Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: marine science

#Unmanned - Following our previous alert for an unmanned yacht off the Galway coast, the mini-yacht has been found after making landfall.

Kaitlyn Dow's self-built vessel Lancer was launched off the US coast four months ago as part of a high-school marine science project.

The now final-year student at Waterford High School in Connecticut tracked her sailboat by GPS across the Atlantic as it inched towards Galway Bay and Connemara.

It was finally recovered this past Saturday 17 September by eight-year-old Maedhbh Ní Ghionnáin on an island near her home in Lettermore, as The Day reports.

After her aunt received an email from Dow asking for any details of her boat's whereabouts, Maedhbh's family had been keeping a lookout before they found it on a beach virtually on their doorstep.

“In the middle of the day we went walking by the sea, and then we saw this white thing,” said Maedhbh, who also shared the story of her remarkable discovery with Raidió na Gaeltachta.

The news comes a month after another unmanned research sailboat was reported off the Kerry coast after nearly three years in the North Atlantic.

Published in Coastal Notes

#MarineScience - The Marine Biotechnology ERA-NET will hold a stakeholder meeting, coinciding with the launch of the recently completed European Marine Biotechnology Research and Innovation Roadmap, on 12-14 October 2016 at the Hotel Marivaux in Brussels.

The stakeholder meeting builds on the key elements of the roadmap and will feature a wide range of speakers from international industry and the research community.

This event will run from 9am to 5pm on Thursday 13 October and from 9am to 1pm on Friday 14 October and comprises six sessions:

Session 1: Marine biotechnology, an industry perspective. With the aim of stimulating innovations based on the use of marine biotechnology to explore and maximise the use of marine bio-resources, speakers from different industry sectors will describe how they use a range of novel marine materials in commercial applications.

Session 2: Creating a marine biotechnology business. The challenges of building a business venture based on marine biotechnology are the focus of this session, which includes presentations on financing a new biotechnology enabled venture, managing knowledge transfer and intellectual property in addition to case studies presented by two marine biotechnology driven high-potential SMEs providing novel products to vastly different global markets.

Session 3: Supporting marine biotechnology RTDI. Leading industry practitioners will will give their perspectives on the future opportunities to develop new research tools and infrastructure; novel processes and applications in the health, food and food ingredients sectors.

Session 4: ERA-MBT and other EU supported marine biotechnology projects. Participants will learn of the impacts and outputs from some of Europe's major publicly funded marine biotechnology research projects and hear of the progress on projects funded by the first ERA-MBT call for research proposals.

Session 5 & 6: Future research opportunities and setting priorities. Highly interactive sessions will focus on mechanisms to support marine biotechnology and set priorities for marine biotechnology research and innovation.

The launch of the Marine Biotechnology Research and Innovation Roadmap will be held on Wednesday 12 October at 4pm followed by a networking cocktail at 6pm.

The roadmap highlights research and innovation as spanning scientific, technological, economic and societal challenges and sets a marine biotechnology research and innovation agenda to 2030.

It identifies five thematic areas; the first three enable exploration of the marine environment; support biomass production and processing; and contribute to product innovation and differentiation. Two other themes, policy support and stimulation; and the provision of enabling technologies and infrastructure; provide the foundation to support growth in the Blue Bioeconomy.

National and European policy organisations can use the roadmap in developing measures to maximise the contribution of the ocean's bio-resources to the bio-economy and societal welfare, and funding agencies can use it to identify marine biotechnology related research themes.

The stakeholder meeting and roadmap launch is open for all stakeholders and can be attended for free. The number of places is limited and will be allocated on the first come, firstserved basis. Participants are required to register before Monday 26 September.

For programme details, online registration and accommodation information, see the MarineBiotech website HERE.

Published in Marine Science

#MarineScience - The Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme is growing and is now available in Galway, Clare, Mayo, Cork and Waterford, delivered by centres including Galway Atlantaquaria, Loop Head Summer Hedge School, Redrose Developments, Lifetime Lab and Oceanic Surf School and the Marine Education Centre.

