Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

AfloatDigi 2018 CHMarine SafetySection

Search & Rescue, Water Safety - News from the Marine Safety Agencies
The VDLR  Ladies Lunch fundraising cheque was presented to Philip Ferguson (left) on behalf of Dun Laoghaire RNLI this week by Gina Luizzie and Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta Chairman, Don O'Dowd
Ireland's largest regatta, the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta boasted almost 500 entries in July, that raised €1,888 for the Dun Laoghaire RNLI lifeboat charity at its sell-out Dubarry Ladies Lunch. One of the social highlights of the four day regatta, the…
File image of Carrybridge RNLI’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat and rescue water craft
Following their fellow Northern Ireland lifeboat volunteers in Larne, as reported last month on, the crew at Carrybridge RNLI will feature in the latest series of Saving Lives at Sea on BBC Two at 8pm next Thursday 23 November.…
Clogherhead RNlI volunteers on their all-weather lifeboat meet their counterparts from Kilkeel RNLI in their inshore vessel at the scene of two drifting boats near the entrance to Carlingford Lough on Thursday 16 November
Clogherhead RNLI volunteers were tasked by the Irish Coast Guard on Thursday 16 November to come to the aid of two drifting vessels. Following the request at 1.48pm to assist the two drifting vessels near the entrance to Carlingford Lough,…
Lough Ree RNLI’s state-of-the-art boathouse in Coosan on the River Shannon near Athlone
As one of the youngest members of the RNLI family, Lough Ree RNLI and its volunteer crew are already looking forward to a special year in 2024 when the charity celebrates its 200th birthday. With the theme of ‘Commemorate, Celebrate,…
Met Éireann map showing breakdown of Status Red, Orange and Yellow warnings for Storm Debi on Monday 13 November
Met Éireann has issued a Status Red wind warning for counties Clare, Galway, Roscommon, Offaly, Westmeath for Monday (13 November) with the arrival of Storm Debi. And a Status Orange warning will be in effect on and off the East…
Members of Clifden RNLI’s fundraising branch received medals recognising their combined 400 years of fundraising in Connemara at a recent event
At a recent awards ceremony, some 14 members of Clifden RNLI’s fundraising branch received long service medals recognising their combined 400 years of fundraising in Connemara. As a fully independent charity organisation, the RNLI relies on donations to fund its…
File image of Kilrush RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
Kilrush RNLI’s volunteer crew launched their inshore lifeboat on Friday morning (10 November) to assist two people onboard a fishing vessel that was adrift in challenging conditions. At 9am, the lifeboat launched at the request of Valentia Coast Guard to…
James Doherty accepted the award on behalf of his father, Francis Doherty, who received a Silver Medal and a Certificate of Bravery at the Oireachtas National Bravery Awards. Doherty of Donegal was awarded a silver medal and certificate of bravery for rescuing a woman from the sea at Carrickfin Beach, Co Donegal, on May 15th, 2022
Outstanding courage in sea and river rescues has been recognised in the National Bravery Awards presented at Dublin’s Farmleigh House today (Friday, Nov 10). A total of 26 certificates, six bronze medals,13 silver medals and a posthumous gold medal were…
File image of Aran Islands RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat
Aran Islands RNLI carried out a medical evacuation from Inis Meáin on Monday afternoon (6 November). Volunteers’ pagers went off at 3.14pm following a request from the Irish Coast Guard to go to the aid of a patient on the…
Wicklow RNLI crew Commended - Area Lifeboat Manager Lisa Hollingum presenting the commendations to Coxswain Ciaran Doyle, Peter Byrne (Station Mechanic), Carol Flahive, Paul Sillery and Stephen Kenny
Six Wicklow lifeboat volunteers have been honoured with meritorious awards from the RNLI Chief Executive, Mark Dowie, for their part in the rescue of three fishermen off the Wicklow coast earlier this year as Afloat reported here. On Wednesday evening…
The European Maritime Safety Agency based in Lisbon, Portugal is one of the EU's decentralised agencies
Reported marine casualties and incidents involving ships flying an EU flag or within EU waters fell in 2022, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) says. Its annual overview says 2022 was “a positive year in terms of the reduction or…
Heather Kennedy officially took up the Lifeboat Operations Manager position at  Portaferry on 12 October 2023
A former lifeboat crew member who joined the volunteer team at Portaferry RNLI on Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland in 1980 when she was just 17 has recently returned to her hometown, where she has now taken up the reins…
Skerries RNLI bringing the father-and-son kitesurfers to safety on Friday afternoon 3 November
Skerries RNLI rescued two men, a father and son, who had got into difficulty in the water while kitesurfing on Friday afternoon (3 November). The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson was launched by the volunteers in Skerries shortly before…
Still from a video shared on social media of a woman being swept off her feet by a wave on Whitby’s East Pier in the UK
The UK’s coastguard has warned the public to take safety at the water seriously after videos were shared online of people walking into danger on Whitby’s East Pier as Storm Ciarán lashed the country this week. As Marine Industry News…
CHC currently operates Ireland’s search-and-rescue helicopters
Helicopter operator CHC Ireland has been ordered to cover most of Bristow Ireland’s legal costs after it sought a suspension of the Government contract awarded to the latter company. As The Irish Independent reports, last May the Department of Transport…
Skyhope freighter rescuers on the pier at Ballydavid in 1977
hileThe role of three fishermen in rescuing the crew of a ship off Kerry in 1977 after the violent death of one of their colleagues is recalled in a newly released documentary for the RTÉ Doc on One radio series.…

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.