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Displaying items by tag: Search and Rescue

RNLI Bangor's volunteer lifeboat search and rescue crew were pleased to receive a donation of £500 from the Bangor Marina Berth Holders Association this week.
Association chairman Martin Wilson said: "Every year our members raise funds for various local nautical charities and this year we decided that the RNLI Lifeboat at Bangor would be one of our worthy causes."
Bangor RNLI operations manager Kevin Byers said that the RNLI "is always
grateful to receive funds, being a charity we are totally reliant on such
donations. It allows us to provide 24-hour emergency cover and to continue
to save lives at sea."
He added: "I would like to thank the Bangor Berth Holders Association for their support."

RNLI Bangor's volunteer lifeboat search and rescue crew were pleased to receive a donation of £500 from the Bangor Marina Berth Holders Association this week.

Association chairman Martin Wilson said: "Every year our members raise funds for various local nautical charities and this year we decided that the RNLI Lifeboat at Bangor would be one of our worthy causes."

Bangor RNLI operations manager Kevin Byers said that the RNLI "is always grateful to receive funds, being a charity we are totally reliant on suchdonations. It allows us to provide 24-hour emergency cover and to continueto save lives at sea."

He added: "I would like to thank the Bangor Berth Holders Association for their support."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Union leaders and seafarers have spoken out over the proposed closure of coastguard stations across the UK as a parliamentary committee begins its inquiry into the cutbacks.
Northern Ireland's only full-time search and rescue centre at Bangor is one of 11 stations under threat of closure under plans spearheaded by Shipping Minister Mike Penning to streamline Britain's coastguard network down to just seven bases.
According to the Belfast Telegraph, officials from mariners' union Nautilus International told MPs at the Commons Transport Select Committee that there should be an "absolute minimum" of 11 stations across the UK, lest there be "grave consequences for safety in UK waters".
British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to rethink the proposed reforms if they pose any threat to safety at sea. The Labour Party has already branded them as "ill-thought-out madness".
The public consultation on the proposed changes is set to close on 5 May.

Union leaders and seafarers have spoken out over the proposed closure of coastguard stations across the UK as a parliamentary committee begins its inquiry into the cutbacks.

Northern Ireland's only full-time search and rescue centre at Bangor is one of 11 stations under threat of closure under plans spearheaded by Shipping Minister Mike Penning to streamline Britain's coastguard network down to just seven bases.

According to the Belfast Telegraph, officials from mariners' union Nautilus International told MPs at the Commons Transport Select Committee that there should be an "absolute minimum" of 11 stations across the UK, lest there be "grave consequences for safety in UK waters".

British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to rethink the proposed reforms if they pose any threat to safety at sea. The Labour Party has already branded them as "ill-thought-out madness".

The public consultation on the proposed changes is set to close on 5 May.

Published in Coastguard
The director of the Irish Coast Guard has outlined the thinking behind its recent €500m deal for helicopter search and rescue services.
Chris Reynolds told Rotorhub that a simplified model based on key critera was adopted when choosing a bigger for the contract, which was awarded to CHC Ireland last year.
"With our contract, we essentially wanted to continue with what we already had, but with new technology," he said.
Rotorhub reports that the Irish Coast Guard formed a Future Helicopter Study Group to discuss the service's needs before the tender process which led to the 10-year deal for five Sikorsky S-92s.
The process stands in contrast to SAR-H, the UK's programme to overhaul its helicopter fleet which collapsed last year.
"If the UK needs to be looking at a new interim contract, they could look at how we did it," added Reynolds.
Rotorhub has more on the story HERE.

The director of the Irish Coast Guard has outlined the thinking behind its recent €500m deal for helicopter search and rescue services.

Chris Reynolds told Rotorhub that a simplified model based on key critera was adopted when choosing a bigger for the contract, which was awarded to CHC Ireland last year.

"With our contract, we essentially wanted to continue with what we already had, but with new technology," he said.

Rotorhub reports that the Irish Coast Guard formed a Future Helicopter Study Group to discuss the service's needs before the tender process which led to the 10-year deal for five Sikorsky S-92s.

The process stands in contrast to SAR-H, the UK's programme to overhaul its helicopter fleet which collapsed last year.

"If the UK needs to be looking at a new interim contract, they could look at how we did it," added Reynolds.

Rotorhub has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard
The British government could be ready to change its plans for the streamlining of the UK coastguard service.
The Belfast Telegraph reports that while there will be no turning back on reforms, concessions such as closing fewer stations and keeping more open 24/7 are being considered - which could save Northern Ireland's only full-time coastguard base from the chop.
The centre at Bangor was earmarked for scaleback or closure under plans proposed by Shipping Minister Mike Penning, But he was forced to extend the consultation period, with a spokesperson saying that "the government is committed to taking all points of view into account before decicing how best to proceed".
Shadow Shipping Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: “We were concerned about the level of cuts initially proposed and are pleased that the Government appears to be reviewing its plans."
The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

The British government could be ready to change its plans for the streamlining of the UK coastguard service.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that while there will be no turning back on reforms, concessions such as closing fewer stations and keeping more open 24/7 are being considered - which could save Northern Ireland's only full-time coastguard base from the chop.