The centres will be introducing marine-based education modules to more than 3,000 primary school children during the next school year (2016-2017), promoting the importance of our ocean through saltwater aquariums in classrooms, seashore safaris, marine projects, marine workshops and special science and art projects.

Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan congratulated the centres on joining the Explorers Education Programme, highlighting that “their expertise and enthusiasm for our oceans provides an important platform for teaching marine themes in the classroom and helps to support and reconnect teachers and their students with the marine environment.

“As an Island nation with a seabed territory 10 times greater than the size of the island of Ireland, it is fundamental that we realise the value, opportunities and social benefits the ocean provides us.

"On a daily basis the ocean produces over half the oxygen we breath, provides us with food and supports the tiniest microscopic plants to the largest animals on earth. It is therefore essential that we learn about the influence the ocean has on us and the influence we have on the ocean."

As part of the development of the programme, Galway Atlantaquaria – Ireland's national aquarium – has been contracted to provide professional development training and workshops for teachers in schools as well as assist with workshops for trainee teachers at DCU-St Patrick’s, introducing marine themes into the curriculum.

“Recognising the unique position teachers have to inspire their students, the institute welcomes the opportunity to help teachers generate curiosity among their students to learn more about our ocean wealth as well as realize some of the amazing marine career opportunities,” said Cushla Dromgool-Regan, responsible for the strategic development of education at the Marine Institute.

Details of Explorers Education Programme modules and the centre contacts are available at www.explorers.ie. Booking to take part in the modules is essential and teachers should contact the relevant outreach centres listed on the site.

Centres selected to represent the Explorers Education Programme were chosen in line with the public sector procurement guidelines. The programme is supported by the Marine Institute and is funded under the Marine Research Programme by the Irish Government.

Published in Marine Science

#MarineScience - The Fulbright Commission and the Marine Institute are offering a unique opportunity for an Irish PhD candidate or scholar to travel to the US to research in the fields of marine science or marine-related business sector.

The commission is particularly interested in receiving applications for this award from candidates who are exploring:

  • Marine Sensor Technologies and Observation Systems
  • Maritime Economics
  • Marine Spatial Planning, Maritime Law and Security
  • Renewable Ocean Energy
  • Marine Biotechnology (including Functional Foods)
  • Marine Environment
  • Oceanographic Modelling
  • Shipping, Seafood Safety, and
  • Ecosystems-based Fisheries Management

Fulbright Irish Awards offer funding and administrative support for Irish citizens and EU citizens (resident in Ireland for more than three years) to study, research or teach/lecture in the USA for a period of four months or one semester, up to one year.

The application period is now open with a deadline is 4pm on Friday 28 October.

Details of the 2017-2018 Fulbright-Marine Institute Award to conduct postgraduate research in the US in all fields of marine science or marine-related business sector are available at the Marine Institute website HERE.

Fulbright staff will hold a webinar giving general information on the Fulbright Irish Awards at 1pm next Tuesday 13 September – email [email protected] if you would like to register.

Fulbright award managers can be reached on 01 660 7670 or at [email protected] to answer application queries. Fulbright Ireland ambassadors are also available to give on-campus support.

Published in Marine Science

#OceanWarming - Warming oceans are not only throwing marine ecosystems into disarray, but are also encouraging the spread of water-borne bacteria and viruses around the world, a new study warns.

The Irish Examiner reports on new findings from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which says the world is "completely unprepared" for the consequences of ocean warming, which have already been seen as fish and marine mammal species move into cooler northern waters.

Coming in their wake, however, are tropical pathogens such as Vibrio vulnificus, related to the cholera bacteria, and potentially toxic algal blooms that could enter the food chain – comprising what scientists are calling the "greatest hidden challenge of our generation".

Rising sea temperatures are already wreaking havoc on corals off East Africa in the Indian Ocean, and affecting the breeding success of seabirds, ocean reptiles, jellyfish and plankton – the foodstuff of large baleen whales and basking sharks, which frequent Irish shores.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Surfing - Chasing the most challenging swells is the dream of the world's top big wave surfers, who've made an art of determining where the tallest walls of water can be found.

