Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

AfloatDigi 2018 CHMarine SafetySection

Search & Rescue, Water Safety - News from the Marine Safety Agencies
Frank Healy, Sam Agnew and Jack Healy from Larne RNLI
The volunteer lifeboat crew from Larne RNLI in Northern Ireland will feature in the new series of popular TV show Saving Lives at Sea on BBC Two at 8pm next Thursday 12 October. Featuring footage captured on helmet and boat…
File image of Larne RNLI’s inshore and all-weather lifeboats in the water
Larne RNLI came to the aid of a swimmer who got into difficulty half a mile from Portmuck Harbour on Wednesday afternoon (4 October). The station’s volunteers were requested by Belfast Coastguard to launch both their all-weather and inshore lifeboats…
Former president Mary McAleese was born in Belfast, grew up on the shores of Carlingford Lough and now lives close to a lake in the west of Ireland
Former president Mary McAleese recalls her close family connections with the lifeboat service in the latest episode of the RNLI “200 Voices” series. McAleese was born in Belfast, grew up on the shores of Carlingford Lough and now lives close…
The Wicklow RNLI inshore lifeboat rescued two foil surfers
The Wicklow RNLI inshore lifeboat rescued two foil surfers who were in distress due to tidal conditions on Saturday afternoon (30 September), according to the Coast Guard's alert. The Inshore lifeboat was launched around 3:40 pm and quickly found the…
Sean Flood at the helm of Otto Glaser’s McGruer 47 Tritsch-Tratsch II with The Needles astern in the early stages of the 1974 RORC Cowes-Cork Race. Also just visible astern are Denis Doyle’s blue S&S 47 Moonduster, and Clayton Love’s Swan 44 Assiduous – they were still astern at the finish. Line honours and overall winner was Eric Tabarly’s then-new 70ft ketch Pen Duick VI, while Tritsch-Tratsch II was in the frame, and top Irish boat

Sean Flood 1932-2023

30th September 2023 W M Nixon
The life story of Sean Flood, who has died at the age of 91, is in many ways the story of modern Ireland as seen through a sailing and business lens. From a family of traditionally and strongly patriotic outlook,…
Baltimore RNLI lifeboats on call during Storm Agnes in West Cork
The Baltimore RNLI lifeboat crew carried out a rescue mission during storm Agnes on September 27th. The Irish Coast Guard called for assistance to rescue a yacht in trouble in the Ilen River in West Cork. At 3.48 pm, the Baltimore…
A file photo of Clifden RNLI lifeboat
A solo sailor who sought assistance off the west coast in Storm Agnes is being towed to safety. RNLI lifeboats from Achill and Clifden responded to the alert when the yacht, believed to be Norwegian, reported being in difficulty ten…
JJohn McShane, Ron Schippers, Mark O'Callaghan, Cormac Nott of the Irish Coast Guard Rescue 118 helicopter base in Sligo appear in TG4's Tarrthálaithe na hÉireann TV series
The work of the Irish Coast Guard, mountain rescue and community rescue boat teams is profiled in a new series filmed last autumn for TG4. Tarrthálaithe na hÉireann, an eight-part series, was made by Big Mountain Productions and starts on…
Top-down image of a rigid inflatable boat, showing the forward seating positions
The UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has urged owners of small passenger vessels such as RIBs to review their operations and procedures in line with current safety guidance. Its warning comes after an incident in June involving a RIB…
Galway RNLI volunteer crew with their long-service awards outside the lifeboat station
In recognition of their dedication and commitment of time, energy and skills, seven members of the Galway RNLI crew were presented with long-service awards for achieving 50, 100, 150 and 200 services. Each time the crew members respond to their…
Wicklow RNLI securing the casualty vessel alongside at the harbour
A team of volunteers from the Wicklow RNLI launched an all-weather lifeboat early on Sunday morning to rescue a sailor who was stranded on a yacht with mechanical and electrical issues. The yacht, a 36ft sailing vessel, was located approximately…
The 38ft yacht under an alongside tow by Sligo Bay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat on Sunday afternoon 17 September
Sligo Bay RNLI’s volunteer crew were requested to launch by Malin Head Coast Guard shortly after 4pm on Sunday (17 September) to assist a lone sailor aboard a 38ft yacht eight miles out at sea. The inshore lifeboat Sheila and…
The Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat
Lough Ree RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew helped six people on board two cruisers that ran aground on the lake. On Saturday morning, September 16th, the Lough Ree RNLI crew rescued two people on board a 40ft cruiser that had stranded…
The Severn class RNLI lifeboat Myrtle Maud passes Arranmore Head
On Saturday evening, the Arranmore RNLI crew successfully rescued three people and their dog who were stranded on Maghera Beach due to the rising tide.  The stranded walkers, two men, a woman, and their dog, were cut off by the…
Former Director of the Irish Coast Guard Chris Reynolds
Former Director of the Irish Coast Guard and former Head of the European Mission to Somalia, Chris Reynolds, recently announced his new role as a Team Leader for a maritime security project. The project will primarily focus on maritime enforcement…
The Wicklow inshore lifeboat crew located the significantly damaged drone floating a mile off Newcastle Beach
Both Wicklow RNLI lifeboats were launched on Thursday, 14 September, in response to an aircraft in difficulty. The Coast Guard had issued a pager alert to investigate reports of an aircraft struggling off the Wicklow coast. The initial report suggested that…

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.