Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Displaying items by tag: Air Corps

Extra pressure will be put on the Irish Coast Guard’s helicopter rescue services this winter as the State’s air ambulance plans to shut down for 16 days between now and next February.

As RTÉ News reports, “mounting staffing and training problems” will force the Air Corps to ground the Athlone-based AC112 air ambulance it has been using since 2012 for a total of 16 days — four each month from now until February.

The Department of Defence confirmed in a statement that the coastguard “will provide reserve cover to the national ambulance service” in line with the establishment of the Emergency Aeromedical Service (EAS) in 2015.

The Irish Community Rapid Response air ambulance based in Rathcoole, Co Cork will also be available “and the potential for it to provide increased support is also being explored”.

The statement added: “The priority is to provide the best service possible using all available resources during the four-day periods each month when the Air Corps are not available for EAS taskings.

“This interruption is regrettable but necessary from a safety and governance perspective.”

The coastguard’s helicopter fleet was previously trialled as an air ambulance service, and subsequently engaged in night-time cover.

But the arrangement was scaled back two years ago over concerns with pilot doing double duty for patient transfers.

Published in Coastguard

WARNING TO THE PUBLIC AIR CORPS FIRING EXERCISES

On Monday 28th August to Saturday 9th September (inclusive) 2017 (excluding Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd September) From 09.00hrs to 17.00hrs
AT GORMANSTON, CO. MEATH

IT IS DANGEROUS FOR PERSONS, SHIPPING, LIVESTOCK OR AIRCRAFT ETC., TO BE WITHIN THE DANGER AREA WHILE FIRING IS IN PROGRESS.

The DANGER AREA (EID1) comprises the lands of GORMANSTON CAMP and the air and sea area contained within a circle having a radius of 3NM (5.4KM) centred on GORMANSTON CAMP with an additional area contained within the segment centred on GORMANSTON CAMP and bearing 015° T, through MOSNEY RAILWAY STATION and 106° T, through GORMANSTON RAILWAY STATION seaward for the distance of 10NM (18.5 KM)

The DANGER AREA extends from SEA LEVEL to a height of 10,000ft AMSL. RED FLAGS will be flown at BEN HEAD and GORMANSTON RAILWAY STATION when exercises are taking place.

OBJECTS found on the RANGES may be HIGHLY DANGEROUS and the PUBLIC ARE WARNED of the risk of handling or interfering with such objects. NO REWARD of any kind will be made for the finding of objects of a military nature on the ranges.

SECRETARY GENERAL
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE

Published in Marine Warning

Why has no politician of any hue, Government or Opposition, of any party or of the Independents, raised concern in the Dáil about the strategic implications for the State of the threat to a fully operational Naval Service and its joint operations with the Air Corps? Scroll down to listen to the podcast below.

Why has no one questioned the Taoiseach who, in the formation of the new Government, took to his own responsibility the Department of Defence, about these issues? The Department has stated, clearly and unambiguously, in public that Naval and Air Corps joint operations, including those directed towards marine counter-terrorism, replenishment of Naval vessels at sea and other operations, are under threat.

The Haulbowline Naval Base is “an important strategic location for the Irish Defence Forces..”
“It is the only Naval Service base in Ireland..” The threat to it “cannot be an acceptable situation for the necessary functioning of a fully operational Naval Base.”

Those are not my opinions. They are those of the Department of Defence.

And yet, they do not seem to worry the members of our National Parliament.

Not a mention in the Dáil, the assembly of the duly-elected representative of the people, no concern expressed about the “strategic implications” for the country’s Navy and Air Corps.

Either the politicians have no interest in the defence of the nation or they care little about the maritime defence force and its joint operations with the Air Corps.

I live in Cork Harbour and when I look out my kitchen window I see three wind turbines powering chemical factories close by and I can see the operations of several of these plants every day from my home, so I am well used to the heavy industrialisation of the harbour. However, this is an issue of the operations of the Navy and Air Corps, identified by the Department of Defence as having "strategic implications for the State" and which, as the Department has said, makes it a nationalo, not a local issue.

This week on THIS ISLAND NATION radio programme which you should listen to here, the Managing Director of the commercial company which is posing those identified threats to the Naval Service and Air Corps, tells me that the Services should “compromise” with the operations of his company, which will co-operate with them.

In my long years of journalism, half-a-century at this stage, I have never before heard any company suggest that the nation’s defence forces should have to compromise with a commercial operation, which is not a benign, beneficent public service but an international operation with a profit motive. I had presumed that the Defence Forces are vital to the structure of a democratic nation and should be considered above such pressure from commercial interests.

