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Displaying items by tag: Sanita Puspure

#Rowing: Sanita Puspure and Paul O’Donovan are the Rowers of the Month for January 2019.

 The two world champions turned up for action at the Irish Indoor Rowing Championships at the University of Limerick – and both set new records for the event.

 O’Donovan set a new mark as a lightweight of six minutes 6.2 seconds, while Puspure recorded 6:35.9. This matched her best and also set a new Irish record.

Rower of the Month awards: The judging panel is made up of Liam Gorman, rowing correspondent of The Irish Times and David O'Brien, Editor of Afloat magazine. Monthly awards for achievements during the year will appear on afloat.ie. Keep a monthly eye on progress and watch our 2019 champions list grow.

Published in Rower of Month

#Rowing: UCD and Old Collegians celebrated their world champions at the UCD Boat Club dinner on the campus on Friday night.

Sanita Puspure, who has been with Old Collegians for a decade, received a special award. The world single sculling champion was also honoured by being named on a new perpetual trophy for the winner of the women’s intermediate single sculls at the Irish Championships.

coin tossWilliam Doyle, Trinity captain, and UCD captain Max Murphy look on as Sanita Puspure performs the coin toss for the 2019 Colours races. Photo: Liam Gorman

Puspure also performed the coin toss for the Colours Races, which will be held in early March. UCD men and women both won and opted for the north station. Puspure and her family travelled from their home in Cork for the occasion – and then back again, as Sanita had training in the morning.

David O’Malley and Shane Mulvaney, the under-23 world champions in the lightweight pair, and Andrew Gough, a medallist at the same championships, were honoured. These three, along with Shane O’Connell, formed the UCD four which won at the Irish Championships in 2018. The UCD intermediate eight also won.

In a well-received speech, club captain Max Murphy read out the testaments by UCD rowers recounting what the experience of rowing and interaction with their crewmates meant to them. “People” and “club” were the recurring themes.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The Irish Indoor Rowing Championships at the University of Limerick featured a good collection of personal bests – and Irish records. Sanita Puspure, the world champion in the single scull, pushed the women’s record to a top-class six minutes 35.9 seconds. Aifric Keogh and Monika Dukarska, who placed second and third, also showed the benefits of the recent training camp in Italy as they set new personal best times.

Paul O’Donovan, the world champion in the lightweight double scull, brought the Ireland lightweight record down to 6:06.2. Fionnan Crowley, the big heavyweight from Castleconnell, won the men’s open category – he was the one competitor to break the six-minute barrier on the day.

Alex Byrne of Shandon set a new record in the under-23 men’s grade, while Neptune’s Tristan Orlic won the junior men’s gold with a fine time of 6:16.7. Zoe McCutcheon of Enniskillen topped the junior women’s rankings.

Irish Indoor Rowing Championships, University of Limerick, Saturday (Selected Results)

Men

Open: F Crowley (Castleconnell) 5:59.6, 2 P Boomer (Belfast RC) 6:10.2, 3 G Patterson (Sligo) 6:14.5. Under 23: 1 A Byrne (Shandon) 6:04.6. 2 R Corrigan (Queen’s) 6:09.2, 3 D Breen (UCC) 6:11.8.

Lightweight: P O’Donovan (UCC) 6:06.2, 2 J McCarthy (Skibbereen) 6:17.1, 3 F McCarthy (Skibbereen) 6:18.6.

U-23 Lightweight: H Sutton (UCC) 6:22.4, 2 M Taylor (Queen’s) 6:24.2, 3 N Beggan (Commercial) 6:25.3.

Jun 18: 1 T Orlic (Neptune) 6:16.7, 2 J O’Donovan (Castleconnell) 6:19.3, 3 M Gallagher (St Joseph’s) 6:20.1. Jun 16: M O’Grady (Athlone) 6:43.6.

Women

Open: 1 S Puspure (Old Collegians) 6:35.9. 2 A Keogh (UCC) 6:45.4, 3 M Dukarska (Killorglin) 6:49.3. Under-23: 1 E Hegarty (UCC) 6:55.7, 2 E Lambe (UCD) 6:58.9, 3 T Hanlon (UCC) 7:08.7.