The centre at Bangor was earmarked for scaleback or closure under plans proposed by Shipping Minister Mike Penning, But he was forced to extend the consultation period, with a spokesperson saying that "the government is committed to taking all points of view into account before decicing how best to proceed".

Shadow Shipping Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: “We were concerned about the level of cuts initially proposed and are pleased that the Government appears to be reviewing its plans."

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard
Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 was on hand Wednesday to save a woman seen in the water close to cliffs near the Baily Lighthouse on Howth Head.
SAR Ireland reports that the helicopter was on a training exercise just up the coast in Malahide when passers-by raised the alarm with the Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC).
Rescue 116 sped to the scene and after a short low-level search the woman was spotted and taken to a waiting ambulance at the coastguard base for treatment.
The Irish Times says Howth gardaí are investigating the incident.

Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 was on hand Wednesday to save a woman seen in the water close to cliffs near the Baily Lighthouse on Howth Head.

SAR Ireland reports that the helicopter was on a training exercise just up the coast in Malahide when passers-by raised the alarm with the Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC).

Rescue 116 sped to the scene and after a short low-level search the woman was spotted and taken to a waiting ambulance at the coastguard base for treatment.

The Irish Times says Howth gardaí are investigating the incident.

Published in Rescue
Members of the publuc are invited to attend a major flood evacuation training exercise this Saturday at Broadmeadow Esturary in Swords, Co Dublin.
Rescue and boat rescue crews from the Irish Coast Guard are sceduled to join teams from the Dublin Fire Brigade, the Civil Defence Fire Service and Gardaí in the exercise, which will simulate the rescue of a group of people stranded after a flash flood.
The crews will test water rescue and river search procedures, with an emphasis on general water safety and providing assistance to other search and rescue agencies.
The excercise will begin at 11am on Saturday 16 April and will last for one hour. Members of the public are welcome to observe must must obey any instructions and must not interefere with the exercise.
For more information contact Bill Powderly, assistant chief Civil Defence officer with responsibility for the Fingal Area, at [email protected] or 086 380 5197.

Members of the public are invited to attend a major flood evacuation training exercise this Saturday at Broadmeadow Esturary in Swords, Co Dublin.

Rescue and boat rescue crews from the Irish Coast Guard are sceduled to join teams from the Dublin Fire Brigade, the Civil Defence Fire Service and Gardaí in the exercise, which will simulate the rescue of a group of people stranded after a flash flood.

The crews will test water rescue and river search procedures, with an emphasis on general water safety and providing assistance to other search and rescue agencies.

The excercise will begin at 11am on Saturday 16 April and will last for one hour. Members of the public are welcome to observe must must obey any instructions and must not interefere with the exercise.

For more information contact Bill Powderly, assistant chief Civil Defence officer with responsibility for the Fingal Area, at [email protected] or 086 380 5197.

Published in Rescue
The bodies of two fishermen missing off the Skerries coast since last Friday have been found.
Ronan Browne, 26, and David Gilsenan, 41, had not been seen since setting out from Skerries harbour on the morning of 1 April.
As previously reported by Afloat.ie, the alarm was raised when they had failed to return by 6.30pm and a coast guard search began immediately.
Naval vessels joined the operation as the search continued following the discovery of an upturned hull and an oil slick near Clogherhead, Co Louth.
According to RTÉ News, at 1.40am yesterday morning a fishing vessel discovered the bodies of the two men caught in its fishing gear some five miles east of Clogherhead. They were recovered by RNLI lifeboat.
RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

The bodies of two fishermen missing off the Skerries coast since last Friday have been found.

Ronan Browne, 26, and David Gilsenan, 41, had not been seen since setting out from Skerries harbour on the morning of 1 April.

As previously reported by Afloat.ie, the alarm was raised when they had failed to return by 6.30pm and a coast guard search began immediately. 

Naval vessels joined the operation as the search continued following the discovery of an upturned hull and an oil slick near Clogherhead, Co Louth.

