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Displaying items by tag: Coastguard

CHC Helicopter has been awarded a 10-year, €500 million contract to provide Search and Rescue services on behalf of the Irish Coast Guard. Ireland's Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey, will join senior representatives from the Irish Coast Guard and CHC Ireland to officially sign the contract later today.

The contract, will provide SAR services from bases at Waterford, Dublin, Shannon and Sligo from 2012 onwards. CHC already provides SAR services from these bases but the new contract will see the existing fleet of S-61N aircraft replaced with newer Sikorsky S-92A helicopters that are custom fitted for SAR work.

Irish Coast Guard Director Chris Reynolds said, "The Irish Coast Guard provides a diverse range of maritime and land-based SAR activities, ranging from national emergency situations such as the recent flooding seen in Ireland last winter to medevac from our Islands, mountains, fishing vessels and incidents involving leisure activity."

"It is essential we have the right stepped increase in capabilities going forward for the next decade. We are very confident in selecting CHC Helicopter that our decision will continue to deliver excellence, providing the most efficient and effective SAR service for Ireland."

The Irish contract cements CHC Helicopter's position as a world leader in provision of civilian SAR services. In addition to the service already provided in Ireland, CHC currently provides SAR coverage in Australia and the UK, and through its membership in the Soteria consortium, has been identified as the preferred bidder on the UK SAR-H program, a 25-year contract to provide helicopter-based SAR services from 12 bases throughout the UK.

"CHC is internationally recognised as a provider of effective SAR solutions to customers worldwide. In today's very challenging environment, we offer the most efficient, reliable and effective services using industry leading technology," said Tilmann Gabriel, chairman of CHC Ireland and president of CHC Helicopter's European Operations.

Mark Kelly, Managing Director of CHC Ireland, added that Irish citizens could now expect to see many positive changes arise.

"Over the next decade this contract will offer a number of service improvements including the ability to deliver a paramedic to any SAR incident within an hour anywhere on our coastline, ensuring much faster treatment of casualties," he said.

CHC is the world's largest operator of the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter that has a long and distinguished pedigree in SAR operations. There are currently more than 100 S-92 helicopters in operation around the world with a fleet total approaching 250,000 flight-hours.

The state-of-the-art twin-engine aircraft will be specially equipped for SAR operations and capable of flying faster and farther than aircraft currently in use. As well as longer range and improved cruising speeds, the S-92s will be equipped with enhanced rescue mission technology including infra-red and low light cameras, a Nightsun searchlight, a satellite communications system featuring a Flight Following tracking facility, and high speed dual hoists.


Published in Coastguard

Tomorrow, Thursday, 22nd July 2010, Transport Minister, Noel Dempsey T.D., will sign a contract awarding the provision of Helicopter SAR services to CHC Ireland. The company will use the new Sikorsky S92A machine in its SAR role.

Published in Coastguard

Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey yesterday congratulated an Irish Coast Guard pilot who has just completed his 500th rescue mission, becoming one of a handful of helicopter pilots in western Europe to have done so.

On July 11, operating from the Irish Coast Guard base at Waterford, Capt Rayner and his crew attended an incident 10 nautical miles east of Waterford Airport, where multiple casualties were in difficulty in the water.

On rescuing the party, one injured male was transferred to Waterford Regional Hospital for treatment. With that operation, Capt Rayner joined an elite group of SAR crewmembers who have achieved an impressive 500 rescue missions during their careers.

Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey, said: "Martyn epitomises the dedication, experience and expertise that makes the Irish Coast Guard one of the best in the world.  I congratulate him on his achievement of 500 rescue missions and wish to publicly commend the valuable contribution he has made, and continues to make to SAR in Ireland."

martyn_500th_job_picture

Captain Martyn Rayner has flown 500 Rescue missions

Capt Rayner has been an integral part of civilian SAR in Ireland since 1991. Prior to his time in Ireland he began his career in the British Navy operating in various roles. Following this diverse flying around the world, he spent several years in Aberdeen flying offshore to the North Sea oil platforms.

He commenced flying on the Irish Coast Guard contract in 1991 to set up the first Irish Coast Guard SAR base in Shannon Airport. Over the following 10 years Capt Rayner guided the Shannon base as chief pilot, line trainer and SAR Captain. He spent many years flying West of Shannon in all weather conditions, commanding the R115 Shannon base on missions far into the Atlantic Ocean.

