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Displaying items by tag: Irish Coast Guard

Following a yellow wind warning issued by Met Éireann today (Wednesday 11 August) for eight counties, the Irish Coast Guard is strongly advising the public to exercise caution.

The weather alert is in place for tomorrow, Thursday 12 and Friday 13 August and the public are advised to stay away from exposed beaches, cliffs and piers, harbour walls and promenades in Cork, Kerry, Clare, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo and Sligo.

The forecasted unseasonable severe weather conditions will coincide with spring tides and rough to high seas, with the potential for wave overtopping and hazardous coastal conditions.

The coastguard encourages the public to remember to ‘Stay Back, Stay High and Stay Dry’ and if you see anyone if difficulty, call 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.

Published in Weather

Cork County Council has joined the Irish Coast Guard and Water Safety Ireland in appealing to members of the public to be mindful of their personal safety if they’re visiting the coast this week.

The three organisations have issued guidelines for anyone taking part in coastal walks. They’re asking people to stay away from exposed coastal and cliff edges, tell someone where you’re going and to pay attention to tide times and safety signs.

They’re also advising people to dress appropriately for the conditions, to wear a high-factor sunscreen and to bring enough food and water for their journey.

A status yellow high temperature warning remains in place for the entire country. Met Éireann is predicting maximum temperatures of between 25 and 30 degrees for Co Cork until tomorrow, Friday 23 July.

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Gillian Coughlan said: “We all appreciate the vital work that the council’s beach lifeguards, coastguard and RNLI do on a daily basis, and the last thing anyone wants is to put these vital services under unnecessary strain. By staying informed and prepared, we can help ensure our own safety and the safety of our family members.

“Plan your route carefully and keep an eye on the tide times to avoid being cut off by a tidal cutoff. Keep to the path when enjoying our beautiful coastal walkways; keep dogs on leashes and keep a safe distance from cliff edges, which can be extremely unstable. Cork has an unmatched coastline; let us take advantage of it safely.”

Tim Lucey, chief executive of Cork County Council, added: “Co Cork is home to 19% of the country’s coastline and thousands of people are expected to flock to the seaside to make the most of the good weather. I hope that holiday makers and day trippers will follow these simple guidelines to ensure that they have a safe and enjoyable visit.

“I would also remind visitors to park safely and to ensure that they are not blocking vital access for the emergency services.”

Water Safety Ireland chief executive John Leech highlights the fact that there will be a full moon on Saturday which will bring with it spring tides which increases the risk of stranding.

“Please carry a mobile phone and call 112 and ask for the coastguard if you find yourself in difficulty or being cut off by the tide,” he said.

The Irish Coast Guard’s head of operations Gerard O’Flynn said that the number of incidents coordinated by the coastguard is at a five-year high and he appealed to the public to at all times to be mindful of their personal safety, be it on the water or along the coast.

“Please ensure that any activity you engage in is being monitored by a colleague who should be aware of your plans and estimated return time,” he said.

Cork County Council’s beach lifeguards are on full-time duty from 10.30am until 7pm daily at 12 beaches: Youghal Front Strand, Claycastle, Redbarn, Garryvoe, Fountainstown, Inchydoney East & West, Owenahincha, The Warren, Tragumna, Barleycove Beaches, Garrylucas and Garretstown.

If you see somebody in trouble on the water or along the coast use VHF Channel 16 or Dial 112 and ask for coastguard.

For more information, visit gov.ie/summerready or safetyonthewater.gov.ie

Published in Water Safety

The Air Corps was put on standby amid fears that an Irish Coast Guard helicopter would have to ditch in the sea, as The Irish Times reports.

Rescue 115 from Shannon was forced to leave one of its crew with an injured fisherman on a fishing vessel off the Co Kerry coast early yesterday morning, Sunday 4 July, when the helicopter’s systems warned of a mechanical issue.

The Sikorsky S-92 “diverted to land at the nearest suitable location” in line with standard procedure, according to a coastguard spokesperson, and the aircraft landed safely at Valentia half an hour later. The issue has since been confirmed to be a “hard fault” and the helicopter is now back in service.

Earlier today, as reported on Afloat.ie, Rescue 115's crew airlifted to hospital a surfer rescued from the sea off Co Clare.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

BreakingNews.ie reports that a surfer has died in hospital after he got into difficulty off the Co Clare coast this morning, Monday 5 July.

The Irish Coast Guard’s Kilkee unit and Rescue 115 helicopter from Shannon were among the emergency services to attend the scene at Lough Donnell in Quilty, where off-duty lifeguards in the area helped bring the surfer ashore.

The casualty was subsequently airlifted to University Hospital Limerick in critical condition.

This story was updated at 6.05pm on Monday 5 July.

Published in Rescue

Cleggan Coast Guard team were tasked earlier in the week to a collapsed horse on Omey Island off Claddaghduff in western Connemara.

The fallen horse was in grave danger with a fast incoming tide, so the coastguard team members worked quickly with assistance and guidance from two vets from Western Veterinary and the owner to bring the horse safely ashore.

Cleggan Coast Guard later commented on social media: “Thankfully the horse is doing well. We’re delighted to be part of this unusual rescue.”

Also this week, Cleggan Coast Guard welcomed Minister of State and Galway West TD Hildegarde Naughton to its base in north-western Co Galway.

Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton is presented with a locally made miniature model currach by Cleggan Coast GuardMinister of State Hildegarde Naughton is presented with a locally made miniature model currach by Cleggan Coast Guard

During her visit, the minister was shown the range of services and facilities the volunteers at Cleggan provide for Connemara, including a demonstration by the unit's drone search team.

In honour of her visit and in light of the minister’s Department of Transport leadership of the Irish Coast Guard, Minister Naughton was presented with a locally made miniature model currach.

Officer in Charge Michael Murray commenting on the visit said: “It’s great to see the minister make such an effort to get out and meet the people who volunteer their time. We are so proud that she is a TD for our constituency as well.”

Published in Coastguard

The Oireachtas Public Accounts Committee has heard that the Irish Coast Guard’s rescue helicopter service costs the state around €60 million annually.

An initial 10-year contract with CHC Ireland to provide services with Sikorsky S-92 helicopters from four bases began in 2012 and was initially valued at €500 million.

As reported in The Irish Times yesterday, Thursday 28 May, Department of Transport secretary general Ken Spratt told the PAC that this cost will have risen to €650 million by 2022 but that it is “not a fixed-cost contract” and is “broadly in line with expectations at the outset”.

He also confirmed that one of three contract extensions has been exercised and CHC Ireland will continue to provide the coastguard SAR service until at least July 2023.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

Howth’s Irish Coast Guard cliff team sprang into action yesterday evening (Sunday 16 May) to rescue a dog trapped on a sea cliff at Red Rock in Sutton.

Freddie the dog had fallen 10 metres down the cliff face while walking with his owners and was stranded on a ledge in the rock.

The coastguard team acted quickly, setting up for an abseil before a rescue climber was lowered to retrieve Freddie and safety reunite him with his relieved owners on the beach below.

“Freddie’s owners did the right thing when the dog got trapped. They didn’t attempt a self rescue and contacted the coastguard on 999,” the Howth unit said.

“We encourage the public to contact the coastguard if they see people attempt a rescue.”

Published in Rescue

Skerries RNLI’s volunteers launched their inshore lifeboat on Wednesday evening (21 April) as part of a multi-agency response to reports of a swimmer in difficulty near the Martello tower in Balbriggan.

The Atlantic 85 lifeboat Louis Simson was launched within minutes of the crew being paged just before 7pm and proceeded directly to the area indicated.

On arrival the crew found the Dublin-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 already on scene and winching a man from the water.

The casualty was the lowered onto the beach and into the care of an ambulance crew and members of Dublin Fire Brigade who administered first aid before he was transferred to hospital.

Meanwhile, further reports came in that other swimmers had entered the water to assist the casualty and a subsequent emergency call raised concerns that there may still be someone in the water.

Rescue 116, Skerries RNLI and the Skerries Coast Guard unit coordinated to carry out a search of the immediate area covering the water and the shoreline.

The lifeboat investigated a number of objects at the request of Rescue 116, including a lifebuoy which they recovered into the lifeboat.

When Dublin Coast Guard was satisfied that the area had been thoroughly searched and there were no further swimmers in danger, the lifeboat was stood down and returned to station.

Speaking about the callout, press officer Gerry Canning said: “When a person is in trouble in the water, every second counts. Rescue 116 were on scene very quickly and it was an excellent response from all of the emergency services who worked brilliantly together.

“Our thoughts are with the friends and family of the man taken from the water and we hope he makes a full recovery.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The Irish Coast Guard has been certified as a ‘Great Place to Work’ by a leading employee satisfaction audit firm.

In 2019 the IRCG partnered with the Great Place to Work Institute to develop and implement an engagement programme with staff and volunteers as it undergoes an extensive programme of reform.

An engagement tool called the Trust Index & Culture Assessment (TCA) was made available to all coastguard personnel and was specifically designed to collect their personal perspectives on the organisation and on wider reform activities.

Commenting on the accolade, the Irish Coast Guard’s acting director Eugene Clonan said: “We are delighted to be recipients of this year's ‘Great Place to Work’ award.

“Engaging in the programme has allowed us to hear the perspectives of all our coastguard members and to create a ‘just’ culture that encourages open engagement and supports the Coast Guard’s wider programme of reform.

“We are proud of our teams and their certification as great places to work and will continue to work together to continuously improve our organisation and resolve the many challenges that remain.”

Clonan added: “This process is much more than a simple survey of attitudes of those working in the organisation and our volunteers around the coast.

“It is about building a sense of ownership and trust across the coastguard, where people can feel empowered to develop as individuals, highlight issues of concern without fear and engage in a constructive and solution-oriented way to the challenges that face a strongly community-based organisation.

“We are an organisation that has been through some traumatic events over the last five years and we are keen to learn from these events.

“That is at the heart of this initiative — a clear demonstration that we are willing to learn, develop and improve how we do what we do. The icing is that this work is being recognised by an outside organisation.”

Published in Coastguard
Tagged under

The Irish Coast Guard has cited safety reasons for its temporary suspension of cliff rescues, as RTÉ News reports.

A spokesperson said the move is in line with its safety management system “and the function will be resumed when it has been is deemed safe to do so”.

Areas affected by the suspension will be serviced by existing coastguard units and the SAR helicopter network, the spokesperson added.

The move comes just weeks after some coastguard cliff rescue team members claimed they had not received any training in six months amid pandemic restrictions, as previously noted on Afloat.ie.

Published in Coastguard
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