But now one Irish coastal regular reveals how he turned to science for his discovery of a new secret hotspot off the North West.

As Mail Online reports, Andrew 'Cotty' Cotton consulted with weather analysts and oceanographers in poring over satellite data to find the offshore sweet spot – generating waves that averaged some nine metres, or 30 feet – after the stormy winter of late 2014.

However, the Devon surfer believes the location could produce swells more than twice that size – and may even break the record for the biggest wave ever surfed as set at Nazaré in Portugal by Garrett McNamara in 2013.

Cotty's quest is the subject of a new documentary on RedBull.tv, while Mail Online has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Surfing

#Unmanned - A miniature unmanned sailing boat has been reported off the Kerry coast after nearly three years in the North Atlantic.

The boat, named West, is part of the Educational Passages project by the Middle School of Westbrook in Maine, USA and is one of five boats the Sebago School Alliance sent out in the autumn and winter of 2013-14.

West was launched off Georges Bank along with one other boat by Bro Cote, a lobsterman out of Hyannis, Massachusetts. Several others were launched about the same time off the Mid-East coast of the United States and off the Canary Islands for the marine science project.

“We had hoped the boat would make the complete circle of the Atlantic Ocean. It has and then some,” say the project organsiers about West, which has been spotted 32 nautical miles from the Kerry coastline.

West could arrive in the Kerry area over the next few days or, depending upon weather conditions, may go further northwards towards the Galway coast.

Previously West made landfall in November 2014 when it crashed on rocks in rough seas off Portugal, where it was recovered by local authorities and repaired with the help of local companies and relaunched from Lisbon in June last year.



Four months later, it was recovered entering the Mediterranean, refurbished again and put on a cargo ship to Madeira and relaunched from there on 28 January this year.

The project co-ordinators have asked for assistance to help rescue the boat when it arrives in the coming days

“It would be great if the boat could be recovered at sea or shortly after landing to avoid damage."

Find out more about the Educational Passages project HERE.

Published in Marine Science

#MarineScience - Two marine science projects will be funded as part of €40 million in research funding for 24 major projects as announced yesterday (Wednesday 3 August) by Minister for Innovation Mary Mitchell-O'Connor.

Distributed via the Science Foundation Ireland's Investigators Programme, the investment supports world-class research in key priority areas for Ireland, with co-funding for seven of the projects provided by the Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland; the Geological Survey of Ireland; the Environmental Protection Agency; and the Marine Institute, which is co-funding two key research projects as part of the programme.

Dr Louise Allcock of NUI Galway has been awarded €1,940,000 to investigate deep sea corals and sponges to identify novel natural products in Ireland's offshore waters and increase knowledge of their economic value and distribution.

Dr Allcock also aims to produce predictive maps of biodiscovery potential to maximise the economic impact of future biodiscovery work.

Meanwhile, Dr Philip McGinnity of University College Cork has been awarded €1,709,500 to investigate interactions between wild and farmed salmon, and aims to develop a predictive methodology to inform environmental best practice to secure long-term sustainability of global wild and farm fish populations.

With awards ranging from €500,000 to €2.7 million over four- to five-year periods, projects funded by the Investigators Programme will support more than 200 researchers overall.

"This funding provides an important platform for researchers to advance their investigations and further enhance Ireland's reputation for excellence in sectors such as health, agriculture, marine, energy and technology," said Minister Mitchell-O'Connor.

"Engaging with 39 companies, the programme offers researchers the opportunity to develop their careers, as well as providing industry collaborators with access to the wealth of outstanding expertise and infrastructure found throughout the island.

The minister added: "The alignment of the Investigators Programme with Horizon 2020, the European Union's research funding programme, will lead to further successes in leveraging EU resources and increasing international collaboration.

"The projects within this programme clearly demonstrate excellent and impactful research which is a key goal of the Government's science and innovation strategy, Innovation 2020."