John Ahern, Managing Director of Indaver Ireland, whose incinerator proposed for Ringaskiddy, close to the Naval Base, has been described by the Department of Defence as posing those unacceptable strategic implications for the Navy and Air Corps, agreed to be interviewed by me on this specific issue. He had extended the invitation to interview him. In the course of it he expressed respect for the Navy, but told me that the State, in regard to his company’s proposals, had two tasks – management of waste and operation of the Naval Service. I expressed surprise that he equated the two and reminded him that, during an accident causing explosion and fire at the Indaver plant at Antwerp Port earlier this year, all those in the vicinity were told to “stay indoors.” Was he suggesting that the Navy would have to “stay indoors” in the event of an accident at his plant? There is only one road servicing the Naval Base on Haulbowline, which the proposed incinerator would be built alongside. He accepted that there is no guarantee against accidents, even though his company theoretically maintains that there would be none which would impact on the Navy and he indicated that it would be a matter for the Naval Service to decide its response if there was an accident. He said his company had suggested an alternative escape route through nearby premises of the National Maritime College/IMERC, though he also said that people in that area, just across the road from the proposed incinerator site, might have to be told to “stay indoors” in the event of an accident.
We did not agree, as I believe that the Naval Service should be of priority importance to the nation and its operations should not be subject to any threat from commercial interests and that there should be no strategic implications for it and the Air Corps, which has said that incinerator operations will cause a ‘no fly zone’ to be imposed over the Naval Base.
I was overly concerned with Naval Service operations, in his view.
I do not agree.
Mr. Ahern appeared confident of gaining approval from Bord Pleanala, the national planning board, to proceed with the incinerator construction after a public hearing which has concluded and a decision is awaited.
Can it be that this Board, unaccountable to anyone, now has the power to decide on future Naval Service and Air Corps operations?
Can this be acceptable in an independent nation, that a planning board and not the Government, should have the power to decide on the future operations of Defence Forces?
Also on the programme, the President of the Nautical Institute, the world representative organisation for professional seafarers, says that Ireland needs a strong maritime voice. I agree with this view expressed by Captain Robert McCabe
Regrettably, it seems that a strong voice of concern about the “strategic implications” for the “fully operational” maritime defence force, the Naval Service and it Air Corps operational partners, is not present in Dáil Eireann.

Listen to the podcast below.

Published in Island Nation

#COASTGUARD - The Irish Coast Guard has taken delivery of its new search and rescue helicopter at its Shannon base, The Irish Times reports.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Sikorsky completed production of the new S-92 helicopter for the Irish Coast Guard last December under the rescue service's €500 million deal with CHC Ireland to revamp the aircraft fleet.

The deal will also see the coastguard's remaining four Sikorsky S-61s replaced by second-hand S-62s from Scotland over the coming months.

Training with crews at Shannon is set to begin shortly ahead of the S-92's first public demonstration at the centenary of the Titanic’s departure from Cobh in Cork Harbour.

Meanwhile, it is expected that the Air Corps may be offered an upgraded air ambulance role, after they were ruled out as contenders for search and rescue work amid some controversy.

The Department of Health has reportedly been in exploratory talks with private firms regarding the provision of an inter-hospital emergency air transfer service, as called for by the Roscommon Hospital Action Group.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastguard

#RESCUE - The Irish Times reports that an Air Corps maritime patrol aircraft joined a search and rescue mission to evacuate a fisherman off the West Cork coast today.

The Casa CN 235 - one of two operated by the Air Corps - diverted from its daily patrol to provide a communications relay in the operation to rescue an injured crewman from a Spanish fishing boat some 100 miles south of of Castletownbere.

The fisherman was airlifted by an Irish Coast Guard helicopter which at last report was taking him to medical attention in Cork.

Published in Rescue

#COASTGUARD - Sikorsky has completed production of a new S-92 helicopter for the Irish Coast Guard under the rescue service's €500 million deal with CHC Ireland.

The US-based helicopter firm and CHC formalised the purchase on Wednesday (21 December) with Irish Coast Guard director Chris Reynolds during a hand-over ceremony at the S-92 commercial helicopter assembly facility in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.

Equipped for dedicated search and rescue (SAR) operations, the helicopter will provide coverage for deep Atlantic Ocean missions, service Ireland's offshore islands and provide rescue cover on the west coast from Cork to Galway.

The new aircraft will be based at Shannon and will replace the current coastguard SAR helicopter, a Sikorsky S-61, which has given 20 years of unbroken service.

According to Sikorsky, the S-92 is equipped with advanced systems and hardware, including an automated flight control system that enables the pilot to fly pre-programmed search patterns and perform delicate hover manoeuvres; a wireless intercom allowing a rescue swimmer to communicate with the crew; radio transceivers to communicate with ships and rescue services; a weather radar and infrared sensor; and a digital video system to record rescues.

Reynolds said the new helicopter - which joins four second-hand machines on a 10-year lease - represents a stepped improvement in Ireland's ability to care for and service its seagoing, coastal and island communities.

