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Displaying items by tag: sunfast 3300

Cian McCarthy's brand new Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl has been hitting some top speeds in training off the Kinsale coast recently.

In this video clip (below) the Irish debutante is clocked doing 15 knots in 25 knots of wind. In other south coast training runs, boat speeds have hit 20-knots downwind in flat water in just 30-knots of breeze. 

The video shows the new design blasting past Kinsale's Old Head at the same time as the McCarthy crew would have been expecting to be off there if the 2020 Round Ireland Race had started last Saturday (June 20) as originally scheduled. The only difference, of course, is that the crew were heading southeasterly with the Code 0 flying as opposed to hard on the wind if they were in the race due to the strong prevailing southwesterly winds.

As regular Afloat readers will know, the new marque that got a special MGM Boats unveiling at the Royal Irish Yacht Club in March is now being widely tipped as the new Olympic keelboat double hander for Paris 2024 but for the moment, at least, McCarthy is sailing with a four or five-man crew for the 700-mile Round Ireland.

Published in Round Ireland
Tagged under

Cian McCarthy's brand new Sunfast 3300 'Cinnamon Girl' from Kinsale Yacht Club is the latest entry into the SSE Renewables Round Ireland Yacht Race in ten weeks time.

As regular Afloat readers will know, the recently arrived Kinsale-based 3300 supplied by MGM Boats is currently being worked up to speed in her home port in West Cork. And progress appears to be very good. Keen observers saw the boat hit full speed under spinnaker at the weekend when breezes topped 30-knots in flat seas of Kinsale Harbour.

Sunfast 3300

The new marque that got a special MGM Boats unveiling at the Royal Irish Yacht Club in March is now being widely tipped as the new Olympic keelboat doublehander for Paris 2024 but for the moment, at least, McCarthy is sailing with a four or five-man crew for the 700-mile Round Ireland.

Cian McCarthy's brand new Jeanneau Sunfast 3300Cian McCarthy's brand new Jeanneau Sunfast 3300 Photo: Afloat

The Sunfast 3300 has twin rudders Photo: AfloatThe Sunfast 3300 has twin rudders Photo: Afloat

As Afloat sources recently previously revealed, this West Cork entry brings with it the prospect of a UK sistership entering the race too, in what would be a buoyant turnout for the Sunfast range if quarantine rules can be met.

The entry is the 44th and the third Kinsale boat for the ocean classic that has been rescheduled for August 22nd.

Class 40

It was some 11 years ago, when McCarthy launched his previous Cinnamon Girl, a Class 40 yacht, in preparation for the 2009 Route de Chocolat, a transatlantic race from France to Mexico as Afloat reported back then with photos here.

Published in Kinsale

If the prospect of a fleet of four Sunfast 3600s for this summer's Round Ireland Yacht Race is not enough of a sign of Jeanneau's potency offshore these days, the race debut of at least two brand new Sunfast 3300s is also another exciting aspect of the postponed 700-mile race that looks set to attract an international fleet for its 21st edition.

As regular Afloat readers will know, the recently arrived Kinsale-based 3300 supplied by MGM Boats  'Cinnamon Girl' is signed up and, as Afloat sources now reveal, this West Cork entry brings with it the prospect of a UK sistership entering the race too.

2 sun fast 3300 dun laoghaire2 1The new-style stem on the MGM Boats-imported Sun Fast 3300 Cinnamon Girl as seen in March in Dun Laoghaire. Photo: Afloat

As Afloat's WM remarked in March, weeks before lockdown, the launch of the 3300 will make Irish sailing fun again, let's hope he is right! 

Sunfast 3600

Three Hamble based 3600s are registered now for the August 22nd start with Donal Ryan's Team Fujitsu, Deb Fish's regular Bellino as well as Black Sheep (T Middleton) all slated for the Wicklow Head start.

They'll be joined by local John O'Gorman's Hot Cookie. The National Yacht Club Sunfast 3600 took third overall on IRC in last year's Dun Laoghaire Dingle Race, so the offshore hardened crew will be a force to be reckoned with in August. Although not Round Ireland registered so far, there is always the prospect of Dun Laoghaire Harbour sistership Yoyo (Brendan Coghlan from the Royal St George Yacht Club) taking on the challenge too? 