Lightweight: D Walsh (Skibbereen) 7:17.1. U-23 Lightweight: A Casey (UCC) 7:23.7, 2 L Heaphy (Skibbereen) 7:33.7, 3 A Keating (Skibbereen) 7:42.0.

Jun 18: 1 Z McCutcheon (Enniskillen) 7:12.4, C Kirwan (St Michael’s) 7:15.0, 3 R O’Donoghue (Killorglin) 7:15.1. Jun 16: A Moloney (Commercial) 7:30.2.

UCC were the top club overall.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The Afloat Rower of the Year 2018 is Sanita Puspure. The Old Collegians competitor proved herself the best single sculler in the world. She took silver at the World Cup regattas in Belgrade and Lucerne, running the defending champion, Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland, extremely close (.23 of a second) in the Lucerne final.

Working with coach Dave McKenzie McGowan and high performance director Antonio Maurogiovanni, who set a very heavy training schedule, Puspure decided to miss the European Championships so that she could concentrate on the World Championships in Plovdiv in Bulgaria in September. She won her heat and semi-final, and then overcame bobbly conditions in the final. She established a clearwater lead. Gmelin came back at her in the third quarter; Puspure was not for catching. She won by two lengths of clear water.

Sanita Gmelin glum Lobnig podiumSanita Puspure (centre) smiles after being presented with her gold medal at the World Championships. Jeannine Gmelin (silver) is on the left and Magdalena Lobnig (bronze) on the right. Photo: Liam Gorman

Sanita with Dani and Patrick and gold medalSanita with Daniella and Patrick, her children, after winning World Championship gold. Photo: Liam Gorman

The win was a twin highlight at the end of a wonderful year. The O’Donovan brothers, Gary and Paul, won the lightweight double sculls gold in Plovdiv, making history as the first Ireland crew to take World Championship gold in an Olympic boat. They overcame terrible conditions and a poor lane draw to win in the quarter-final. This was succeeded by a semi-final in which they looked tired and could only take third. The final saw them in the unfavoured lane six for the final.

Gary Paul podium Plovdiv with Italy and Belgium 1Ireland gold medalists Gary and Paul O'Donovan on the World Championship podium in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, with Italy (silver) and Belgium (bronze)

In a stirring race, the Skibbereen men saw off Italy. They would describe it as the best race they had ever rowed. They were outstanding in their steadiness, and over the second, third and fourth quarters they were the fastest crew. They took over the lead from Italy between 1200 and 1500 metres and rebuffed the charge by the men in blue to win by three-quarters of a length.

 In a first for a women’s sweep crew from this island in an Olympic boat, Aifric Keogh and Emily Hegarty, the Ireland women’s pair, also reached an A Final at the World Championships. The World Under-23 Championships were also laden with success, with four A Finalists, gold for Shane Mulvaney and David O’Malley in the lightweight pair and silver for Miles Taylor, Niall Beggan, Ryan Ballantine and Andrew Goff in the lightweight quadruple.

 Come the Fisa World Rowing Awards, Dominic Casey was honoured as the coach of the year.  

 In a season of success, Sanita Puspure is the Afloat Rower of the Year.

Afloat Rower of the Month awards: The judging panel is made up of Liam Gorman, rowing correspondent of The Irish Times, and David O'Brien, editor of Afloat magazine. Monthly awards for achievements during the year appeared on afloat.ie.

Published in Rower of the Year

#Rowing: Dominic Casey has been chosen as the World Rowing Coach of the Year. The Skibbereen man, who coached Paul and Gary O’Donovan to a World Championship gold medal this year, received the award at a gala in Berlin. He had also been nominated in 2016 and 2017. In these years he oversaw the first Olympic medal for Ireland rowing, when the O’Donovan brothers took silver in Rio de Janeiro, and a string of gold medals for Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll in the lightweight pair. In 2017, lightweight single sculler Denise Walsh also took silver in the European Championships and a World Cup silver.

  Other awards on a glittering night went to the Australian men’s four, who were named the male crew of the year ahead of Paul and Gary O’Donovan, and the Poland quadruple, who took the women’s crew of the year, an award for which Sanita Puspure was nominated.