“We are delighted for Martyn. This level of experience is rarely seen amongst SAR crew worldwide. We are very pleased to have the benefit of Martyn’s calibre of experience flying SAR missions around our coast,“ said Mark Kelly, managing director of CHC Ireland.

“Most SAR pilots fly an average of 20 missions per year. Martyn has been accident free for his entire career with CHC and is a shining example of our commitment to safety.”

In 2002 Capt Rayner, along with his wife Maureen, temporarily left Irish SAR for the Far East to fly offshore of Brunei. He returned to Ireland in 2005 and was welcomed with open arms to the newly established Waterford Base.

“Everyone at CHC is immensely proud of Capt Rayner’s unique achievement in reaching 500 missions. His vast experience, patience, sense of humour and knowledge of SAR is the backbone of our operation today,“ said Capt Dara Fitzpatrick, chief pilot, CHC Waterford Base.

CHC Ireland is an affiliate of CHC Helicopter through its ownership interest in EEA Helicopter Operations B.V. CHC Helicopter is the world’s largest offshore helicopter operator and provides civilian search and rescue services in Ireland, the UK, Denmark and Australia. Earlier this month another CHC SAR crew was recognized with a “Best of Irish” award for their role in successfully recovering the pilot of a light aircraft that crashed in the Irish Sea. 

 

Published in Coastguard
With the school holidays here, Irish Sea coastguards are encouraging children to stay safe whilst at the beach and along the coast. The UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency issued a statement yesterday saying last month, coastguards in Wales dealt with incidents that involved children and adults being swept out to sea on inflatable boats and toys. They also helped people cut off by the tide and searched for children lost along the coast.

Coastguard Sector Manager George Crumpler says,

"Inflatable boats and toys can be great fun, but we'd rather that you used them in swimming pools than at the beach. If you do use one at the beach, tether it to an adult and never use it in an offshore wind. Inflatables can easily be blown out to sea and, overturn.

Make sure that children are properly supervised. We deal with lost children every year and it can be distressing for children and adults alike. Try to go to a lifeguarded beach if you can and stay within the flagged area.

"Remember to check the weather and the tide times (these can often be found at the entrance to the beach) so that the tide doesn't take you by surprise or cut you off.

"If you see anyone in difficulty, tell the lifeguard if one is available or call the Coastguard on 999.

Remember to have a great time and return home safely."

If you want to prepare for your day out on the coast, you might like to visit Directgov for Kids where there are games and activities for children. Visit http://kids.direct.gov.uk/ and click on the world, then go to the 'watch station' in the 'places' icon.

 

Published in Marine Warning

A major marine search and recovery exercise co-ordinated by the Irish Coast Guard will to take place off the Cork coastline this week from 12-15 July 2010 it was announced today.

The exercise, in conjunction with the Marine Institute, the Commissioner for Irish Lights and the Navy, will simulate some major emergency situations including an aircraft crash, recovery of the 'Black Box'. The simulation exercise will also involve deep diving operations and the seeking and survey of a wrecked vessel. It will also incorporate the recovery of items such as ditched contraband and the rendering safe of underwater explosives.

A Service Level Agreement between the Irish Aviation Authority and the Irish Coast Guard was agreed in February of this year. It was agreed that should an aircraft force land in a maritime area, the IAA's Air Rescue Coordination Centre (ARCC) would be responsible for determining the initial search area, but co-ordination shall then transfer to the Coast Guard with continued close co-operation and back-up services from ARCC. As a result of this it was seen that there would need to be close cooperation between all the different agencies and authorities in responding to such a scenario. One of the most important aspects of an aircraft incident investigation is the location and recovery of the aircraft's 'black box'. The Coast Guard, as part of an Agreement with Commissioner of Irish Lights, has chartered their vessel ILV Granuaile, to act as a marine platform for Naval Divers and Holland 1, the Marine Institute's robot submarine a Remotely Operated vehicl e (ROV).

Holland 1 and the Navy Dive Team will be deployed from ILV Granuaile. Primarily used in maintenance of Aids to Navigation the ILV Granuaile is a sophisticated multi functional vessel whose 80-metre length, 16 metre and Dynamic Positioning capability make her an ideal platform for this task. The naval vessel L.E. Eithne will be on site for the duration of the exercise with its Commanding Officer acting as on-scene co-ordinator. The L.E. Eithne will act as the under water crisis management centre for all the personnel involved in the exercise, including the eighteen person naval diving team and the ROV operators and Coast Guard personnel.

