Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

AfloatDigi 2018 CHMarine SafetySection

Search & Rescue, Water Safety - News from the Marine Safety Agencies
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…
Wicklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat returns to station after the call-out on Sunday night 6 August
Just hours after the conclusion of their station’s open day on Sunday (6 August), Wicklow RNLI’s volunteer crew members responded to the first of two call-outs in 24 hours. Pagers sounded just after 9.30pm on Sunday night and within 10…
File image of White Strand at Derrynane, Co Kerry
Tragedy was averted this August Bank Holiday weekend when a grandfather and his grandson were rescued from the sea after their kayak capsized off White Strand in Co Kerry. As the Kerryman reports, emergency services including the Irish Coast Guard’s…
Skerries RNLI recovering the lifeboat on Friday night 4 August
Skerries RNLI were tasked just before 10pm on Friday night (4 August) following a 999 call to report that two teenagers were stranded on Shenick Island, having been cut off by the incoming tide. The volunteers in Skerries launched their…
Wicklow RNLI Lifeboat Station Crew on the Open Day  in Wicklow Harbour
The Wicklow RNLI Lifeboat Station opened its doors and lifeboats to the public on the August Bank Holiday Monday for the first time in four years due to Covid-19. Despite the mixed weather, it turned out to be a hugely…
New Irish Coast Guard Director Micheál O'Toole
Irish Coast Guard volunteers who were dismissed or left are seeking a meeting with the new management team, which has been charged with conducting a wide-ranging review of the State service. As The Sunday Independent reports, the review of “all…
Donaghadee's All Weather RNLI Lifeboat Macquarie
In the late hours of Friday, August 4th, 2024, the volunteer crew of the Donaghadee RNLI lifeboat station in Northern Ireland received a call from HM Coastguard. The Coastguard reported an emergency medical issue involving a female passenger on a…
At the start of the August Bank Holiday Weekend, the Irish Coast Guard has issued a water safety appeal asking people to take precautions to ensure their safety, in, near or on the water, both coastal and inland. The August…
File image of Cowes RNLI’s inshore lifeboat at sea
The Cowes RNLI lifeboat was kept busy during Cowes Week racing earlier this week with incidents on Monday and Tuesday. On Monday morning (31 July) the lifeboat crew were called out to two yachts involved in a violent collision, and…
File image of Baltimore RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat
Baltimore RNLI were called out on Monday night (31 July) for the second time in two days to provide a medical evacuation, this time from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork. The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their…
The Tara Scougall RNLI lifeboat was launched from its base at Coosan Point and arrived on the scene within 10 minutes of the call
A group of 26 people were rescued by Lough Ree RNLI on Monday, 31 July, after three boats ran aground north of the Black Islands. The emergency call was made to the Irish Coast Guard, who requested the aid of…
The R115 helicopter winched the casualty from the Valentia Lifeboat
Valentia Coast Guard was alerted by a concerned member of the public yesterday afternoon that a person had fallen into the water near Culoo Rock on the western side of Valentia Island. The incident occurred at around 4:50pm on the…
Crosshaven RNLI inshore lifeboat at speed in Cork Harbour
The volunteer crew of Crosshaven RNLI were kept busy on Monday evening with two back-to-back callouts in Cork Harbour. The first callout came at 7.45 pm when the crew was alerted to a 19-foot motor boat with two people on…
Wicklow RNLI Lifeboat Station crews will will be available to discuss their specialised training, demonstrate the equipment used on the lifeboats, and answer any questions on Open Day on Sunday, August 6th
Wicklow RNLI Lifeboat Station is set to open its doors to the public on Sunday, August 6th, for its annual Open Day. This much-anticipated event has been absent for the past four years due to Covid-19 restrictions, but the volunteers,…
Owen Medland (left), RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager for the southeast, presented Dr Cox with a framed print of Fethard's D-Class Naomh Dubhan on a chart of Ballyteige Bay on his retirement
Last week, Fethard RNLI came together to honour and bid farewell to Dr John Cox, who retired from his role as a volunteer Lifeboat Medical Advisor after over 25 years of dedicated service. Dr Cox began his tenure as a…
File image of a woman kayaking in a group with splash from the oar hitting the camera
The RNLI has teamed up with British Canoeing to encourage people to make safety a priority before taking to the water. And echoing their safety advice is a kayaker who claims his trip to the coast may have ended in…

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.