to pass under the bridge. Even small craft find carrying a pole useful as it has got very shallow at the eastern side. Photo: Bob Bateman

The webinar audience was mixed, with members who have cruising yachts, motorboats, powerboats, all interested in more usage of their boats with a family and social emphasis.

Enjoying Cork Harbour in an Aquador motorboatEnjoying Cork Harbour in an Aquador motorboat Photo: Bob Bateman

"The session was aimed more towards the 20-foot and under powerboats which could access these smaller nooks and crannies that they may not have previously considered, but it generated wider interest."

RIBs are a popular motorboat type in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob BatemanRIBs are a popular motorboat type in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman

Members who used powers boats of this size in support of dinghy events and coaching their children into sailing were interested, with the restrictions imposed by the pandemic, in finding extra usage for family activity.

Royal Cork Admiral Colin Morehead's (helming) Boston Whaler runabout that he uses to travel across Cork Harbour from Whitepoint (near Cobh) to the club at Crosshaven Photo: Bob BatemanRoyal Cork Admiral Colin Morehead's (helming) Boston Whaler runabout that he uses to travel across Cork Harbour from Whitepoint (near Cobh) to the club at Crosshaven Photo: Bob Bateman

"It's all about getting on the water, for leisure and relaxation," said Alex."It is definitely not a replacement for sailing or yachts, but adding to the enjoyment of the water. It is something to encourage. For example being able to get around Great island, where there are bridges to negotiate is a particular example.

Jeanneau Leader motorboat cruises past Cobh in Cork HarbourA Jeanneau Leader motorboat cruises past Cobh in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman

"We have discussed in committee how we can provide more activities for members in these times. There is a segment of the membership with a common interest in motorboats and powerboats and that is something a club can pull together to provide a service for them. It's an addition to sailing, not a replacement. As we go through the phases of Covid restrictions being lifted, this is a good opportunity to do a bit more exploring and enjoy what we have in Cork Harbour."

Former RCYC Admiral Anthony O'Leary on Race Officer duty in his Nelson motorboatFormer RCYC Admiral Anthony O'Leary on Race Officer duty in his Nelson motorboat Photo: Bob Bateman

Sparetime, the Beneteau trawler yacht of former Royal Cork Admiral Peter CrowleySparetime, the Beneteau trawler yacht of former Royal Cork Admiral Peter Crowley Photo: Bob Bateman

On this week's Podcast, I asked Alex Barry how the RCYC had begun this initiative.

Listen to the Podcast here.

Published in Cork Harbour

Colin Morehead, Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, which celebrated its 300th birthday last year, has been named as Cork Person of the Month for January 2021.

At the Cork Harbour club's 300th AGM, Colin Morehead was elected the 42nd Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, many of the Club’s planned 300 birthday celebrations had to be cancelled last year. Morehead has been part of the Royal Cork all of his life, following in the footsteps of generations of his family before him. Upon receiving the title of Admiral, Colin outlined his wish to develop a five-year plan for the club, along with the development of a new sustainability plan for the club which underpins all of the club’s activities. As Admiral, Colin’s passion and dedication to the club has become ever more prominent, as he has worked to successfully maintain and grow the institution that is the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Additionally, Morehead has ambitions to secure an additional European or World Championship event to be run at the club by 2023.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) is based in Crosshaven, Cork, and is the world's oldest yacht club, founded in 1720. The Royal Cork Yacht Club is one of the World’s leading Yacht Clubs and is in the forefront of all branches of sailing activity. The members of the RCYC are the organisers of the biennial Cork Week, widely regarded as Europe’s premier sailing event. The club has hosted many National, European & World Championships, putting Cork on the map for its sailing prowess. Its members compete at the highest level in all branches of sailing, and the club has a number of World, Olympic, Continental and national sailors among its membership.

Speaking on his success Admiral Colin Morehead said, “To be named as Cork Person of the Month is an honour. Having been involved with the Royal Cork Yacht Club all my life it is truly rewarding to receive this accolade. But nothing that I have done at the club could have been achieved without the support and dedication of the staff and the club's incredible committee’s and volunteers. Volunteers give of their time and services freely and they are held with the utmost regard at all times by all club members.”

Awards organiser Manus O’Callaghan said, “The Royal Cork Yacht Club has always been a place of enormous importance for Cork sailing enthusiasts. With the committed and passionate Colin Morehead as Admiral, the club will no doubt go from strength to strength, over the next 300 years. RCYC, as the oldest yacht club in the world in one of the great harbours of the world, is something all Cork can be proud of. "

Colin Morehead, who was nominated for this award by Barry and Carmel Woods and others, name will now go forward for possible selection as Cork Person of the Year, with the other Persons of the Month chosen in 2021.

Published in Cork Harbour

Less than a week after Irish Sailing said it was 'proceeding as planned' with its Youth Sailing Nationals event in April at Royal Cork Yacht Club, the national governing body announced yesterday it was shelving its Easter date for Cork Harbour and postponing the event due to ongoing COVID restrictions.

