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Displaying items by tag: collision

With just seconds to go to race two of the America's Cup World Series in Bermuda Artemis Racing managed by Iain Percy ended up in a pre-start collision with the umpire boat. There was damage, but no injuries... and amazingly Artemis went on to win the race.

Artemis Racing grabbed the lion's share of the spotlight, writing an epic comeback story on Sunday at the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series in Bermuda.

On the race course, the three double-point races had three different winners with Artemis Racing proving the most consistent performer on the day to take the win.

But this was an unlikely victory. Not only did the Swedish challenger arrive at the event in fifth place out of the six teams, but in the pre-start ahead of race two, the team was involved in a collision with an Umpire boat, incurring serious damage.

In work worthy of an F1 pit crew, the Artemis Racing squad stripped off the broken bow sprit and the now useless Code Zero sail in record time. After a quick check for reliability and with less than two minutes to spare, the team was lining up for the next start. Incredibly, they blasted of the starting line with more speed than anyone else and won not only the start but the second race.

In the third and final race, the Swedish team needed to make a pass on the last leg to grab a fourth place finish and secure the points needed to win the regatta.

Emirates Team New Zealand, with an impressive win in race three, extends its advantage on the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series leaderboard.

Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Bermuda Results

1. Artemis Racing: 2 - 1 - 4 - 52 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand: 5 - 2 - 1- 50
3. ORACLE TEAM USA: 1 - 3 - 5 - 48
4. Land Rover BAR: 3 - 6 - 2 - 44
5. SoftBank Team Japan: 4 - 4 - 3 - 44
6. Groupama Team France: 6 - 5 - 6 - 32

More from Artemis Racing:

Artemis Racing claimed a dramatic victory in the final Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series event of the year.

The team headed to Bermuda with plenty to prove, and after racing was abandoned on Saturday, three races were scheduled for Sunday.

Team Manager and Tactician, Iain Percy, spoke of his relief after a trying few months.

"I'm very proud of the team. We had a lot of pressure to perform. I know perfectly well that we have a talented enough team to win these events, but things haven’t gone our way, we’ve hit the odd rock and capsized, and suddenly everyone was questioning us.

To deliver under that heat, and under the circumstances of the crash, was pretty impressive".

Artemis Racing made a great start in race one, and led most of the way before being pipped by Oracle Team USA at the finish line. In the pre-start of race two, with just a few minutes of the countdown left, the team was involved in a collision with an Umpire boat, incurring serious damage, and it appeared that Artemis Racing would be knocked out of the event.

Just moments before the starting gun fired, the team ducked behind the Japanese boat, and as Outteridge turned up towards the line, he was confronted with an Umpire boat heading directly towards him. The closing speed would have been in excess of 25 knots.

“At that point we couldn’t go anywhere,” Outteridge explained. “He went straight between our bows but thankfully nobody was hurt. There was a serious amount of damage to our boat though.”

Iain Percy said, “my first thought was for the safety of the umpires on the boat, we were all pretty shaken up”.

The Artemis Racing squad stripped off the broken bowsprit and the now useless Code Zero sail in record time. After a quick check for reliability and with less than two minutes to spare, the team lined up for the next start. Incredibly, they blasted off the starting line with more speed than anyone else and won not only the start but also the second race.

Outteridge continued, “We owned that start… It was huge payback for all the hard work from the guys who stripped the gear off, checked the boat, and got us ready just in time.”

Iain Percy spoke of his admiration for his Skipper, "There really was no time for pep talks, and we were frantically ripping carbon and rope off the boat trying to clear it. Before we had a moment to breath, it was 1:30 to the start.

I have to say, what Nathan Outteridge displayed there, is why everyone says he’s so talented. I’m not sure there are many people in the world that could have showed that composure and nailed the start the way he did, absolutely incredible".

In the third and final race, the Swedish team needed to make a pass on the last leg, and pulled off a fantastic foiling gybe to grab a fourth place finish and secure the points needed to win the regatta.

Winning the Bermuda event means that Artemis Racing rises to fourth place in the overall series rankings, and puts an important marker down in the venue for the 35th America's Cup in 2017.

