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Displaying items by tag: Search and Rescue

A British MP has criticised plans to close Liverpool's coastguard station as 'dangerous'.
The Liverpool command centre - which also covers the Irish Sea - is one of eight that face the axe under revised proposals to streamline Britain's coastguard network that saved Belfast's search and rescue station from the axe.
Wirral MP Angela Eagle said the move "is all about saving money, not safety" and "will put safety at risk".
She told the Wirral Globe: "There’s still 12 weeks of consultation. But there real issues which need to be addressed. For example, a coastguard operator based in Northern Ireland will know nothing about what’s going on in Liverpool Bay.
"We have a huge maritime history and it’s being eroded by these cuts.”
The Wirral Globe has more on the story HERE.

A British MP has criticised plans to close Liverpool's coastguard station as 'dangerous'.

The Liverpool command centre - which also covers the Irish Sea - is one of eight that face the axe under revised proposals to streamline Britain's coastguard network that saved Belfast's search and rescue station from the axe.

Wirral MP Angela Eagle said the move "is all about saving money, not safety" and "will put safety at risk".

She told the Wirral Globe: "There’s still 12 weeks of consultation. But there real issues which need to be addressed. For example, a coastguard operator based in Northern Ireland will know nothing about what’s going on in Liverpool Bay.

"We have a huge maritime history and it’s being eroded by these cuts.”

The Wirral Globe has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard
The decision to keep open Northern Ireland's only dedicated search and rescue base is a victory for people power, says the Belfast Telegraph.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the station at Bangor was saved from closure following a review of plans to streamline the UK's coastguard network.
In an editorial on Friday, the paper said: "Northern Ireland really is a place apart geographically and no-one was convinced that the waters around our coastline from Lough Foyle to Strangford and the inland waterways of Lough Neagh and Lough Erne could be safely monitored by what amounted to remote control if Belfast Coastguard was closed."
The preservation of the service at Bangor is also "a victory for common sense".
The paper added: "From now on every person plucked from the sea or the loughs will utter a heartfelt thanks to those who fought to keep the service locally-based and they will also praise Transport Minister Phillip Hammond for sparing it from closure."

The decision to keep open Northern Ireland's only dedicated search and rescue base is a victory for people power, says the Belfast Telegraph.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the station at Bangor was saved from closure following a review of plans to streamline the UK's coastguard network.

In an editorial on Friday, the paper said: "Northern Ireland really is a place apart geographically and no-one was convinced that the waters around our coastline from Lough Foyle to Strangford and the inland waterways of Lough Neagh and Lough Erne could be safely monitored by what amounted to remote control if Belfast Coastguard was closed."

The preservation of the service at Bangor is also "a victory for common sense".

The paper added: "From now on every person plucked from the sea or the loughs will utter a heartfelt thanks to those who fought to keep the service locally-based and they will also praise Transport Minister Phillip Hammond for sparing it from closure."

Published in Coastguard
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has issued an appeal for funds to ensure its survival.
The volunteer crews from the RNLI go to sea hundreds of times a year to help those in danger off the Irish coast, often in terrible conditions.
One recent rescue reported on Afloat.ie saw the Fenit inshore lifeboat launched to go to the aid of a fishing vessel in Tralee Bay having difficulties in thick fog.
The lifeboat successfully found the disorientated oyster fishing boat, with three crew members aboard, then discovers two further oyster fishing boats also struggling in the fog. All three were escorted safely back into the harbour.
The last two years were the busiest in the RNLI's history, the organiation says, but income is in danger of not keeping pace.
Last year volunteer-crewed lifeboats rescued 813 people from the seas around the Irish coastline, They are ready to go to sea whatever the conditions, and are on call 24 hours a day. But they can't do this without your help.
The RNLI is a charity and relies on donations to keep the lifeboat service running. If you can give anything, please forward it to the RNLI Fundraising Appeal, RNLI Ireland, Dept AA1280, PO Box 4214, Freepost, Dublin 2.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has issued an appeal for funds to ensure its survival.

The volunteer crews from the RNLI go to sea hundreds of times a year to help those in danger off the Irish coast, often in terrible conditions.

One recent rescue reported on Afloat.ie saw the Fenit inshore lifeboat launched to go to the aid of a fishing vessel in Tralee Bay having difficulties in thick fog. 

The lifeboat successfully found the disorientated oyster fishing boat, with three crew members aboard, then discovers two further oyster fishing boats also struggling in the fog. All three were escorted safely back into the harbour.

The last two years were the busiest in the RNLI's history, the organiation says, but income is in danger of not keeping pace.

Last year volunteer-crewed lifeboats rescued 813 people from the seas around the Irish coastline, They are ready to go to sea whatever the conditions, and are on call 24 hours a day. But they can't do this without your help. 