Such are the times we live in that the 2021 sailing fixture list is now subject to change. Racing for 29ers, 420s, Toppers, Laser 4.7, and Laser Radial will now be held at Royal Cork from 28-31 October.

Irish Sailing coach Sean Evans said “We could see during the month that the numbers weren’t coming down quickly enough and that Level 5 restrictions would be likely to continue. That’s why we had already planned in an alternative October date. Now that the longer restrictions are confirmed, we’re putting this new plan in place".

Irish Optimist Trials

Meanwhile, the Irish Optimist Trials, that normally formed part of the Youth Nationals regatta, will race separately in May at the Royal St. George Yacht Club as Afloat reported here. While COVID lockdown has restricted plans for pre-trials training, coach Peter Fagan has been updating on the Dun Laoghaire Optimist Group 'DOGs' programme here.

The Irish youth sailing nationals move follows a similar move in the UK where the RYA has moved its Easter Youth Nationals at Plymouth to August.

Published in Royal Cork YC

It is time to look at renewing club memberships. With lockdown continuing and no certainty about when the country will "re-open", renewals are easy to forget. But clubs need them and many saw a reduction and slowness in paying those 'dues' last year. Understandable, with so much pressure and uncertainty around, but our clubs are the heart of our sport and need support and financial assurance.

They also need volunteers, and the importance of volunteerism has been highlighted by the Admiral of the world's oldest yacht club, the Royal Cork at Crosshaven.

Colin Morehead, an active member of that club for over 45 years, has reflected on the past year when the RCYC had to cancel what was intended to be a high profile, international celebration of its 300-year history.

"What a year," he says in a message to members before the club's annual general meeting next month. "Certainly not the one that was planned. However, throughout our three hundred year history, we have encountered and overcome many challenges."

He says that this has been achieved "with the collective co-operation of an incredible membership."

Gifts for members from the Royal Cork Yacht ClubGifts for members from the Royal Cork Yacht Club

"Volunteerism is at the heart of our club, and I call on each and every member to support the club in demonstrating the welcome comradery and delivery of world-class events for which we are so well-known."

rcyc calendarRoyal Cork Yacht Club's 2021 calendar with no fixtures

The Admiral has announced the club's intention "to hold some of the postponed Cork300 events "when safe to do so."

And, the message is accompanied by an unusual gift to members, about which you can hear more in my Podcast.

Published in Royal Cork YC
Tagged under

After a year in the planning, Royal Cork Yacht Club has launched a new offering for its youth sailors for 2021.

The pathway is intended to complement our existing entry points into sailing in the club across dinghies and keelboats. From age 7 to 25, total novice to Olympic ambition, male or female, we aim to provide something for everyone and ensure nobody slips through the cracks. 

The Club's Alex Barry says the goal is simple, “This pathway is being introduced to ensure that youth members of all abilities have the opportunity to further their skills and enhance their enjoyment of sailing and boating, ultimately gaining a varied set of skills and friendships for life.

More from RCYC here

Published in Youth Sailing

Royal Cork Yacht Club seek applications for instructor, senior instructor and coaching positions with the Cork Harbour club for 2021.

The club says there is a 'significant' opportunity for employment throughout the year with Try Sailing, Cadet Club, Junior Sailing Academy, Sailing Courses, Adult Sailing, Women On The Water and of course regular fleet coaching, all of which is dependent on COVID-19 restrictions.

The closing date for submissions is January 22nd 2021.

More on this link here

Published in Royal Cork YC

Annamarie Fegan and Ross Deasy will co-chair Cork Week 2022, Royal Cork Yacht Club has announced.

Deasy who has raced as part of many RCYC keelboat campaigns in the last 25 years, including a Commodore’s Cup win onboard Antix, will chair Cork Week's racing committee. Fegan who has been campaigning the family Grand Soleil ’40 both inshore and offshore in recent years, including a win in this year’s inaugural Fastnet 450 Race, will chair the shore-side events. 

As Afloat previously reported, the date has been set for Cork Week 2022 from Monday, July 11th to Friday, July 15th 2022.

With Volvo Cork Week 2020 having been cancelled as a result of the global pandemic, RCYC is extending its Tricentenary celebrations with a number of significant events in the coming years, including Cork Week 2022.

The 300th anniversary of the oldest yacht club in the world is a momentous occasion and the Royal Cork welcomes members, guests and visitors to join them for world-class racing and shore-side entertainment.

Cork Week organisers have committed to publishing an advanced notice of race by Easter 2021, thus giving boat owners and captains plenty of time to make plans to attend this very special event in Cork which organisers hope will achieve the 300+ boats expected for Volvo Cork Week 2022.

Honorary life member and former Admiral of the Royal Cork, Anthony O’Leary, joins the committee as an advisor for 2022. 

The committee will be supported by Alex Barry in communications, General Manager of the Royal Cork, Gavin Deane, and Rear Admiral of Keelboat racing in the Royal Cork, Daragh Connolly.

Published in Cork Harbour
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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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