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
Kitesurfer Rescued off Liverpool
A kite surfer was rescued from the sea after getting into difficulty off New Brighton today. Liverpool Coastguard was contacted by Wirral Lifeguards who had been watching a kite surfer who had returned to sea to retrieve his lost kite…
Doolin May Soon Get New Coastguard Station
The Irish Examiner reports that the Doolin coastguard unit is set to get a new coastguard station. http://www.afloat.ie/safety/coastguard/ One of the busiest search and rescue units in the State, the Doolin unit of the Irish Coast Guard currently has to…
Irish Coast Guard Reveals Spike in Incidents Involving Leisure Activities, Merchant Vessels
The Irish Coast Guard has released statistics revealing a busy summer period and a significant increase certain types of search and rescue incidents. http://www.afloat.ie/resources/organisations/irish-coast-guard/ Most notable is the increase in incidents involving leisure activities such as surfing, diving, and canoeing.…
Injured Fisherman Airlifted to Hospital by Shannon Coastguard
An injured man fisherman airlifted to hospital yesterday from a boat off Kerry coast, The Irish Times reports. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2011/0818/breaking56.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter The Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter was dispatched to assist the crewmember on the UK-registered fishing vessel Achieve, some 110 miles…
Coast Guard in Fourth Medical Evacuation This Week
The Irish Coast Guard is currently involved in its fourth medical evacuation this week (and it's second in 24hrs) as it evacuates an injured crew member from a fishing vessel off the Irish coast. The Shannon-based Coast Guard helicopter this…
DSC Alert Sends Rescuers Straight to Scene of Sinking Vessel
Belfast Coastguard was able to send rescue services straight to the scene of a sinking leisure vessel tonight although the crew couldn't make radio contact. The digital selective calling (DSC) alert requesting immediate assistance was received at just after 8.15pm.…
Coveney Welcomes Funding for New Coast Guard Station in Crosshaven
Today Minister Simon Coveney TD has welcomed the provision of €1.5millon funding for a new Coast Guard Station in Crosshaven. 'Following continuing contact with the OPW, it has been confirmed to me that a new contract for the construction of…
Overdue Sailor Located
At 09.00am today Belfast Coastguard were contacted by the brother of a sailor who was concerned for the safety and well being. He had last communicated with his brother yesterday morning when he departed Peel, Isle of Man on passage…
Reprieve for Holyhead Coastguard a 'Victory for People Power'
A former mayor of Holyhead has sung the praises of Holyhead's coastguard station to Afloat.ie. http://www.afloat.ie/safety/coastguard/ Commenting on our recent report on plans to close Liverpool's coastguard station, Cllr KR Roberts said it was "a victory for people power" that…
Coast Guard Issues Advice for the August Bank Holiday
The Irish Coast Guard today issued advice for holidaymakers and members of the public who are planning water based activities, cliff walking, fishing trips or any maritime recreational activities. For specific guidelines and information on any water and coastal activity,…
Concerns Over Belfast Coastguard Jobs
Concerns persist over the future for Northern Ireland’s coastguard service staff - despite the British government backing down from plans to close the Bangor search and rescue centre. http://afloat.ie/safety/coastguard/ http://afloat.ie/safety/rescue/ As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Bregenz House station was…
Liverpool Coastguard Closure 'Will Put Safety at Risk'
A British MP has criticised plans to close Liverpool's coastguard station as 'dangerous'. http://afloat.ie/safety/coastguard/ The Liverpool command centre - which also covers the Irish Sea - is one of eight that face the axe under revised proposals to streamline Britain's…
Bangor's Future 'A Victory for People Power'
The decision to keep open Northern Ireland's only dedicated search and rescue base is a victory for people power, says the Belfast Telegraph. http://www.afloat.ie/safety/rescue/ http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/opinion/viewpoint/people-power-keeps-coastguard-afloat-16023561.html As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the station at Bangor was saved from closure following a…
Bangor Coastguard Centre Saved from the Chop
Northern Ireland's only dedicated search and rescue command centre has been saved from closure following a review of plans to streamline the UK's coastguard network. http://www.afloat.ie/safety/rescue/ http://www.afloat.ie/safety/coastguard/item/15940-decision-on-uk-coastguard-cuts-next-month/ BBC News reports that UK Transport Minister Phillip Hammond told the House of…
Four Teenagers Rescued in Dundrum Bay
At 6.00 pm yesterday, Belfast Coastguard received a 999 call from one of a party of four teenagers who were cut off by the tide and were up to their shoulders in water close to Ardilea, while walking from Ballykinler…
Callouts from Threatened NI Coastguard Centre On the Rise
Search and rescue operations from Northern Ireland's only dedicated coastguard centre are on the increase, the Belfast Telegraph reports. http://www.afloat.ie/safety/coastguard/ http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/northern-ireland/threatened-coastguard-base-sees-callouts-rise-16020068.html The latest figures show that there were 50 per cent more callouts to the Bangor-based centre last year than…

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 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