 The 2018 World Rowing Para Crew of the Year is the Dutch PR2 mixed double of Annika van der Meer and Corne de Koning. The Sri Lankan oarsman and university student, Amidu Silva, won the 2018 Filippi Spirit Award.

 The World Rowing Sustainability Award was taken by Alan Robinson and Schuylkill Navy for Love Where you Row.

 The 2018 Distinguished Service to International Rowing award was won by Borge Kaas Andersen of  Denmark.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland’s gold medallists at the World Championships, Paul and Gary O’Donovan and Sanita Puspure, are the Afloat Rowers of the Month for September.

 The whole Ireland team performed with merit at the regatta in Plovdiv in Bulgaria and there were a number of outstanding placings. The men’s lightweight quadruple reached their A Final, while Philip Doyle and Ronan Byrne finished ninth overall in the men’s double sculls.

Gary Paul podium Plovdiv with Italy and BelgiumGary and Paul on the podium in Plovdiv with Italy and Belgium Photo: Liam Gorman

 The women’s pair of Aifric Keogh and Emily Hegarty swept into the A Final, one of the real shocks of the Championships. They took sixth.

 The O’Donovan brothers had to battle through a terrible lane draw on the Wednesday to reach Thursday’s semi-final. It left them tired and they made it through to the final by taking the third qualification place in the semi-final with just 1.52 seconds to spare over Poland. Come the final it was a step up; a step into history. They made light of their outside lane with a sweet and powerful row they deemed their best ever as a lightweight double. Italy could not live with it and Ireland had won their first ever gold medal in an Olympic event at a World Championships.

Sanita Podium Plovdiv relievedSanita Puspure on the podium in Plovdiv Photo: Liam Gorman

 The women’s single sculls has been a fascinating event for years. Australia’s Kim Crow (now Brennan) was the star who shone all the way to a golden show in Rio in 2016; latterly Switzerland’s Jeannine Gmelin has been a winner. And now the time had come for Ireland’s Sanita Puspure. She won the heat and the semi-finals with elan, as if impatient to take on and beat Gmelin. She did this despite having to deal with choppy conditions in the final and she clipped a buoy. However, Puspure was never headed from early on, and she won with over two lengths to spare. For seven minutes and 20.12 seconds she was, indeed, dominant.

 Congratulations to all the Ireland teams this season and to the Afloat Rowers of the Month, Sanita Puspure and Paul O’Donovan and Gary O’Donovan.   

Rower of the Month awards: The judging panel is made up of Liam Gorman, rowing correspondent of The Irish Times and David O'Brien, Editor of Afloat magazine. Monthly awards for achievements during the year will appear on afloat.ie. Keep a monthly eye on progress and watch our 2018 champions list grow.

Published in Rower of Month

#Rowing: A big and enthusiastic crowd greeted rowers from the Ireland World Championships team at the National Rowing Centre today. Aifric Keogh and Emily Hegarty, who reached the final of the women’s pair, joined gold medallists Sanita Puspure, Paul O’Donovan and Gary O’Donovan.

The Minister of State with responsibility for Sport, Brendan Griffin, told the rowers and the crowd that he was fighting for funding at cabinet level, while the Cork County Mayor, Patrick Gerard Murphy, made an eloquent speech about how the present team inspire others.

Outside, the All Ireland Youth and Irish Open Regatta reflected the enthusiasm and ambition of the contenders for top spots. Lee woman Margaret Cremen was a convincing winner of the single sculls, while Fintan McCarthy – who was exempt, as he had competed at the World Championships – went ahead and won the men’s single.

Earlier Jack Dorney of Shandon and Aoife Lynch of Lee won the junior singles.

Irish Open Regatta, National Rowing Centre, Cork, September 29th

Men

Four: UCD (senior). Under-23: Coláiste Iognáid (jun).

Pair: NUIG (D Buckley, E Whittle; sen). Under-23: UCD. Jun: Commercial.

Sculling

Double: St Michael’s/UCC (sen). Under-23: Three Castles (jun)

Single: Skibbereen (F McCarthy; sen). Under-23: Queen’s (M Taylor). Jun: Enniskillen (O Donaghy)

Women

Four: Colaiste Iognaid A (jun)

Pair: UCC/Skibbereen (T Hanlon, N Casey; sen). U-23: Bann/Neptune. Jun: St Michael’s A.