The RNLI is a charity and relies on donations to keep the lifeboat service running. If you can give anything, please forward it to the RNLI Fundraising Appeal, RNLI Ireland, Dept AA1280, PO Box 4214, Freepost, Dublin 2.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
The Irish Examiner reports that three man have been rescued after their yacht got into difficulty near Furbo in Galway Bay this afternoon.
Galway's RNLI lifeboat was dispatched to retrieve the men after their distress call to the Irish Coast Guard.
The men were en route to Rossaveal Harbour at the time when their yacht became tied up in fishing pots.
The Irish Examiner reports that three man have been rescued after their yacht got into difficulty near Furbo in Galway Bay this afternoon. 

Galway's RNLI lifeboat was dispatched to retrieve the men after their distress call to the Irish Coast Guard

The men were en route to Rossaveal Harbour at the time when their yacht became tied up in fishing pots.
Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Search and rescue operations from Northern Ireland's only dedicated coastguard centre are on the increase, the Belfast Telegraph reports.
The latest figures show that there were 50 per cent more callouts to the Bangor-based centre last year than in 2006.
Shipping Minister Mike Penning - who is behind controversial plans to streamline the UK's coastguard network, which could see Bangor either closed or reduced to daylight operation - also confirmed that more than a third of callouts were made at night.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the final decision on the coastguard proposals will be taken by 19 July.

Search and rescue operations from Northern Ireland's only dedicated coastguard centre are on the increase, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The latest figures show that there were 50 per cent more callouts to the Bangor-based centre last year than in 2006.

Shipping Minister Mike Penning - who is behind controversial plans to streamline the UK's coastguard network, which could see Bangor either closed or reduced to daylight operation - also confirmed that more than a third of callouts were made at night.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the final decision on the coastguard proposals will be taken by 19 July.

Published in Coastguard
BreakingNews.ie reports that a Galway lifeboat rescued two men from a powerboat in Galway Bay yesterday afternoon.
The men were found drifting close to rocks after their 19-foot broke down south of New Harbour shortly after lunchtime.
The Irish Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter and the RNLI Lifeboat responded in minutes to the men's distress call.

BreakingNews.ie reports that a Galway lifeboat rescued two men from a powerboat in Galway Bay yesterday afternoon.

The men were found drifting close to rocks after their 19-foot broke down south of New Harbour shortly after lunchtime.

The Irish Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter and the RNLI Lifeboat responded in minutes to the men's distress call.

Published in Rescue
Two fishermen were rescued from their trawler off the Cumbrian coast on Monday morning when it began to take on water.
The News & Star reports that RNLI Workington responded to the fishermen's mayday call along with Maryport's coastguard and inshore rescue team.
Engline failure is being blamed for the incident, which occurred before 9.30am on Monday morning. The trawler has since been towed to Ireland for repairs.
Two fishermen were rescued from their trawler off the Cumbrian coast on Monday morning when it began to take on water.

The News & Star reports that RNLI Workington responded to the fishermen's mayday call along with Maryport's coastguard and inshore rescue team.

Engline failure is being blamed for the incident, which occurred before 9.30am on Monday morning. The trawler has since been towed to Ireland for repairs.
Published in Rescue
Motor Boats Monthly has posted video of the dramatic rescue of four divers from the Wexford coast on Saturday.
The search operation, which included four RNLI lifeboats, an Irish Coast Guard helicopter and shore unit, was launched last Friday night when the group of divers failed to return to shore.
The divers were rescued at 6am on Saturday morning near the Saltee Islands, where they were found clinging to their upturned RIB.
Divernet reports that the accident occurred when a section of tubing at the boat's bow broke away from the hull.

The accident that left four divers stranded off the Wexford coast last weekend was caused by damage to their boat's hull.

Divernet reports that the accident occurred when a section of tubing at the RIB's bow broke away from the hull.

The search operation, which included four RNLI lifeboats, an Irish Coast Guard helicopter and shore unit, was launched last Friday night when the group of divers failed to return to shore.

The divers were rescued at 6am on Saturday morning near the Saltee Islands, where they were found clinging to their upturned RIB.

Dramatic video of the divers' rescue was posted earlier this week on Afloat.ie.

Published in Rescue
The final decision on plans to streamline the UK's network of coastguard centres will be taken next month, the News Letter reports.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the 24-hour station at Bangor - which covers Nothern Ireland's coastline - is at risk of closure under the proposed cuts.
Shipping Minister Mike Penning says the decision will be announced on 19 July, following the report of the Commons Transport Select Committee next week, after which a second consultation period will begin.
He reportedly told a Westminster debate last week that "no change is not an option".
Northern Ireland voiced their opposition at the debate to any reduction of service at Bangor, with David Simpson of Upper Bann saying that it "would have a significant effect on the levels of service and rescue".
The News Letter has more on the story HERE.

The final decision on plans to streamline the UK's network of coastguard centres will be taken next month, the News Letter reports.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the station at Bangor - Northern Ireland's only 24-hour search and rescue co-ordination centre - is at risk of closure under the proposed cuts.

Shipping Minister Mike Penning says the decision will be announced on 19 July, following the report of the Commons Transport Select Committee next week, after which a second consultation period will begin.