Speaking today, Minister Noel Dempsey TD said: "The purpose of this joint exercise is to ensure and examine the level and quality of preparedness in the Irish Coast Guard response and that of our intra-agency partners. Simulations such as are a valuable way to test our co-ordinated emergency response to ensure that in the event of a major emergency, that the appropriate and necessary measures are in place in search, rescue and recovery."

Minister of Defence Mr. Tony Killeen T.D., said that "through Inter Agency co-operation and establishing appropriate protocols for joint exercises we can ensure our ships and our divers are ready to respond in an appropriate and timely manner for given situations."

"While the ROV Holland was acquired primarily as a research vessel, another key function is to provide the capability to assist underwater search and recovery operations," said Mr. Sean Connick, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. "We are therefore delighted to take part in this important exercise, which will involve a combined national ROV team piloting the Holland 1 operated by Naval and Marine Institute pilots."

Holland 1 and Granuaile are available for inter agency work as part of Service Level Agreements between the various parties which promote inter-agency cooperation and the up-skilling of personnel in each organisations for collaborative operations.

 

Published in Coastguard
A search took place this afternoon on the Irish Sea for two missing divers, who had not resurfaced, off the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse.

Liverpool Coastguard received a '999' call at 12:30 pm from the dive boat informing them of the situation and requesting assistance after two divers had not resurfaced and were last seen at 12 noon.

Drumore Coastguard Rescue team was tasked and the Portpatrick and Stranraer, RNLI lifeboats were requested to launch as well as the independent Port William inshore rescue boat. A Rescue helicopter from Prestwick was scrambled to the scene. The vessel 'Go West' assisted in the search.

Paul Campbell, Watch Officer, Liverpool Maritime and Rescue Coordination Centre, said:

"Once the casualty vessel was located the search and rescue units on scene carried out a search around the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse with the Rescue helicopter locating the two casualties and winching them to safety."

The Coastguard always advises divers to let the Coastguard know where and when you will be diving. Always keep a close eye on the weather and sea conditions and make personal fitness a top priority for safe diving. Familiarise yourself with new or different gear before diving and ensure that you dive within your limits.

Published in Coastguard
Tagged under

A 999 call from the Motor Cruiser ‘Wee Rascal’ on Lough Erne in the early hours of this morning called on all the investigative powers of Belfast Coastguard as the vessel wasn’t even close to its reported position.

The vessel was on passage from Kesh to Enniskillen in windy, wet conditions when it called 999 to ask for assistance. Despite an extensive search of the area around its reported position neither the Enniskillen RNLI Inshore Lifeboat nor Erne Coastguard Rescue Teams could find the vessel.

Because the vessel had no flares, flash lights or VHF Radio on board to show rescuers where it was, Belfast Coastguard resorted to mobile phone technology. A locator i-phone application finally gave rescuers the vital latitude and longitude they needed.

The vessel was finally located 25 miles away from its reported position, dangerously amongst the rocky shoreline off Eagle Point. It was carefully brought away from the rocks by the skill of the  Enniskillen RNLI Inshore Lifeboat crew and taken to the safety of Beleek marina.

Coastguard Watch Manager Steven Carson said:

“A combination of luck and technology saved these four people from imminent danger this morning. They had charts onboard but obviously no real idea of how to get to their destination or how to report their position in an emergency.

“Vital hours were wasted eliminating one possible location after another, time that we wouldn’t have had if the vessel had struck the rocks and sunk. I hope that this experience will help the crew to realise why navigation training is essential for all mariners, whether you’re on a Lough or the open sea.”


Published in Coastguard

The crew of an emergency search and rescue helicopter has been awarded the Best of Irish Award for rescuing a stricken pilot when his light aircraft crashed into the Irish Sea.

The six-strong crew of R117, employed by CHC Helicopter and based at Waterford, was presented with the accolade at the awards which took place at the Burlington Hotel in Dublin last night.

The star-studded ceremony, which also saw the Irish Rugby team recognised for their outstanding win at the 2009 RBS Six Nations tournament, celebrates those who have excelled in the past year and contributed in a positive way to the people of Ireland.

Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, co-pilot Ronan Flanagan, winch operator Neville Murphy and winchman Keith Devaney were all present to collect the award. The remaining members of the team, engineers Martin Dennehy and Colm McCloughry, were unable to attend.

“We are delighted and honoured to have been presented with this award which is really the cherry on the cake for us,” said Capt Fitzpatrick.

“When you hear a report of an aircraft ditching in the sea you immediately think worst-case scenario. We didn’t know what we were facing so to have been able to retrieve a casualty alive from the water was fantastic.”

