Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

AfloatDigi 2018 CHMarine SafetySection

Search & Rescue, Water Safety - News from the Marine Safety Agencies
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The Department of Transport is reminding all masters, owners and users of recreational craft of the need to think and prepare before going out on the water. All owners and users of recreational craft should follow this checklist of basic…
Crosshaven's inshore RNLI lifeboat
A member of the public alerted the Coast Guard to a stranded vessel with one person onboard near Spike Island and Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour on Saturday afternoon (July 29th). The Crosshaven lifeboat volunteers were called to action and launched…
The Baltimore RNLI all-weather lifeboat
The Baltimore RNLI provided a medical evacuation on Sunday morning, July 30th, from Sherkin Island located off Baltimore in West Cork. The request for assistance came from the Irish Coast Guard to evacuate an injured man from the island. The…
The Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat crew who assisted the speedboat off the West Cork coast
Castletownbere lifeboat was dispatched to help a man whose speedboat was having difficulty off the West Cork coast this afternoon. The Irish Coast Guard's Marine Research Coordination Centre in Valentia received reports that a 17' speedboat with one person aboard…
The Department of Transport has announced the appointment of the first Assistant Secretary-General for the Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) and a new Director to the Coast Guard. These appointments were made to support the ongoing provision of emergency response services…
Baltimore RNLI inshore lifeboat prepares to launch in West Cork
Baltimore RNLI responded to a distress call on Thursday, 27 July, to assist a 12m sailing yacht with engine failure near Baltimore Harbour, West Cork. The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their inshore lifeboat at 7 pm after the Coast Guard requested…
Newcastle RNLI’s lifeboat crew launched both their all-weather and inshore lifeboats to go to the assistance of the yacht crew drifting five miles east of Ardglass
Newcastle RNLI’s lifeboat crew launched both their all-weather and inshore lifeboats yesterday (Wednesday, 26 July) at 3.08 pm following a request from HM Coastguard. A 36ft yacht with five people onboard, including two children, had reported that their equipment had…
File image of Killybegs Coast Guard’s RIB
Killybegs Coast Guard in Co Donegal has appointed its first ever female coxswain. Amay Conneely takes up the new role alongside fellow new designated boat coxswain Conor O’Donoghue, both of whom are fully qualified to helm the Irish Coast Guard…
Aran Islands RNLI lifeboat
Aran Islands RNLI has come to the aid of eight people in two separate incidents over the weekend after two yachts got into difficulty. The volunteer crew spent six hours at sea on Saturday night into the early hours of…
If you see somebody in trouble on the water or along the coast or think that they are in trouble, use Marine VHF Ch 16 or dial 112 and ask for the Coast Guard
To mark World Drowning Prevention Day, July 25, Water Safety Ireland, the Coast Guard and the RNLI are calling on people to “Do One Thing or Improve One Thing” to help prevent drownings. Participation in a wide variety of year-round…
Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat launched to a workboat taking on water
Castletownbere RNLI were launched last night just before midnight to assist a vessel taking water north of Dursey Island off the Beara peninsula in West Cork. Castletownbere lifeboat volunteer crew were requested to launch by Valentia Coastguard Marine Coordination Centre…
Swanage RNLI lifeboat assists a yacht competing in the 2023 Fastnet Race. See video below
Four lifeboats from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) were called out to a string of incidents in terrible conditions at the weekend as the 50th Fastnet Race got underway in boat-breaking conditions. The famous 695-mile yacht race started at…
The Galway lifeboat (above) reached the motorboat at around 9 pm and escorted the boat - which was under her own power - and the five people on board back to Galway Harbour
Galway RNLI's volunteer crew were requested by the Irish Coast Guard to assist a 30-foot motorboat, with five people on board, in difficulty off Blackhead in County Clare late on Friday evening. The lifeboat launched at around 8.30 pm with…
Youghal RNLI’s inshore lifeboat launching to the stricken Warrior 175 on Thursday morning 20 July
Youghal RNLI came to aid of a sailor onboard a broken-down 17ft pleasure boat that suffered engine failure some two-and-a-half miles south east of Youghal Lighthouse in East Cork. The volunteer crew were requested to launch their Atlantic 85 inshore…
File image of Baltimore RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat
Baltimore RNLI were called out to a medical emergency on Thursday evening (20 July) to Heir Island off the coast of West Cork. The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat at 5.06pm following a request from the Irish Coast…
File image of Aran Islands RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat
Aran Islands RNLI carried out a medical evacuation on Wednesday afternoon (19 July) after a visitor had a biking accident. The volunteer crew were requested to launch their all-weather lifeboat at 3.31pm and proceed to the pontoon at Kilronan on…

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.