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Coast Guard Rescue News from Ireland
The operation is being coordinated by the Marine Rescue Coordination Centre in Valentia and is being supported by the Naval ship LÉ Róisín
The Shannon based Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 has evacuated a seriously injured crewman from a large Russian fishing vessel approximately 140 nautical miles West of Kerry Head. The operation is being coordinated by the Marine Rescue Coordination Centre in…
The scene from the East Pier in Howth (Dublin) this afternoon with waves breaking across the pier
The Irish Coast Guard operations centre in Dublin received calls of people in danger of getting washed off the pier, a unit from Howth responded and assisted people back to safety.     
VHF channels 23, 84 and 86 will no longer be used for either Maritime Safety Information (MSI) or Radio Medical Advice
Boat owners, shipping companies and anyone who puts out to sea are being informed about a change in some of the VHF channel numbers used to contact UK Coastguard. As a result of changes to Appendix 18 (Marine VHF) of…
 Skerries lifeboat was involved in this morning's Fishing Vessel rescue off the Dublin Coast
Five crew members have been rescued from a fishing vessel that got into difficulties off Balbriggan shortly after 5.15 this morning. The Dublin based Coast Guard helicopter, RNLI units from Skerries, Howth and Clogherhead and Skerries Coast Guard unit all…
Coastguard Helicopters In Monday Morning Medevacs
#Coastguard - Irish Coast Guard helicopters were called on for two separate evacuations from fishing vessels yesterday morning (Monday 16 January). In the first incident, Waterford-based Rescue 117 airlifted a fisherman who had suffered an injury on board his vessel…
'Emergency Challenge' competition at the BT Young Scientist event today
The Irish Coast Guard is well represented at this week's BT Young Scientist Exhibition where 60,000 visitors are expected to attend. The six Coast Guard stations in attendance at the RDS, Dublin are distributing wristbands, pencils and competition flyers as well as staging…
The Shannon-based Sikorsky S92 was one of those inspected after a recent incident in the North Sea
#Coastguard - Safety inspectors have found no issues with the Irish Coast Guard helicopter fleet after a recent incident abroad involving an aircraft of the same model. According to The Irish Times, the Irish fleet of Sikorsky S92s was grounded…
Forty Three (43) nationwide Coast Guard volunteer units responded to 1042 incidents
Use of Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) and Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) were responsible for directly saving the lives of Five Mariners in 2016 according to an end of year commentary by the Coast Guard. One of these incidents…
Stay Back, Stay High, Stay Dry Over Christmas Says Irish Coast Guard
#Coastguard - Stay Back, Stay High, Stay Dry is the message from the Irish Coast Guard to the public over the Christmas holiday period. Many people will be engaging in outdoor activities along the coastline, be it on exposed coasts,…
A screen grab from an iphone compass. See video below
With the festivities in full swing and when Storm Barbara moves on many people will take to the nation’s beaches and cliffs to take in the fresh air and clear the cobwebs. This can be a busy time of the…
Coastguard Volunteers Want Safeguards From Government
#Coastguard - Coastguard volunteers are calling for the service to be designated as a ‘standalone primary response agency’, as the Irish Examiner reports. A four-person delegation representing some 1,000 volunteers with the Irish Coast Guard pleaded their case with front…
Coast Guard Helicopter in Long Range Evacuation
The Shannon based Coast Guard helicopter has completed the evacuation of a crewman from an Irish fishing vessel located 160 miles West of Loop Head, Co Clare. The injured man has been taken on-board the Coast Guard helicopter, R115 and…
Dolphins accompany Howth's Coastguard RIB
The Howth–based Coast Guard boat “Sean A Dunne” was joined by some unexpected visitors today in the form of a school of Bottlenose Dolphins. The Coast Guard crew of four from Howth station were on routine exercise in the Irish…
Waves breaking on the East Pier in Howth today
This afternoon at 3.30pm the Irish Coast Guard emergency operations centre in Dublin received a call reporting a missing jet skier. The Coast Guard team in Howth, Coast Guard Rescue 116 Helicopter and the Howth RNLI lifeboats were immediately tasked.…
Sligo's Irish Coast Guard SAR helicopter
#Coastguard - Early this morning the Sligo-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter completed the medical evacuation of an injured crewman from a large tanker some 350km off Eagle Island in Co Mayo. The overnight operation was jointly co-ordinated with the UK…
A climber needed rescuing after becoming cragfast whilst climbing the cliff. Scroll down for video.
Two Coastguard Rescue Teams carried out a difficult and complex rescue in a Force 9 gale, after a climber became cragfast on cliffs at Fairhead, near Ballycastle, Northern Ireland. At about 11.30pm yesterday (Tuesday 28 September) the UK Coastguard received…

Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard is Ireland's 4th Blue Light service (along with An Garda Síochána, the Ambulance Service and the Fire Service). It provides a nationwide maritime emergency organisation as well as a variety of services to shipping and other government agencies.