Sculling

Double: Neptune/Bann (sen). U-23: Killorglin (jun).

Single: UCC (M Cremen, Under-23). NUIG (O’Connor; first senior). Jun: Lee (A Lynch).

Youth Regatta (Selected)

Men

Sculling, Quadruple, Junior 16, coxed: St Michael’s. Single, Jun 16: Kenmare (Kelly)

Women

Sculling, Quadruple, Junior 16, coxed: St Michael’s. Single, Jun 16: Lee Valley (Davis)

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Sanita Puspure won Ireland’s second gold medal at the World Rowing Champinships at Plovdiv in Bulgaria today. She grabbed the lead in the single sculls final right from the start and never let it go. Defending champion Jeannine Gmelin moved to catch her in the third quarter, but the Ireland sculler stayed strong and extended her lead. She tired a little in the final quarter – and grew her advantage even more. She was clear by over two lengths at the finish.

World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Day Eight (Irish interest):

Men

Double Sculls – B Final (Places 7 to 12): 1 Netherlands 6:05.10, 2 Poland 6:05.10, 3 Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:08.81.

Women

Double Sculls – C Final (Places 13 to 18): 1 Ireland (M Dukarska, A Crowley) 6:54.55, 2 Chile 6:57.29, 3 Italy 6:58.17.

Single Sculls – A Final: 1 Ireland (S Puspure) 7:20.12, 2 Switzerland (J Gmelin) 7:25.93, 3 Austria (M Lobnig) 7:29.51.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Sanita Puspure won her semi-final and progressed confidently to the A Final of the single sculls at the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. While Fie-Udby Erichsen of Denmark staged an early challenge and led, Puspure swept through her as they approached the 1,000 metres. She then powered away and won with two lengths of clear water to spare.

Carling Zeeman was a good tip to join the two in the A Final, but caught a crab which momentarily stopped her boat. Annekatrin Thiele took the third and final qualifying spot.

Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland won the second semi-final from Kara Kohler of the United States, with Magdalena Lobnig of Austria just squeezing out Madeleine Edmunds of Australia for the third A Final spot. Gmelin’s time was just .92 of a second off Pupure’s.

World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Day Six (Irish interest)

Men

Double – Semi-Final One (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): Britain 6:06.59, 2 New Zealand 6:08.00, 3 Romania 6:08.17; 5 Ireland (P Doyle, R Byrne) 6:10.95.

Women

Eight – Repechage (First Four to A Final): 4 Britain (8 R Shorten) 6:04.63.

Single Sculls – A/B Semi-Final (First Three to A Final; rest to B Final): 1 Ireland (S Puspure) 7:23.01, 2 Denmark (F-U Erichsen) 7:30.73, 3 Germany (A Thiele) 7:32.74.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Sanita Puspure punched in an outstanding performance as she won her heat of the single sculls at the World Rowing Championships in Plovdiv in Bulgaria. The Ireland sculler led off the start and gave her opponents no chance to challenge her for the one semi-final qualfication place on offer. She had a clearwater lead by 500 metres and eventually won by over 14 seconds from Fie-Udby Erichsen of Denmark.

 Monika Dukarska and Aileen Crowley looked good in the early stages of their heat of the women’s double sculls, but the race got away from them in the second 1,000 metres and they finished sixth. Canada and Germany were clear leaders through the middle of the race and looked set to take the two qualification spots for the semi-finals. The Netherlands pushed up in the final third of the race and took out Germany, who dropped back to fourth.

World Rowing Championships, Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Day Two (Irish interest)

Men

Lightweight Quadruple Sculls – Heat Two (First to A Final; rest to Repechage): 1 Italy 5:48.03; 3 Ireland (F McCarthy, R Ballantine, J McCarthy, A Goff) 5:53.43.

Women

Double Sculls – Heat One (First Two to A/B Semi-Final; rest to Repechage): 1 Canada 6:54.02, 2 Netherlands 6:55.57; 6 Ireland (M Dukarska, A Crowley) 7:08.79.

Single Sculls – Heat One (Winner to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to Repechage): 1 Ireland (S Puspure) 7:25.78; 2 Denmark 7:39.93.  

Published in Rowing
Page 3 of 8

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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