ISORA Jeanneau Sunfast 3600 0554Two Dun Laoghaire Harbour Sunfast 3600s – Hot Cookie Sunfast 3600 (John O'Gorman) to weather and Brendan Coghlan's YOYO (also below) from the Royal St George Yacht Club competing in a 2019 ISORA race Photo: Afloat.ie

Sunfast 37

Meanwhile, three older Sunfast 37s are also flying the Jeanneau flag in this 21st edition of the race. John Conlon's Sun Fast 37, Humdinger from Arklow Sailing Club is registered as are two Irish Offshore Sailing School entries from Dun Laoghaire Harbour too.

Published in Round Ireland

We were having one of those brainstorming discussions the other day about how best to promote sailing in Ireland, when some still small voice suggested that we were going at the challenge entirely the wrong way. We were thinking in terms of promotional campaigns and more sociable events afloat and various outreach projects and targeted material and focus groups and role models and - so help us all - celebrity involvement and endorsements.

But the trip-everyone-up-counter-thought was based on the fact that – as we’ve repeated here ad infinitum – sailing is first and last and foremost a vehicle sport. Get the vehicles right and get them in a sociable race format, said the still small voice, and the people will come and get involved.

And what is the right sailing vehicle? It’s a sporting boat which optimizes the amount of performance and fun that you get in relation to the effort involved, with that effort expended in a user-friendly set-up in which the proven protocols of ergonomics are not merely acknowledged, rather they are regarded as the Sacred Scriptures.

It’s all very well for fit and agile young folk to sport around in demanding classic craft in which every feature seems to be hard angles and vertical seatbacks, awkward sail controls, conspicuously absent footholds and hand grabs, and badly-designed companionways. But when the years pile on, and you’re coping with various chronic conditions all of which end in “is” (though admittedly there’s no sign of myxomatosis so far, it’s early days yet), you become very appreciative when a lot of thought has been put into how a boat’s layout is going to work.

2 sun fast 3300 astern2Very much a cruiser-racer cockpit with the emphasis on racing, yet within those limits, the ergonomics are sensible for comfortable sailing, and the foot-bars for the helm are of a sensible size
3 sun fast 3300 gen view3Ideas from outside the box become mainstream – “fascinating” is just the beginning of it as you contemplate the new Sun Fast 3300. Photo: W M Nixon

And there’s every sign that a properly functional user-friendly set-up has been a priority in putting the new Sun Fast 3300 together, as became apparent during a shoreside appraisal at the MGM Boatyard in Dun Laoghaire early this week where the first Sun Fast 3300 to arrive in Ireland was being prepared for launching by Sales Director Ross O’Leary and Simon Litwin. 

4 simon litwin and ross4Simon Litwin and Ross O’Leary of MGM Boats with their new baby – the Sun Fast 3300’s apparent bulge amidships underwater is not an optical illusion, it’s very much part of the concept. Photo: W M Nixon

Traditionalists will need to take a bit of time getting used to her, with her reverse stem and rounded deck edge. For traditionalists will have a fondness for great big bursting bow-waves and lots of flying spray. But those great big bursting bow-waves and clouds of flying spray are evidence that the sea is doing everything it can to slow the boat back. So if you can manage to come up with a design which zips along leaving barely a trace, with minimal bow-wave and spray which just creams across the deck with no fuss at all, then you have yourself the makings of a fast boat.

In times past, fast boats went quickly through the water by having hollow waterlines forward to facilitate the progress of their heavy displacement hulls. But the Sun Fast 330 has rounded waterlines, yet in profile there’s a slight hollow after of the forefoot and forward of the fin keel. She will be going over the water as much as possible, which will reduce the inevitable spray across the deck 

5 sunfast 3300 model5Full waterlines forward ingeniously combined with a hollow profile underwater, while the notion of stepped sides in the coachroof with forward-outlook windows is becoming mainstream.

