Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

AfloatDigi 2018 CHMarine SafetySection

Search & Rescue, Water Safety - News from the Marine Safety Agencies
Storm Betty - The strongest winds are predicted to hit southern coastal and midland counties of Ireland, with severe or damaging gusts
As Storm Betty approaches Ireland, the Irish Coast Guard is issuing important advice for those engaging in water-based or coastal activities. According to Met Éireann, a deepening Atlantic depression is expected to bring very strong winds with heavy rain or…
Dunmore East RNLI tows a French yacht back to the harbour, one of two tows it completed of the 6-metre yachts west of Hook Head
Dunmore East RNLI lifeboat crew called out twice yesterday (17 August) to assist two solo sailors who were part of the qualifying stages for a long-distance solo race. Each sailor was piloting their own 6m sail-only vessels and had intended…
The damage caused to boats and pontoons at Dingle Harbour in Co Kerry
An incorrectly designed electrical system on a French-registered fishing vessel has been identified as the main cause of a serious collision with a pontoon in Dingle Harbour which caused extensive damage last November. The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) has…
The Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI All Weather lifeboat operating on Dublin Bay
The volunteer lifeboat crew of Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI has been kept busy over the past week, responding to ten calls for assistance from the Dublin Bay area. The Coast Guard sought the help of the Inshore and All Weather lifeboats…
Buddy the border collie is safe and sound back at the Sligo Bay lifeboat station
Sligo Bay RNLI’s volunteer crew were requested to launch by the Irish Coast Guard on Sunday morning (13 August) to reports of a dog who had become stranded on a sandbank at Culleenamore near Strandhill in Ballisodare Bay. Buddy the…
File image of Wexford RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
Wexford RNLI’s inshore lifeboat had a busy Sunday afternoon (13 August) with two back-to-back rescue efforts. Lifeboat helm Damien Foley and volunteer crew Ger Doran and Donal Troddyn were first tasked with assisting two people whose boat suffered engine failure…
Courtown RNLI's inshore lifeboat took over the tow and safely brought the cabin cruiser into Courtown Harbour
Two men and a boy were rescued by the Courtown RNLI on August 9th after their cabin cruiser experienced engine failure off the coast of Cahore. The Arklow RNLI initially responded to the distress call and had the vessel under tow…
Red Bay RNLI inshore lifeboat launches at Cushendall in County Antrim
Two men were rescued by the Red Bay RNLI after their 18ft speedboat caught fire off the coast of Antrim. The incident occurred south of Rathlin Island, and the rescue team was quickly on the scene after being alerted by…
RNLI Wexford fundraiser: An exhibition 'A Maritime History of Co. Wexford ' to be held in Kilmore Quay, and will be officially opened on Saturday, 26 August at 11 am by Sean Boyce, Senior Master of the Rosslare-Cherbourg cruise ferry Stena Vision which entered service at the end of June. The exhibition will also continue on Sunday, 27 August.
A fundraising exhibition in aid of Co. Wexford’s five RNLI lifeboat stations will share in the proceeds from the event held in the Stella Maris Centre in Kilmore Quay on Saturday 26 and Sunday, 27 August. The exhibition 'A Maritime…
Kilmore Quay RNLI's all-weather Tamar class lifeboat, Killarney
On Saturday afternoon, Kilmore Quay RNLI came to the rescue of three people stranded on a RIB off Ballyhealy Beach. The all-weather Tamar class lifeboat, Killarney, was launched after the Irish Coast Guard received a call from a concerned member…
The Fishing Vessel An Portán Óir berthed in Dingle marina, county Kerry. The boat is a glass reinforced plastic (GRP) hulled, decked fishing vessel with forward wheelhouse and an inboard diesel engine. There was a pot hauler fitted starboard forward side and open fishing deck aft
A skipper survived severe pain during a deck accident which could have been alleviated if he had been able to access a knife to free his leg, according to the official investigation. The Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) report into…
The Achill Island RNLI all-weather lifeboat ‘Sam and Ada Moody’
Achill Island RNLI came to the aid of an unmanned fishing trawler in severe weather conditions on Friday, August 11th, following a call from the Irish Coast Guard. The 36ft trawler was moored between Purteen Harbour and Inishgalloon at Achill…
Bangor RNLI was involved in the rescue of three people from a 28ft yacht
Three people were rescued by the Bangor RNLI lifeboat after their 28ft yacht ran aground on Cockle Island, Groomsport. The incident occurred on Thursday evening, August 10th. The RNLI received a request from Belfast Coastguard to assist with the recovery…
File image of Lough Derg RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Jean Spier
Lough Derg RNLI were requested to launch at noon on Thursday 10 August) to assist two people on a 40ft cruiser with engine failure and at anchor by navigation buoy H, close to Terryglass Bay. The inshore lifeboat Jean Spier…
Galway Harbour RNLI's volunteer crew operating in Galway Bay
Galway Harbour RNLI's volunteer crew responded to three separate calls for assistance in a single evening on Wednesday (09 August), demonstrating their readiness to deal with any situation that arises. The first callout came at around 5.30 pm when the crew…
File image of Enniskillen RNLI’s inshore lifeboat John and Jean Lewis
Enniskillen RNLI’s inshore lifeboat John and Jean Lewis was launched at the request of Belfast Coastguard on Wednesday afternoon (9 August) to assess a boat breakdown near Portoa Lock. The Shetland cruiser with two people onboard had reported encountering mechanical…

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.