"I am very happy that the Coast Guard will operate what I consider to be the leading SAR helicopter in the world," he added.

As reported earlier this year on Afloat.ie, the new chopper is part of a deal that raised questions from a Fine Gael TD over allegations that a competing tender did not have a "good reputation".

Fergus O'Dowd questioning the contract with CHC Ireland after receiving documents in which Chris Reynolds said the Air Corps – whose helicopters are supplied by AgustaWestland - were uneqipped for the role and that no cost saving would be made if they took on the service.

Published in Coastguard

#SHIPPING - The Irish Times reports that a tanker carrying hazardous cargo has been allowed to berth at Belfast Port after it reported a cracked hull off the north-west coast.

The 228-metre Germar Companion, which is is carrying 54,000 tonnes of vacuum gas oil, was on route from Rotterdam to New York when its crew discovered cracking in its upper deck some 25 miles off Tory Island.

The Air Corps and Naval Service were stood down after the cargo ship was granted permission to berth at Belfast, where its hull will be inspected.

Published in Ports & Shipping
An air and sea search operation is underway for a yacht missing en route from Bermuda to Ireland, The Irish Times reports.
The Golden Eagle has been out of contact since leaving port on 21 August. It was due to arrive with its two-man crew - a 69-year-old Norwegian and a 60-year-old New Zealander - at Crookhaven in West Cork last Thursday.
The Irish Coast Guard told the Press Association said that the Naval Service and Air Corps are involved in the search off the south west coast, and ships in the mid-Atlantic have also been asked to try to contact the yacht.
The yacht is described as being 9.8m (32ft) long, white and with a blue trim on the side.

An air and sea search operation is underway for a yacht missing en route from Bermuda to Ireland, The Irish Times reports.

The Golden Eagle has been out of contact since leaving port on 21 August. It was due to arrive with its two-man crew - a 69-year-old Norwegian and a 60-year-old New Zealander - at Crookhaven in West Cork last Thursday.

The Irish Coast Guard told the Press Association said that the Naval Service and Air Corps are involved in the search off the south west coast, and ships in the mid-Atlantic have also been asked to try to contact the yacht.

The yacht is described as being 9.8m (32ft) long, white and with a blue trim on the side.

Published in Coastguard
The Naval Service, the Air Corps and Army Ranger Wing (ARW) an elite specialist force, completed a maritime counter terrorism exercise on board an Irish Sea ferry at the weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.
For the purposes of the exercise Stena Line's Dublin-Holyhead ferry Stena Adventurer was used in a scenario involving terrorist activity of a large ship entering Dublin Port, culminating in an armed intervention.

The operation was spearheaded by the ARW with the support of a Naval Service coastal patrol vessel (CPV) and also Air Corps helicopters. High-speed tactical assault craft with ARW teams on board conducted manoeuvres while air-borne teams fast-roped from helicopters onto the deck of the Stena Adventurer. To see photos of the ARW team in action click HERE.

The exercise was designed to enhance the capacity of the Defence Forces to provide the State with a highly specialised maritime armed intervention capability.

Last month the Naval Service conducted close quarter manoeuvres in 'Operation Quixote' off the south-west coast. The exercise involved the entire naval fleet except for the flagship LE Eithne, which performed in gunnery practice, simulated air attacks from the Air Corps and armed naval boarding parties.

 

Published in Navy
WARNING TO THE PUBLIC AIR CORPS FIRING EXERCISES AND AIR DEFENCE ARTILLERY FIRING EXERCISES

On Monday 10th October 2011 from 09.00hrs to 18.00hrs

At GORMANSTON, CO. MEATH

IT IS DANGEROUS FOR PERSONS, SHIPPING, LIVESTOCK OR AIRCRAFT ETC., TO BE WITHIN THE DANGER AREA WHILE FIRING IS IN PROGRESS.

The DANGER AREA comprises the lands of GORMANSTON CAMP and the air and sea area contained within a circle having a radius of 3NM (5.4KM) centred on GORMANSTON CAMP with an additional area contained within the segment centred on GORMANSTON CAMP and bearing 015° T, through MOSNEY RAILWAY STATION and 106° T through GORMANSTON RAILWAY STATION seaward for the distance of 10NM (18.5 KM) The DANGER AREA extends from SEA LEVEL to a height of 12,000ft.

RED FLAGS will be flown at BEN HEAD and GORMANSTON RAILWAY STATION when exercises are taking place.

OBJECTS found on the RANGES may be HIGHLY DANGEROUS and the PUBLIC ARE WARNED of the risk of handling or interfering with such objects.
NO REWARD of any kind will be made for the finding of objects of a military nature on the ranges.

MICHAEL HOWARD
SECRETARY GENERAL
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE

Published in Marine Warning
Page 1 of 2

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

Featured Webcams

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails 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