Technically speaking, we’re told these hollows on the centre line underwater “enable an improved distribution of dynamic pressure while limiting drag on the hull and minimizing the surface below the waterline for greater performance”. As for the fin keel, it rejects the use of a lead ballast bulb and other complications in favour of a simple shape to provide a reduction in drag and an optimized centre of gravity.

You’ve heard of modern fusion cuisine? Well, this is modern fusion yacht design, with outside-the-box ideas becoming mainstream. The two great talents involved in creating the very satisfying end result are no slouches when it comes to providing completely new ideas themselves, as the boat emerges from a collaboration between longtime Jeanneau associate Daniel Andrieu (who may be 73, but he thinks very young indeed), and Guillaume Verdier, who is in the flush of youth by today’s standards, as he’s only 49. But he has been in the sharp end of the design department of some very successful big global campaigns, and is refreshingly frank about his creative approach: “My desk is messy but my mind is clear”.

6 daniel andrieu6Daniel Andrieu has designed 16 boats for Jeanneau, yet he is still bursting with fresh ideas at the age of 73.
7 guillaume verdier7Rockstar designer Guillaume Verdier – “my desk is sometimes messy, but my mind is clear”

The very first prototype Sun Fast 3300s appeared last year just as everyone was notching up the excitement dial about the woman/man two-handed offshore boat for the 2024 Olympics, and they made such a favourable impression that many are already thinking of her in Olympic terms.

But some of us view sailing’s inevitable reliance on the four-year Olympic searchlight with very mixed feelings. While acknowledging that it’s one of the few ways in which our complex and quirky sport can make itself of attention for fickle global public interest, it would be a sad business if a boat as fascinating as the Sun Fast 3300 was seen mainly in the narrow yet distorting focus of the Olympic priority.

For she seems to be much too good a boat for just that one blinkered purpose. Here you have a boat which will undoubtedly provide optimum performance for a crew of two, yet will be rewarding and fun for a larger ship’s complement. She may be only 32ft 10 ins in overall length, but she’s all boat, and with that rounded bow - which pedants will ultimately trace to Ian Lipinsky’s pioneering MiniTransat boat Griffon 2 or even to the Buddy Melges American Lake Scows – she behaves like a bigger boat as she moves over rather than through the water.

8 griffon 2 sailing8The full-bowed concept carried to its ultimate – Ian Lipinsky’s successful MiniTransat boat Griffon 2.
Yet while you will need extra-efficient foul weather gear to see off any unhindered spray which will come swiftly across the deck - for fast boats are usually wet boats - in every other way you’ll be as comfortable as possible in the cockpit, on deck, and particularly in the accommodation.

You’ll immediately notice the stepped side in the coachroof, which has become best known through its success on the all-conquering JPK 10.80. But while someone will doubtless claim that the idea was there before that particular great boat appeared, we’ll happily give all credit to Jean-Pierre Kelbert and his designer Jacques Valer for a design feature which confers multiple benefits.

9 sun fast 3300 deckplan9 The deck plan indicates the potential which is released for better utilization of space when the stepped-side configuration is used in the coachroof design.

It leaves space on deck where it is most needed, yet provides space below where it is of added value. And while you may think that the ability to see clear ahead from down below is of limited benefit, believe me you’d be surprised the difference it makes. In my own case, it was during ten very happy years with a Hustler 30 which – unusually - had a porthole in the forward end of the coachroof, a feature which - on at least two occasions while anchored in a gale - made us readily aware that another boat was dragging down on top of us while there was still time to take avoiding action.

As for the great big “bee’s eyes” which are the forward-looking side windows on the Sun Fast 3300, they really do give remarkable vision so long as you’re sufficiently disciplined to also keep a proper on-deck lookout most of the time.

But even the toughest offshore campaigner needs to get in out of the elements now and again, and it’s good to see that the adjustable sea berths in the saloon have proper grown-up adjustment tackles. When the boat is at her optimum performance, comfortably sailing at an angle of 15 to 20 degrees thanks to the high level of control conferred by the twin rudders, it does no harm to remember that a crewman below tucked comfortably into the weather cot adjusted to the optimum angle actually has his or her body weight further outboard than some unfortunate perched on the weather rail with their legs over the side, exposed to the elements and straining every sinew to maximize leverage.

