Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Coast Guard Rescue News from Ireland
Howth Coast Guard Assists Medevac From Fishing Vessel
#Coastguard - Howth Coast Guard was among many emergency units responding yesterday afternoon (Sunday 26 January) to an incident on a fishing vessel in Dublin Bay where a crew member had fallen in a storage area and lost consciousness. Coastguard…
Coast Guard Issues Warning as Met Éireann Issues Orange Weather Alert
#coastguard – Members of the public have been urged to heed the advice of the Irish Coast Guard as Met Éireann has issued an orange weather warning for counties Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Sligo, Clare, Kerry and Limerick. An orange…
Irish Coast Guard Fleet On Par With Europe's Best Says Chief
#Coastguard - The rescue of a lost dog from a cliff on Valentia Island is just one of the latest achievements of a coastguard - both volunteer and professional - that boasts a fleet "as good as you'll find anywhere…
S92 Search & Rescue Helicopter Launched in Dublin
#coastguard – Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar officially launched the Coast Guard's new state-of-the-art S92 search & rescue helicopter for the Dublin region in Weston Airport today. This is the fourth and final Sikorsky S92 helicopters to…
Canoeists Rescued After Lough Neagh Capsize
#canoe – Three canoeists have been pulled from the water after getting into difficulty in Lough Neagh. Belfast Coastguard received a call on VHF channel 16 just after 1pm yesterday afternoon reporting that three canoeists had fallen into the water…
Tidal Surge Warning Issued By NI Coast Guard
#coastguard – Belfast Coastguard are issuing a warning following the Met Office forecast for rain during the remainder of Sunday and for strong winds or gales on Monday. The Northern Ireland and Scottish Coastline is expected to get hit with…
Missing Man's Body Found Off Kerry Coast
#Coastguard - The Irish Times reports that the body of a man who was reported missing off Ballybunion on Co Kerry at the weekend has been found this afternoon (31 December). The remains of the 64-year-old were recovered by the…
Marine Safety Changes 'Unwise And Unsafe' Says Coastguard Chief
#Coastguard - Proposals to cut Malin Head's coastguard watches from round-the-clock to just 12 hours threaten to “to tear up 30 years of progress” in marine safety, as The Irish Times reports. The statement by Irish Coast Guard chief Chris…
Severe Weather Prevents Coastguard Medevac From Spanish Fishing Boat
#Coastguard - TheJournal.ie reports that yesterday's severe storm conditions forced two Irish Coast Guard helicopters to stand down a mission to retrieve an ill fisherman from a Spanish trawler 100 miles off the west coast last night (27 December). A…
Dublin Rescue Helicopter In Christmas Eve Medevac
#Coastguard - The Howth unit of the Irish Coast Guard reports that it was tasked to assist the Dublin-based rescue helicopter with a medical evacuation landing on Christmas Eve. Rescue 116 landed at the OBI fire brigade training college on…
Belfast Coastguard Short-Staffing Raises Concerns
#Coastguard - Belfast Coastguard was staffed "at below risk assessed levels" on eight separate occasions last month, as the Belfast Telegraph reports. The upsetting news was revealed by Britain's Transport Minister Stephen Hammon in response to a parliamentary question on…
Christmas Carol Could Save Your Life, Says Coastguard
#coastguard – Her Majesty's Coastguard is giving you the gift of safety this Christmas. Coastguards have produced their very own Christmas carol video, with 12 top safety tips Last year, Coastguards dealt with 430 search and rescue incidents over the Christmas…
End Of An Era As Irish Coast Guard's Last S61 Retires
#Coastguard - It was the end of an era yesterday (10 December) as the last remaining Sikorsky S61 search and rescue (SAR) helicopter in the Irish Coast Guard fleet stood its final SAR watch since services began in 1991 and…
Irish Coast Guard Helicopters Trialled As Air Ambulances
#Coastguard - The Irish Coast Guard's rescue helicopter fleet is being utilised on a trial basis as an air ambulance service, as RTÉ's Morning Ireland reports. The new fleet of Sikorsky S92 choppers will do double duty as a Helicopter…
Light Aircraft Ditches in Lough Erne
#coastguard – At 4.30pm tonight the Belfast Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre was advised by Shannon Air Traffic Control that a light aircraft with two people on board was about to ditch in the Loch Erne area due to low oil pressure.…
Irish Coastguard Helicopter Scrambled In Search for Two Men off Ballycastle
#coastguard – Belfast Coastguard were contacted in the early hours of this morning by the police, following a call they had received from a concerned hotel proprietor whose two male occupants had gone out walking in the Ballycastle area and…

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)

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 2020

Wave button for Afloat new dates

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

quantum sidebutton

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