He reportedly told a Westminster debate last week that "no change is not an option".

Northern Ireland MPs voiced their opposition at the debate to any reduction of service at Bangor, with David Simpson of Upper Bann saying that it "would have a significant effect on the levels of service and rescue".

The News Letter has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard
Six primary schoolgirls were rescued by an RNLI lifeboat when their canoes were pushed out to sea by strong winds yesterday afternoon.
The Irish Examiner reports that the girls were with an instructor from an adventure centre at Clogher Beach, Co Louth, when they got into difficulty.
Lifeboat operations manager Declan Levins spotted the group in trouble from the Clogher Head Beach station and a rescue operation was immediately mounted. None in the group was harmed.
Six primary schoolgirls were rescued by an RNLI lifeboat when their canoes were pushed out to sea by strong winds yesterday afternoon.

The Irish Examiner reports that the girls were with an instructor from an adventure centre at Clogher Beach, Co Louth when they got into difficulty.

Lifeboat operations manager Declan Levins spotted the group in trouble from the Clogher Head Beach station and a rescue operation was immediately mounted. None in the group was harmed.
Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 9 of 12

Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard is Ireland's 4th 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.

Introduction

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 around 2000 times (40 times to assist mountain rescues and 200 times to carry out aeromedical HEMS missions on behalf of the HSE), Coast Guard volunteer units will respond 1000 times and RNLI and community lifeboats will be tasked by our Coordination Centres about 950 times
  • evacuate medical patients off our Islands to hospital on 100 occasions
  • assist other nations' Coast Guards about 200 times
  • make around 6,000 maritime safety broadcasts to shipping, fishing and leisure craft users
  • carry out a safety on the water campaign that targets primary schools and leisure craft users, including at sea and beach patrols
  • investigate approximately 50 maritime pollution reports

The Coast Guard has been around in some form in Ireland since 1908.

List of Coast Guard Units in Ireland

  • 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

The roles of the Irish Coast Guard

The main roles of the Irish Coast Guard are 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.

Each year the Irish Coast Guard co-ordinates the response to thousands of incidents at sea and on the cliffs and beaches of Ireland. It does this through its Marine Rescue Centres which are currently based in:

  • Dublin
  • Malin Head (Co Donegal)
  • Valentia Island (Co Kerry).

Each centre is responsible for search and rescue operations.

The Dublin National Maritime Operations Centre (NMOC) provides marine search and rescue response services and co-ordinates the response to marine casualty incidents within the Irish Pollution Responsibility Zone/EEZ.

The Marine Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) Valentia and MRSC Malin Head are 24/7 centres co-ordinating search and rescue response in their areas of responsibility.

The Marine Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) Valentia is the contact point for routine operational matters in the area between Ballycotton and Clifden.

MRSC Malin Head is the contact point for routine operational matters in the area between Clifden and Lough Foyle.

MRCC Dublin is the contact point for routine operational matters in the area between Carlingford Lough and Ballycotton.

Each MRCC/MRSC broadcasts maritime safety information on VHF and, in some cases, MF radio in accordance with published schedules.

Maritime safety information that is broadcast by the three Marine Rescue Sub-centres includes:

  • navigational warnings as issued by the UK Hydrographic Office
  • gale warnings, shipping forecasts, local inshore forecasts, strong wind warnings and small craft warnings as issued by the Irish Meteorological Office.

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.

The Coast Guard can contract specialised aerial surveillance or dispersant spraying aircraft at short notice internationally.

Helicopter tasks include:

  • the location of marine and aviation incident survivors by homing onto aviation and marine radio distress transmissions, by guidance from other agencies, and by visual, electronic and electro-optical search
  • the evacuation of survivors from the sea, and medical evacuees from all manner of vessels including high-sided passenger and cargo vessels and from the islands
  • the evacuation of personnel from ships facing potential disaster
  • search and or rescue in mountainous areas, caves, rivers, lakes and waterways
  • the transport of offshore fire-fighters (MFRTs) or ambulance teams (MARTs) and their equipment following a request for assistance
  • the provision of safety cover for other search and rescue units including other Marine Emergency Service helicopters
  • pollution, casualty and salvage inspections and surveillance and the transport of associated personnel and equipment
  • inter-agency training in all relevant aspects of the primary role
  • onshore emergency medical service, including evacuation and air ambulance tasks
  • relief of the islands and of areas suffering from flooding or deep snow

The secondary roles of the helicopter are:

  • the exercise of the primary search, rescue and evacuation roles in adjacent search and rescue regions
  • assistance to onshore emergency services, such as in the evacuation of high-rise buildings
  • public safety awareness displays and demonstrations
  • providing helicopter expertise for seminars and training courses

The Irish Coast Guard provides aeronautical assets for search and rescue in the mountains of Ireland. Requests for Irish Coast Guard assets are made to the Marine Rescue Centres.

Requests are accepted from An Garda Síochána and nominated persons in Mountain Rescue Teams.

Information courtesy of Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (July 2019)

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