"To be the first team to win an event in Bermuda, the venue of the next America’s Cup is just great for our team. We love it here; we’ve been training here all year, getting ready for the main event in 2017. Our results elsewhere haven’t been great but all that matters is how well we sail in this venue", said Outteridge.

It was an important victory for the team who struggled in the first two events in Portsmouth and Gothenburg, and Iain Percy spoke of what it will mean for the wider group.

"We’re a big team, and for every one of the sailors to go out today and perform, is a real boost going into the winter. You can’t buy that; you can’t put a value on a team knowing 100% that they are here to win this competition. Everyone will be working that little bit harder, and we’re going to have that little spring in our step through the whole winter. It’s going to project us towards winning in 2017".

Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda Results

1. Artemis Racing: 2 – 1 – 4 – 52 points

2. Emirates Team New Zealand: 5 – 2 – 1– 50 points

3. ORACLE TEAM USA: 1 – 3 – 5 – 48 points

4. Land Rover BAR: 3 – 6 – 2 – 44 points

5. SoftBank Team Japan: 4 – 4 – 3 – 44 points

6. Groupama Team France: 6 – 5 – 6 – 32 points

And from Team BAR:

Sir Ben Ainslie's British boat finished fourth in this third leg. Land Rover BAR came third in the first race, but endured a tough second round after a technical issue saw them slip from first to last place.

They came second in the final race, while the regatta was won by Artemis Racing who are led by Britain's two-time Olympic champion Iain Percy.

Land Rover BAR are third overall with Emirates Team New Zealand leading.

"It was one of those days. We're still third, we still feel we've got the best team and I believe we will win the World Series," said Land Rover BAR crew member David Carr after his team finished fourth out of the six boats that competed.

The Bermuda leg followed events in Portsmouth and Gothenburg this summer.

Light wind saw racing abandoned on Saturday in Bermuda, which will host the America's Cup itself in 2017, and three shorter rounds were held on Sunday.

The Bermuda leg is part of a lengthy qualification process that will count towards the 2017 America's Cup Challenger Series, the winner of which will take on Oracle in the 2017 America's Cup.

It will be the 35th staging of the oldest competition in international sport which was first raced in 1851 around the Isle of Wight.

Published in America's Cup

#fishing – A skipper who pleaded guilty to charges including failing to keep a proper look out has been fined more than £5,000.

Malcolm Edmund, who is skipper of the fishing vessel Sapphire Stone was charged following a collision with another fishing vessel Karen causing its loss.

On 22nd January 2014, the fishing vessel Karen was coming to the end of a four hour tow to the south east of the Island of Arran, when she was struck astern by the Sapphire Stone.

Sapphire Stone had just brought its final haul for the day aboard and was bound for Campbeltown for the night.

Skipper of the Karen, John Muir said she went down by the stern so quickly that the crew did not have time to get their lifejackets from the cabin.

The crew managed to launch the life raft but in the choppy seas it overturned and all three found themselves in the water. Mr Muir managed to right the raft and they all got in.

Meanwhile, the Sapphire Stone had managed to get alongside the life raft and recovered all the men safely onboard. She then continued to Campbeltown where they were met by the emergency services.

During an investigation by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, it transpired that one of the crew employed onboard the Sapphire Stone had not completed the required safety training courses and that Mr Edmund had been issued with an improvement notice the previous September for a similar offence.

Today (8th June), at Newtownards Magistrates Court, Mr Edmund pleaded guilty to three charges - failing to keep a proper lookout, causing the loss of the fishing vessel Karen and breaching the Fishing Vessel Safety Training Regulations.

The judge, his worship Mr Mark Hamill said that the case came down to Mr Edmund not looking where he was going.

He fined him a total of £5,500.

Captain Bill Bennett, Surveyor in Charge of the Belfast Marine Office said: 'This very serious accident caused the loss of a vessel. It could very easily have resulted in loss of life. Skippers are reminded of the need to keep a lookout at all times.'

Published in Fishing

#Seven people were rescued from the Solent after their boat collided with another yacht and sank this afternoon. 