The team was returning from a training exercise when they were alerted to a mayday call at around 5pm on August 11, last year.

The crew the British Orchid Atlantic rowing boat, who were navigating round Britain, called the Coast Guard after seeing an aircraft crash into the water at Tuskar Rock, off the South Wexford coast.

Low on fuel, the S61 rescue helicopter quickly landed, refuelled and was on route to the scene within 10 minutes. As they made their way to the location, reports were received of wreckage in the water and a suspected survivor.

On arrival, they saw the pilot standing waist-deep in water on the wing of the stricken craft which was rapidly succumbing to the waves. Winchman Keith Devaney was lowered down and was able to secure the man and winch him to safety moments before the single-engine aircraft sank.


The sole occupant of the plane, which was being flown from England to Wexford, the pilot was flown to shore and taken by ambulance to hospital. Despite his ordeal, he had miraculously escaped serious injury.

“In terms of technical challenges we have had to deal with some far tougher jobs,” added Capt Fitzpatrick.

“We were fortunate that the conditions were relatively calm and that the pilot hadn’t suffered any serious injuries on impact.  Combined with the extensive mission training we undergo, these factors made for a textbook rescue.”

Chris Reynolds, Director of the Irish Coast Guard said: “I am pleased to see the men and women of the Irish Coast Guard recognised for their professionalism. The service operates 365 days a year in all types of conditions and this award is testament to the continued hard work, training and commitment of the whole team.”

Noel Dempsey, Ireland’s Minister for Transport, also praised the team for their heroic efforts.

“I warmly congratulate the Waterford Coast Guard helicopter crew, for a very well-deserved award,” he said.

“The speed at which they responded to this incident, assessed the scene and acted, certainly helped save a life.  But this award isn't just for the crew on the Waterford helicopter that day though.

“It's for all of their backroom team, including the engineers who ensure that our aircrafts are safe to fly, our replacement crews, and everyone who supports the work of the Waterford team, and all our other teams around the country.

“Each day hundreds of Coast Guard crews, whether in lifeboats, helicopters or involved in our other patrols around the coastline, selflessly put their lives at risk in the service of others.

“I want to commend you all and thank you, on behalf of the Government for your role in this important, lifesaving work. Well done again.”

Published in Coastguard
The Summer Holidays are nearly here - have fun and stay safe at the seaside
With the school holidays fast approaching, NI Coastguards are encouraging children to stay safe whilst at the beach and along the coast.
Last month, Northern Ireland Coastguards dealt with a number of incidents that involved young people being overwhelmed by the power of the sea or being cut off by the tide. Some young people have attempted to swim to islands but have underestimated the strength of tides and the distance that they need to swim.
The Coastguard would like to encourage young people to stay within their depth and to check tide times before they arrive at the beach.
Coastguard Sector Manager Gordon Munro says,
"We'd like everyone who visits our coast to have a great time. So before you go check out the weather and the tide times (these can often be found at the entrance to the beach). That way you can ensure that the tide doesn't take you by surprise and that you don’t get cut off.
"Inflatable boats and toys can be great fun, but we’d rather that you used them in swimming pools than at the beach. If you do use one at the beach, make sure that it is tethered to an adult and never use it if there is an offshore wind. Inflatables can so easily be blown off shore, then overturn.
Make sure that children are supervised properly by adults. We deal with numerous cases of lost children every year and it can be very distressing for children and adults alike.
Try to go to a lifeguarded beach if you can and stay within the flagged area.

If you notice that someone is in difficulty, either alert the lifeguard if one is available or call the Coastguard on 999.
Finally, have a great time and return home safely."
If you want to prepare for your day out on the coast, you might like to visit Directgov for Kids where there are games and activities for children. Visit http://kids.direct.gov.uk/ andclickontheworld,thengotothe'watchstation'inthe'places'icon.

With the school holidays fast approaching, NI Coastguards are encouraging children to stay safe whilst at the beach and along the coast.

Last month, Northern Ireland Coastguards dealt with a number of incidents that involved young people being overwhelmed by the power of the sea or being cut off by the tide. Some young people have attempted to swim to islands but have underestimated the strength of tides and the distance that they need to swim.

The Coastguard would like to encourage young people to stay within their depth and to check tide times before they arrive at the beach.Coastguard Sector Manager Gordon Munro says,"We'd like everyone who visits our coast to have a great time.