According to RTÉ News, at 1.40am yesterday morning a fishing vessel discovered the bodies of the two men caught in its fishing gear some five miles east of Clogherhead. They were recovered by RNLI lifeboat.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue
The Irish Coast Guard's Kinsale unit was involved in the dramatic rescue of a man clinging to the sheer side of a cliff on Sunday.
TheJournal.ie reports that the man, a 20-something English tourist, had been caught on the beach below at high tide and tried to climb the cliff face to escape, but got into difficulty half-way up.
The man was spotted by a couple walking the clifftop near Garrettstown Beach, who alerted the Old Head of Kinsale coastguard unit.
A cliff rescue expert abseiled down to attach a lifeline and harness, and the man was lifted to safety. He was treated at the scene for cuts and bruises.
Unit officer in charge Eddie Butler told The Irish Examiner that the man didn’t know how he had held on as long he did.
"When we arrived and saw the situation, I didn’t think we’d save him. I think we got to him just in time," said Butler. "The water was raging beneath him. If he had lost his grip and fell in, he would have been lost."
Elsewhere, six people were rescued from a sinking cruiser in the River Shannon on Sunday afternoon following its collision with a bridge in Killaloe, Co Clare.
According to The Irish Times, two members of the Irish Coast Guard's Killaloe unit arrived quickly on scene two help the six occupants and their dog to safety on the riverside.
The Killaloe unit reports that the cruiser was subsequently run aground in the shallows at Ballyvalley to prevent its sinking.

The Irish Coast Guard's Kinsale unit was involved in the dramatic rescue of a man clinging to the sheer side of a cliff on Sunday.

TheJournal.ie reports that the man, a 20-something English tourist, had been caught on the beach below at high tide and tried to climb the cliff face to escape, but got into difficulty half-way up.

The man was spotted by a couple walking the clifftop near Garrettstown Beach, who alerted the Old Head of Kinsale coastguard unit. 

A cliff rescue expert abseiled down to attach a lifeline and harness, and the man was lifted to safety. He was treated at the scene for cuts and bruises.

Unit officer in charge Eddie Butler told the Irish Examiner that the man didn’t know how he had held on as long he did. 

"When we arrived and saw the situation, I didn’t think we’d save him. I think we got to him just in time," said Butler. "The water was raging beneath him. If he had lost his grip and fell in, he would have been lost." 

Elsewhere, six people were rescued from a sinking cruiser in the River Shannon on Sunday afternoon following its collision with a bridge in Killaloe, Co Clare.

According to The Irish Times, two members of the Irish Coast Guard's Killaloe unit arrived quickly on scene two help the six occupants and their dog to safety on the riverside.

The Killaloe unit reports that the cruiser was subsequently run aground in the shallows at Ballyvalley to prevent its sinking.

Published in Rescue
The Department of Transport's latest marine notice pertains to the requirements for passenger vessels in assisting with search and rescue services.
All passenger ships on international routes - including ferries and cruise liners - are obliged to have a plan for co-operation with search and rescue operations should their assistance be needed.
The notice outlines that any plan should be developed between the ship itself, the ship company and the Irish Coast Guard. Plans must also be drilled periodically to test their effectiveness.
Ship owners and masters are also obliged to give an indication of the existence of their co-operative rescue plans by way of SeaSafeIreland (SSI) notification. Should that not be possible, the Marine Survey Office of the Department of Transport must be notified directly.
A PDF of Marine Notice No 18 of 2011 is available to read and download HERE.

The Department of Transport's latest marine notice pertains to the requirements for passenger vessels in assisting with search and rescue services.

All passenger ships on international routes - such as ferries and cruise liners - are obliged to have a plan for co-operation with search and rescue operations should their assistance be needed. 

The notice outlines that any plan should be developed between the ship itself, the ship company and the Irish Coast Guard. Plans must also be drilled periodically to test their effectiveness.

Ship owners and masters are also obliged to give an indication of the existence of their co-operative rescue plans by way of SeaSafeIreland (SSI) notification. Should that not be possible, the Marine Survey Office of the Department of Transport must be notified directly.

A PDF of Marine Notice No 18 of 2011 is available to read and download HERE.

Published in Ferry
The search for two fishermen missing off the north Co Dublin coast has resumed this morning.
The Irish Times reports that the two men, believed to be in their 20s and 40s, were on a small open fishing boat that departed Skerries harbour around 11am yesterday (Friday 1 April). The alarm was raised at 6.30pm when they failed to return to port.
A Dublin Coast Guard spokesperson confirmed that items and debris believed to be from the missing boat were discovered during the initial search yesterday evening.
The search, involving three coastguard units, three lifeboats and a number of local vessels, was scheduled to resume at 7am this morning.
RTÉ News has more on the story - including video - HERE.

The lifeboat and Coastguard search for two fishermen missing off the north Co Dublin coast has resumed this morning.

The Irish Times reports that the two men, believed to be in their 20s and 40s, were on a small open fishing boat that departed Skerries harbour around 11am yesterday (Friday 1 April). The alarm was raised at 6.30pm when they failed to return to port.

A Dublin Coast Guard spokesperson confirmed that items and debris believed to be from the missing boat were discovered during the initial search yesterday evening.

The search, involving three coastguard units, three lifeboats and a number of local vessels, was scheduled to resume at 7am this morning.

RTÉ News has more on the story - including video - HERE.

Published in Rescue
Page 10 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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