The five men and two women were east of Bramble Bank when their yacht Ino collided with another named Valkyrie it has been reported.

Cowes RNLI lifeboat and Gosport independent lifeboat rushed to the scene and pulled the people out of the water.

The Cowes-based Corby 36 yacht Ino sank very quickly, according to the lifeboat team.

All people on board were wearing lifejackets and were taken to Trinity Landing in Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

No-one was seriously injured.

More on this story by the Southern Daily Echo here

Published in News Update

#RIBs - Two top young British sailors are currently in the dock over an incident in Cardiff Bay four years ago in which a young girl suffered severe brain injuries.

As the Daily Mail reports, the girl - who was 11 at the time and has not been named - was one of four youngsters sent flying after two RIBs, piloted by sailing prospects Elleni Morus and Nia Jones, collied in darkness while crossing the bay.

The duo, both aged 17 at the time, were in charge of a group of 24 girls aged from 10 to 14 on a school-break sailing course.

Morus and Jones are accused of acting recklessly before the collision that threw two young girls overboard, a third half-way into the water and a fourth from one boat to the other.

The court heard how the group set out across the bay in four boats, two of them powerful RIBs, to return to their hostel after nightfall, but allegedly did not use lights.

It was also heard that the girls in Jones' speedboat had been encouraging her to drive faster and attempt swerves and wave jumping.

Both parties admit piloting boats without navigation lights but deny failing to travel at a safe speed and failing to keep lookout.

The Daily Mail has more on the story HERE as the trial continues.

Published in RIBs
Tagged under

#YachtCrash - A former serving lieutenant in the Royal Navy has been found guilty of breaching international maritime law and ordered to pay more than £100,000 (€117,000) in fines and costs over an incident during Cowes Week 2011.

According to Practical Boat Owner, the court in Southampton today (25 October)ruled that Roland Wilson had broken three Colregs (Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea) when his Corby 33 yacht Atalanta of Chester crashed into an oil tanker in the Solent on 6 August 2011.

It was ruled that Wilson 'did not keep an adequate lookout' (rule 5) when he sailed his yacht into the exclusion zone reserved for shipping traffic during the Cowes Week festival, then 'impeded a large vessel in a narrow channel' (rule 9b) and 'impeded a vessel constrained by his draft' (rule 18) as the tanker bore down on him and his vessel.

The court heard that a crew member on the eight-man yacht jumped overboard moments before the collision with the front of the tanker. 

In the moments that followed the yacht's rigging became tangled on the tanker's anchor which collapsed the mast onto another crew member who was later hospitalised but not seriously hurt.

BBC News reports remarks from District Judge Anthony Callaway in passing sentence, saying: "Fortuitous it was that there was no loss of life. The potential for even greater and tragic consequence is, in my judgement, apparent.

"This was a serious yacht crewed by serious people in a regatta for a serious purpose. It was well equipped in terms of experience and ability to deal with any situation.

"This was not some Saturday afternoon jaunt by some inadequate vessel crewed by inexperienced, clueless and foolhardy people who frankly have no business being on the water at all.

"The yacht took a decision, and as I find the wrong decision, to sail towards the problem into the path of the tanker across a narrow channel. It should have kept clear and in the worst event used her engine."

Published in Cowes Week
Tagged under

#Smartphone - A yacht managed to avoid collision with a container ship off the coast of South Africa recently - thanks to a smartphone app.

As Yachting Monthly reports, Ian Engelbrecht and crew Ibolya Palko were delivering a catamaran from Cape Town to Durban when they were trapped in thick fog not far the coastline.

When their primary AIS system stopped working, Engelbrecht turned on a smartphone app called Boat Beacon as a way to alert them to any other ships in the vicinity.

The app did its job, alerting the pair to a container vessel travelling in the opposite direction, though they were unsure of what corrective action to take due to the poor visibility and not knowing the closest point of approach (CPA).

Despite this, collision was averted - and the incident has prompted the app developers to add a CPA bearing feature to their product.

Yachting Monthly has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#MarineNotice - The latest Marine Notice from the DTTAS reminds all seafarers of their obligations to comply with the International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea (COLREGS).