So before you go check out the weather and the tide times (these can often be found at the entrance to the beach).

That way you can ensure that the tide doesn't take you by surprise and that you don’t get cut off."Inflatable boats and toys can be great fun, but we’d rather that you used them in swimming pools than at the beach. If you do use one at the beach, make sure that it is tethered to an adult and never use it if there is an offshore wind. Inflatables can so easily be blown off shore, then overturn.Make sure that children are supervised properly by adults.

We deal with numerous cases of lost children every year and it can be very distressing for children and adults alike.Try to go to a lifeguarded beach if you can and stay within the flagged area.If you notice that someone is in difficulty, either alert the lifeguard if one is available or call the Coastguard on 999.Finally, have a great time and return home safely."If you want to prepare for your day out on the coast, you might like to visit Directgov for Kids where there are games and activities for children. Visit http://kids.direct.gov.uk/ 

Published in Marine Warning

A lone sailor in the Irish Sea who was rescued south of Mumbles yesterday with no power and almost no safety equipment on board has just been rescued again after setting out for the second time and once again losing engine power, this time off Rhoose Point.

At quarter past eight yesterday the male on board the yacht 'Stravaig' contacted Swansea Coastguard to inform them that he had lost all electrical power and was drifting nine miles south of Mumbles Head. The man had no navigation lights, and only a mobile phone with a very low battery as a communications device. The only navigational equipment he had was a handheld GPS which also was very low on battery.

The Mumbles RNLI lifeboat was launched to the 12 metre yacht and towed her in to Mumbles. A second lifeboat also assisted with her mooring.

Almost exactly 24 hours later, at ten past eight this evening, Swansea Coastguard received another call from the same yacht, reporting that it had again run out of power. This time the Barry Dock lifeboat has been sent to tow the vessel back in to Barry. Barry Coastguard Rescue Team will meet the vessel in order to give the sailor advice on how to safely continue his journey.

Dave Jones, Swansea Coastguard Watch Manager said:

"When we give out safety advice to people going out for a trip in a yacht we recommend that people take adequate communications and navigational devices, flares, and check their engines. Unfortunately, this man followed none of this advice and set out not once, but twice, knowing that he did not have sufficient power to reach his destination.

All of the rescue resources tasked to this man's two rescues have been volunteers and we hope that the yachtsman will consider full equipping and preparing his vessel before continue his journey in order that we do not have to send them out to his rescue for a third time."

Published in Coastguard
Page 57 of 58

Every Year Ireland's Search & Rescue Services deliver emergency life saving work on our seas, lakes and rivers.

Ireland's Water Safety Agencies work hard to provide us with the information we need to keep safe, while enjoying all manner of water based activities.

There's no better fun than getting out on the water but being afloat is a responsibility we all need to take seriously.

These pages detail the work of the rescue agencies. We also aim to promote safety standards among pleasure boaters, and by doing so, prevent, as far as possible, the loss of life at sea and on inland waters. If you have ideas for our pages we'd love to hear from you. Please email us at [email protected]

Think Before You Sink - Wear a Lifejacket

Accidents can happen fast on water and there may not be time to reach for a lifejacket in an emergency therefore don't just carry a lifejacket - wear it; if it's not on you, it can't save your life.

Irish Water Safety's Safe Boating Alert:

Check condition of boat and equipment, hull, engine, fuel, tools, torch.

Check the weather forecast for the area.

Check locally concerning dangerous currents and strong tides.

Do not drink alcohol while setting out or during your trip.

Carry an alternative means of propulsion e.g. sails and oars or motor and oars.

Carry a first aid kit on board and distress signals (at least two parachute distress rockets, two red hand flares).

Carry a fire extinguisher, a hand bailer or bucket with lanyard and an anchor with rope attached.

Carry marine radio or some means of communication with shore.

Do not overload the boat - this will make it unstable.

Do not set out unless accompanied by an experienced person.

Leave details of your planned trip with someone ashore - including departure and arrival times, description of boat, names of persons on board, etc.

Wear a Lifejacket at all times.

Keep an eye on the weather - seek shelter in good time.

In Marine Emergencies, call 999 or 112 and ask for Marine Rescue.

Lifejackets Checklist

Ensure Cartridges have not been punctured and are secured firmly.

Ensure all zips, buckles, fasteners and webbing straps are functioning correctly and adjusted to fit the user.

Check that fitted lights are operating correctly.

Ensure that Automatic Inflation devices are fully serviced and in date.

Check that the valve or lifejacket is not leaking.