The purpose of the Irish Coast Guard is to promote safety and security standards, and by doing so, prevent as far as possible, the loss of life at sea, and on inland waters, mountains and caves, and to provide effective emergency response services and to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The Irish Coast Guard has responsibility for Ireland's system of marine communications, surveillance and emergency management in Ireland's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and certain inland waterways.

It is responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue and counter-pollution and ship casualty operations. It also has responsibility for vessel traffic monitoring.

Operations in respect of maritime security, illegal drug trafficking, illegal migration and fisheries enforcement are co-ordinated by other bodies within the Irish Government.

Introduction

On average, each year, the Irish Coast Guard is expected to:

  • handle 3,000 marine emergencies
  • assist 4,500 people and save about 200 lives
  • task Coast Guard helicopters on missions around 2000 times (40 times to assist mountain rescues and 200 times to carry out aeromedical HEMS missions on behalf of the HSE), Coast Guard volunteer units will respond 1000 times and RNLI and community lifeboats will be tasked by our Coordination Centres about 950 times
  • evacuate medical patients off our Islands to hospital on 100 occasions
  • assist other nations' Coast Guards about 200 times
  • make around 6,000 maritime safety broadcasts to shipping, fishing and leisure craft users
  • carry out a safety on the water campaign that targets primary schools and leisure craft users, including at sea and beach patrols
  • investigate approximately 50 maritime pollution reports

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

List of Coast Guard Units in Ireland

  • Achill, Co. Mayo
  • Ardmore, Co. Waterford
  • Arklow, Co. Wicklow
  • Ballybunion, Co. Kerry
  • Ballycotton, Co. Cork
  • Ballyglass, Co. Mayo
  • Bonmahon, Co. Waterford
  • Bunbeg, Co. Donegal
  • Carnsore, Co. Wexford
  • Castlefreake, Co. Cork
  • Castletownbere, Co. Cork
  • Cleggan, Co. Galway
  • Clogherhead, Co. Louth
  • Costelloe Bay, Co. Galway
  • Courtown, Co. Wexford
  • Crosshaven, Co. Cork
  • Curracloe, Co. Wexford
  • Dingle, Co. Kerry
  • Doolin, Co. Clare
  • Drogheda, Co. Louth
  • Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin
  • Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
  • Fethard, Co. Wexford
  • Glandore, Co. Cork
  • Glenderry, Co. Kerry
  • Goleen, Co. Cork
  • Greencastle, Co. Donegal
  • Greenore, Co. Louth
  • Greystones, Co. Wicklow
  • Guileen, Co. Cork
  • Howth, Co. Dublin
  • Kilkee, Co. Clare
  • Killala, Co. Mayo
  • Killybegs, Co. Donegal
  • Kilmore Quay, Co. Wexford
  • Knightstown, Co. Kerry
  • Mulroy, Co. Donegal
  • North Aran, Co. Galway
  • Old Head Of Kinsale, Co. Cork
  • Oysterhaven, Co. Cork
  • Rosslare, Co. Wexford
  • Seven Heads, Co. Cork
  • Skerries, Co. Dublin
  • Summercove, Co. Cork
  • Toe Head, Co. Cork
  • Tory Island, Co. Donegal
  • Tramore, Co. Waterford
  • Waterville, Co. Kerry
  • Westport, Co. Mayo
  • Wicklow
  • Youghal, Co. Cork

The roles of the Irish Coast Guard

The main roles of the Irish Coast Guard are to rescue people from danger at sea or on land, to organise immediate medical transport and to assist boats and ships within the country's jurisdiction.

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

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

Each centre is responsible for search and rescue operations.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coast Guard helicopters

The Irish Coast Guard has contracted five medium-lift Sikorsky Search and Rescue helicopters deployed at bases in Dublin, Waterford, Shannon and Sligo.

The helicopters are designated wheels up from initial notification in 15 minutes during daylight hours and 45 minutes at night. One aircraft is fitted and its crew trained for under slung cargo operations up to 3000kgs and is available on short notice based at Waterford.

These aircraft respond to emergencies at sea, inland waterways, offshore islands and mountains of Ireland (32 counties).

They can also be used for assistance in flooding, major inland emergencies, intra-hospital transfers, pollution, and aerial surveillance during daylight hours, lifting and passenger operations and other operations as authorised by the Coast Guard within appropriate regulations.

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

Helicopter tasks include:

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

The secondary roles of the helicopter are:

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

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

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

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

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