The COLREGS are the basic “rules of the road” for all seafarers in charge of vessels on the high seas irrespective of type of vessel(s) concerned, and are “fully applicable to all vessels on the high seas and in all waters connected therewith navigable by seagoing vessels”.

New national regulations were made in 2012 and the International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea are now implemented in Irish law by the Statutory Instrument, Merchant Shipping (Collision Regulations) (Ships and Water Craft on the Water) Order 2012 (SI No 507 of 2012). This Order revoked and replaced the previous COLREG Orders, namely SI Nos 29 of 1984, 36 of 1990, 287 of 1993 and 47 of 2005.

In addition, new national regulations were also made in 2012 for signals of distress. The Signals of Distress (Ships) Rules 2012 (SI No 170 of 2012) update the provisions for signals of distress and their use in line with Annex IV of COLREGS. These 2012 Rules revoke and replace the previous Rules, namely SI No 234 of 1977.

Published in News Update

#FERRY NEWS - A Stena Line ferry was unable to dock in Rosslare last night after a collision with an Irish Ferries passenger craft in heavy winds.

TheJournal.ie reports that the Stena Europe ferry was attempting to dock at Rosslare Harbour after its arrival from Fishguard around 6pm when it made contact with the starboard bow of the Oscar Wilde, which was stationary in port.

RTÉ News says that neither vessel was badly damaged in the incident, but docking was postponed pending the departure of the Irish Ferries vessel, which was expected around 11.30pm last night.

More than 500 passengers and crew were on board the ferry at the time of the incident, which occurred amid gusts of up to 35 knots.

The return journey to Fishguard and this morning's Fishguard-Rosslare sailing were cancelled while an inspection of the vessel gets underway.

Published in Ferry

#SHIPPING – On 7th March 2012, Miroslaw Pozniak, the master of the merchant ship 'Union Moon', registered in the Cook Islands, was outbound from the port of Belfast when he collided with the inbound ferry 'Stena Feronia'

There were 51 passengers and 47 crew onboard the ferry and six people onboard the cargo ship. Fortunately no one was injured in the collision, however there was substantial damage to both ships.

The two ships were approaching the fairway buoy which marks the beginning of the main channel into Belfast harbour. As the 'Union Moon' passed the Fairway Buoy, she should have altered course to starboard on to an easterly heading, but unexpectedly altered course to port in to the port side of the approaching ferry.

Captain Pozniak pleaded guilty at court in Newtonards on the 12 March 2012 to breaches of the Railways and Transport Act 2003 by being four times over the alcohol limit. At a later hearing he was also charged with failing to keep a proper lookout and to causing serious damage to his own ship and to the 'Stena Feronia'.

Sentencing Mr Pozniac at Downpatrick Crown Court the Judge said:

"I believe that any sentence cannot be suspended. This sentence makes it clear that the following of the regulations, both in relation to alcohol and also in relation to the charting and proper adherence to accepted routes, is of vital importance. The ending of your 30 year career and this sentence effectively demonstrate that."

The Master was given a custodial sentence of 12 months on each of the three counts to run concurrently.

Captain Bill Bennett, Area Operations Manager (Survey and Inspection) for the MCA said;

"This was a very serious accident. It could so easily have been a dreadful tragedy but fortunately there were no injuries or fatalities. It is a matter of concern to the MCA that misuse of alcohol continues to play a part in a number of maritime accidents."

Published in Ports & Shipping
Tagged under

#FERRY NEWS - BBC News reports that the captain of the cargo ship that collided with a passenger ferry in Belfast Lough could face up to two years in prison as his case has been sent to Crown Court.

Miroslaw Pozniak, 55, pleaded guilty on Friday to the charge of 'excess alcohol by the master of a ship' after the cargo vessel Union Moon collided with the Stena Feronia close to the Fairway buoy on Wednesday.

Both vessels were substantially damaged in the incident but there are no reports of injuries.

Newtownards Court heard yesterday that Pozniak has been fired by his employer. He will remain in custody until 20 March when the judge will again consider bail.

Published in Ferry
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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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