Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

AfloatDigi 2018 CHMarine SafetySection

Search & Rescue, Water Safety - News from the Marine Safety Agencies
Over 200 competitors from 10 counties competed throughout the day in various events at the Water Safety Ireland National Surf Lifesaving Championships in Youghal
The Water Safety Ireland National Surf Lifesaving Championships showcased Ireland's top life-saving athletes on September 9th in Youghal, Co. Cork. Over 200 competitors from ten counties competed throughout the day in various events, with Wicklow Ladies dominating in the Senior…
Trade union Fórsa, representing Coast Guard air crew, and Unite, representing engineers, expect to meet with Bristow representatives in late September in relation to job guarantees
Unions representing Irish Coast Guard search and rescue (SAR) air crew and engineers are due to meet Bristow Ireland later this month in relation to employment under the new SAR contract. Trade union Fórsa, representing air crew, and Unite, representing…
Both the inshore and all weather RNLI lifeboats from Howth were launched to rescue a man stranded on cliffs overnight
The Howth RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew sprang into action on Monday evening, launching both of their lifeboats to assist in a multi-agency incident near the Baily Lighthouse. The Coast Guard had requested the inshore lifeboat to respond to reports of…
A lone sailor whose yacht had lost all power near the Saltee Islands was towed to Kilmore Quay by the RNLI
Kilmore Quay RNLI volunteers were called out on two separate occasions on Monday, September 11, to assist two yachts in distress. The first call came in early in the morning when the crew launched to help two people on board…
File image of Arranmore RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat
Arranmore RNLI in Co Donegal rescued a kayaker on rocks at Owey Island on Sunday afternoon (10 September). The volunteer crew were asked to launch their all-weather lifeboat by Malin Head Coast Guard at 2.50pm to reports of a kayaker…
Sligo Bay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat on the scene with the stricken fishing boat on Sunday 10 September
Sligo Bay RNLI's volunteer crew were requested to launch at 2.10pm on Sunday afternoon (10 September) to reports of three people in difficulty off Inishmurray Island. The three were on a boat which had earlier left from Mullaghmore Harbour on…
Fethard RNLI inshore lifeboat is launched
A family of four on board a broken-down speedboat off the County Wexford coast received assistance from the volunteer lifeboat crew at Fethard RNLI over the weekend. The Irish Coast Guard requested the launch of the lifeboat on Saturday evening…
A Coastguard helicopter operating on Dublin Bay
Bristow Ireland Limited, the company that is set to take over the Coast Guard search and rescue contract in Ireland from October 2024, has pledged to work closely with unions to ensure a smooth transition for staff. The company has…
Members of Courtmacsherry RNLI pictured with lifeboat donor Val Adnams (pictured right of photo) at the Naming Ceremony for station’s Shannon class lifeboat in West Cork
A significant crowd gathered at Courtmacsherry RNLI lifeboat station in West Cork for the naming ceremony of the new Shannon class lifeboat on Saturday. Val Adnams, the principal donor, flew from Idaho, USA, to name the state-of-the-art vessel. Esteemed guests,…
Galway RNLI launched to assist two kayakers in difficulty on Galway Bay
Galway RNLI received a request from the Irish Coast Guard to launch and assist two kayakers who were reportedly in trouble off Hare Island in the inner Galway Bay. The volunteer crew promptly launched the lifeboat with crew members Dave…
CHC Ireland runs four helicopter bases for the Irish Coast Guard at Dublin (pictured above) Shannon, Sligo and Waterford
The Department of Transport says it was notified by CHC Ireland about a “safety stand down” at search and rescue (SAR) helicopter bases on Friday. The department said it is “actively engaged with all stakeholders, including CHC” to “enable the…
The Courtmacsherry RNLI All Weather Lifeboat crew that rescued the sea swimmer included Coxswain Mark Gannon, Mechanic Stuart Russell, and crew members Ken Cashman, Donal Young, Denis Murphy, and Kieran Boyle
A sea swimmer in West Cork was rescued by an RNLI lifeboat crew in thick fog this morning.  The Courtmacsherry RNLI All Weather Lifeboat "Val Adnams" was called early this morning (Saturday, September 9th) by the Valentia Coast Guard Marine…
The annual WSI Surf Rescue Championships - the competition will encompass a range of key skills, both in the ocean and on the beach, utilising a combination of athleticism, swimming, and rescue techniques
Youghal is set to host the annual WSI Surf Rescue Championships this weekend, with local competitors from Cork seeking to benefit from home-field advantage. Co. Clare will be aiming to maintain their supremacy in the sport, which boasts a dedicated…
File image of Howth RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat
The volunteer crew of Howth RNLI are urging anyone planning a trip to the coast, beach or inland waters over the weekend to stay safe amid the continued good spell of warm weather forecast. This follows a busy period for…
A statement from CHC Ireland said it was announcing a “safety stand down” for their four all weather search and rescue (SAR) bases in Sligo, Shannon, Dublin and Waterford from 1200 to 1400 hours today, September 8th
Irish Coast Guard helicopters will be “offline” from 12 noon to 1400 hours today at all four search and rescue bases, amid concerns among its air crew about future employment. A statement from CHC Ireland this morning said it was…
The Irish Coast Guard, Water Safety Ireland, and the RNLI urge the public to pay attention to personal safety and follow safety guidelines
Agencies have issued a warning to the public regarding maritime safety during the current warm weather in Ireland. The Irish Coast Guard, Water Safety Ireland, and the RNLI urge the public to pay attention to personal safety and follow safety…

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.