10 sun fast 3300 interior10While the accommodation is basic, it’s comfortable within its limits and makes clever use of the extra space and localized extra headroom provided by the stepped-side coachroof.
11 sun fast 3300 bunk11 The easily adjusted cots optimize the usefulness of the weight below of the off-watch crew.

12 sun fast 3300 heeled12The effectiveness of twin rudders when the wedge-shaped hull is well-heeled is effectively demonstrated in this photo, but so too is the fact that the weight of the crew on the weather deck would actually be further outboard were they securely in the weather side adjustable cot below
Having twin rudders has two disadvantages. As they’re located under each quarter, there’s no doubt that they’ll more easily get fouled by a trailing line than a centre-line rudder. But in most cases, that’s a lesson which is learned once and remembered forever.

The other disadvantage is that when manoeuvring into or out of a confined berth, you don’t have the instant boat-spinning power of prop thrust working directly on the rudder. But as the Sun Fast 3300 can spin like a top with the slightest way on, this is not the problem it would be with a boat with a longer keel.

As for the standard centre-line shaft-driven propeller, it indicates just how many experienced marine engineers still distrust SailDrive arrangements and other fancy set-ups where the entire propeller unit retracts into the boat. In the Sun Fast 3300 you’ve a time-tested shaft arrangement through a P-Bracket, but it has been usefully tidied up by having everything external enclosed within a neat housing which, apart from reducing turbulence, also reduces the number of ways in which floating lines and other detritus can become fouled in the external propshaft arrangement.

13 propshaft housing13While the Sun Fast 3300 has a “traditional” propeller shaft operating through a P-bracket, all the externals are in this turbulence-reducing housing. Photo: W M Nixon
14 sun fast 3300 from ahead14No matter which viewing angle is taken, this is one unusual-looking boat. Photo: W M Nixon
This is almost all by the way. The real story with the Sun Fast 3300 is how she sails, and though as we write this she will be making her debut in a reception at the Royal Irish YC clubside pontoon this Friday, March 6th from 2 pm with a Jeanneau presentation in the club at 7 pm, as the Irish boat’s new sails are currently being tested in the Solent, the first proper sailing experience afloat won’t be available for a few days yet.

This is because the boat has been developed in a detailed process which involved half a dozen prototypes being built, tested and re-developed by a range of experts before production started in September. One of the prototypes has gone to big-time multi-hull legend Brian Thompson, who created the long-standing round Ireland record on the 60ft trimaran Lakota back in September 1993 with our own Con Murphy and Cathy MacAleavey and owner Steve Fossett, and this weekend he’s trialling what will become this first Irish Sun Fast 3300’s sails in Solent competition.

15 lakota brian thompson15After establishing a round Ireland record in September 1993 which was to stand for 22 years, the Lakota crew celebrating in the National YC are (left to right) Con Murphy, Cathy MacAleavey, the late Steve Fossett, Dave Scully and Brian Thompson. Brian Thompson is this weekend trialling a Sun Fast 3300 in the Solent with sails which – when approved – will go to the new boat in Ireland.

In a month or so the new boat currently in Dun Laoghaire will be sailed to her home port of Kinsale, where’s she’ll be known as Cinnamon Girl. The waiting list for a fresh-out-of-the-wrapper Sun Fast 3300 is now pushing towards the six months mark, so the Kinsale owner (who remains anonymous for the moment) deserves every congratulation on placing an early order for what is now one of the hottest boats on the block.

Meanwhile, the fact that we can’t get to sail one in Ireland just yet gives us another opportunity to run the vid showing Ken Read and Suzy Leech racing one of the first Sun Fast 3300s in America to two-handed victory in the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race at the end of January.

If we really want to promote sailing, this brief movie should be required viewing. The sun shines, the breeze is steady, and two very experienced sailors are effortlessly getting the best out of a perfectly set up and very interesting boat with helming skills which minimize sail trim effort and conserve energy for when it is really needed. In a distance race, conditions are inevitably going to change at some stage. But while they are briefly steady, you make the best of it, and the boat moves sweetly along in a style which is a joy to behold.

Published in MGM Boats

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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