Dr Ciaran Kelly, marine research and development manager at the Marine Institute, said: "We're delighted to partner with Science Foundation Ireland to co-fund this important research to build capacity in key areas such as deep sea biodiscovery, and aquaculture and genetics.

"These research projects will help to maximise the benefits of our ocean resources to society, while ensuring the long-term sustainability of these activities."

Published in Marine Science

#SeabedMapping - The Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance's fifth transatlantic seabed mapping survey launched last Friday 22 July from eastern Canada.

Sailing on the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S St-Laurent, the team will map the seafloor across the North Atlantic between Halifax in Nova Scotia and Tromso in Norway till next Tuesday 2 August.

The marine science team led by Paola Travaglini of Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Hydrographic Service are using state-of-the-art deep-water multibeam sonar technology to survey the seabed and study the physical characteristics of the seafloor, as well as other oceanographic data such as temperature and salinity, to better understand little-known areas of the North Atlantic and build on the work done last summer.

These surveys support the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Co-operation, the goals of which are to join resources of its three signatories to better understand the North Atlantic, to promote sustainable management of its resources, and to promote citizens' understanding of the Atlantic through ocean literacy.

Participants in the survey include Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Hydrographic Service, the University of New Hampshire's Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping Joint Hydrographic Center, and the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Students and early-career scientists representing Canada and the United States sailing on board the CCGS Louis S St-Laurent are writing daily blog posts to chronicle the mission. The team comprises:

  • David Thornhill, Hydrographer, Fisheries and Oceans Canada Canadian Hydrographer Service
  • Danielle Roche, Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Darren Hiltz, Hydrographer, Fisheries and Oceans Canada Canadian Hydrographer Service
  • Elizabeth Weindren, University of New Hampshire's Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping Joint Hydrographic Center Fisheries
  • Chris Hemmingway, National Director of UNCLOS, Fisheries and Oceans Canada Canadian Hydrographer Service
  • David Levy, Electrical Technician, Fisheries and Oceans Canada Canadian Hydrographer Service
  • Paola Travaglini, Hydrographer–In–Charge, Fisheries and Oceans Canada Canadian Hydrographer Service

Seabed mapping was one of the ocean research priorities and challenged discussed by the Marine Institute's CEO Dr Peter Heffernan with other heads of European marine science institutes in Ostend earlier this month, which followed a previous consultation that identified such mapping as crucial for managing human activities in our seas.

Published in Marine Science

#MarineScience - Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan was among the heads of European marine science institutes meeting with Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, at the European Marine Board offices in Ostend, Belgium yesterday (Friday 8 July) to discuss ocean research priorities and challenges.

The meeting with Commissioner Vella follows a previous consultation attended by Dr Heffernan in March, which identified ocean observation and seabed mapping as crucial for managing human activities in European seas and across the global ocean.

The European Marine Board said the latest meeting will advance the discussion on ocean observing and seabed mapping in Europe, set within a global context, by identifying critical gaps in our capability, investment needs and potential funding sources for the future.

“Ocean observation and seabed mapping are essential for managing human activities in the ocean," said Dr Heffernan. "With better observation and prediction capability, we can de-risk investment; we can have well informed licensing and regulation for sustainable economic developments; and we can protect ocean ecosystems and the essential services they provide, like food, medicine, and providing half of the oxygen we breathe.”

The Marine Institute CEO added: “Ireland has much to contribute to these consultations as we have significant seabed mapping expertise through INFOMAR, the national seabed mapping programme led by the Geological Survey of Ireland and the Marine Institute.

"And we are developing key ocean observation and marine research infrastructure in Ireland to advance our understanding of the ocean and to underpin innovation in the ocean."

Mapping, observing and predicting changes in the ocean were the focus of discussion at the Our Ocean Wealth conference in Galway last week, at which Ireland’s first ocean observatory was officially launched.

The meeting with Commissioner Vella in Ostend marks the second in a series and is an important platform for the ocean research community to communicate directly with the commissioner on ocean research issues.

Published in Marine Science
Page 7 of 28

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

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Car Brands

subaru sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton dob
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events 2021

vdlr21 sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating