Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

AfloatDigi 2018 CHMarine SafetySection

Search & Rescue, Water Safety - News from the Marine Safety Agencies
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.…
A file photo of Baltimore RNLI lifeboat
A resident of Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork was evacuated for medical assistance following an accident on Sunday. Baltimore RNLI's volunteer lifeboat crew received a call at 12.39 pm and launched their all-weather lifeboat to provide…
File image of Baltimore RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat The Alan Massey
Baltimore RNLI were called out to provide a medical evacuation on Friday morning (28 October) from Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork. The volunteer lifeboat crew launched their all-weather lifeboat The Alan Massey at 10.44am following a…
The An Portán Óir, pictured here berthed in Dingle Marina, Co Kerry
Following a recent MCIB report into a serious deck accident aboard a fishing vessel in Dingle Bay last year, the Department of Transport has published a Marine Notice reminding mariners of the dangers of fishing alone. The MCIB report explains…
File image of Clifden RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
Clifden RNLI’s volunteer crew were tasked by the Irish Coast Guard at 1.45pm on Tuesday (26 October) following a report that three people were stranded on Omey Island. The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat was launched by volunteer helm Kenny Flaherty…
File image of Portaferry RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
Portaferry RNLI came to the aid of two people on Saturday evening (21 October) after they got cut off by the tide at Rough Island at the northern end of Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland. The volunteer crew were requested…
Mark Hudson in cycling gear by the seaside
The RNLI’s 200 Voices podcast talks to Mark Hudson — grandson of Audrey Lawson Johnston, the youngest survivor of the Lusitania disaster — on his family’s remarkable story that ignited a life-long passion and commitment to helping save lives at…
File image of Aran Islands RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat
Aran Islands RNLI’s volunteer crew responded to two medical evacuation requests on Wednesday night (18 October). Pagers were first activated at 7.10pm following a report that a patient on Inis Mór was in need of further medical attention. The all-weather lifeboat…
IMRF Awards: Geoffrey Denman from the Canadian Coast Guard was one of the joint winners of the Vladimir Maksimov Award for Lifetime Achievement in Maritime SAR, sponsored by Inmarsat.
The winners of this year's International Maritime Rescue Federation (IMRF) Awards have been announced in recognition of all those involved in global maritime search and rescue (SAR) efforts. The IMRF Awards acknowledge those that have shown excellence in their field,…
Storm Babet will bring very heavy rainfall to Northern Ireland over the next 24 hours, particularly in Antrim and Down, with the Mourne Mountains set for downpours
The Rivers Trust has issued advice to the public ahead of the potential flood impacts of Storm Babet on Northern Ireland waters over the next few days. Yellow weather warnings have been issued across the rest of the week for…
A broken down motorboat and Howth Inshore Lifeboat at Howth harbour on Sunday, 28 May
Machinery failure in motorboats is the most common cause of lifeboat call-outs. So says the RNLI in the Autumn edition of its magazine – Offshore – which focuses on engine failure – how to prevent a small niggle from becoming…
Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI inshore lifeboat Joval launches to the swimmer in difficulty
Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI rescued a swimmer who got into difficulty at The Forty Foot bathing area yesterday (Sunday 15 October). The volunteer crew were requested to assist the swimmer after she got caught in a current and was drifting…
Clogherhead RNLI all-weather Shannon class lifeboat
In an early morning sea rescue, volunteers from the Clogherhead RNLI were called upon to come to the aid of a drifting 42 ft leisure craft. The Coast Guard requested assistance on Friday, 13 October, after the vessel experienced fuel…
Lifeboat operation manager Willie Murphy helps serve a fish supper at The Strand Bar on Friday 6 October
The volunteer crew of Sligo Bay RNLI served up another fish supper last Friday (6 October) to 200 guests at The Strand Bar in Strandhill. The seafood night raised an amazing €6,587, all of which will go towards training and…
Arklow RNLI’s all-weather Lifeboat returning to station on Sunday 8 October
Arklow RNLI launched on Sunday (8 October) at around 11am following a pager alert by the Irish Coast Guard reporting swimmers in difficulty at the Co Wicklow town’s South Beach. The volunteer crew made their way to the lifeboat station…

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.