Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

AfloatDigi 2018 CHMarine SafetySection

Search & Rescue, Water Safety - News from the Marine Safety Agencies
Wicklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat returning from the call-out on Wednesday 6 September
Wicklow RNLI brought three fishermen to safety on Wednesday morning (6 September) after their vessel developed mechanical problems north-east of Wicklow Harbour. Under the command of coxswain Alan Goucher, the all-weather lifeboat Joanna and Henry Williams slipped its mooring at…
File image of Aran Islands RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat
Aran Islands RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat responded to a medical evacuation request from Inis Mór on Tuesday (5 September). The patient was transferred safely aboard the lifeboat under the supervision of the volunteer crew at the pontoon at Kilronan Harbour and…
Skerries RNLI’s inshore lifeboat returning the casualties to shore on Monday evening 4 September
Skerries RNLI rescued two men and two women on Monday evening (4 September) after their personal watercraft broke down off Portrane beach. Shortly before 6pm, Dublin Coast Guard tasked the volunteers at Skerries RNLI following receipt of a radio transmission…
Bundoran inshore RNLI lifeboat
Four people had to be rescued by the Bundoran RNLI over the weekend after getting caught in rip currents off Main Beach. In two separate incidents, three teenagers and a man were plucked from the water and brought to safety by…
Sport NI has reported record engagement with the 2023 Get Wet Stay Safe Programme. Now in its second year, the scheme, which aims to raise awareness about water safety, has seen 729 people participate in training sessions across NI since May 2023, and over 1,300 since the campaign began
Sport Northern Ireland has announced that the 2023 Get Wet Stay Safe Programme has achieved record engagement this year. The initiative, now in its second year, aims to raise awareness about water safety and has seen over 1,300 people participate…
Wicklow RNLI Inshore lifeboat approach the kayakers baulked by the tide
Two kayakers were rescued by the Wicklow RNLI Inshore lifeboat volunteers on Sunday afternoon, 3rd September, after they got into trouble near Wicklow Head. The Inshore lifeboat was launched shortly after 4 pm after a member of the public walking…
The RNLI Courtmacsherry new Shannon class lifeboat 'Val Adnams'
An historic West Cork lifeboat station is set to officially name a new Shannon class lifeboat 'Val Adnams' during a ceremony at 1:45 pm on Saturday, September 9. The guest of honour on the day will be Val Adnams herself,…
Ireland placed sixth in Europe in the overall combined pool and beach competitions at this year’s European Junior Lifesaving Championships. Ireland won five gold medals, ten silver medals and nine bronze medals at the championships
With a remarkable skill and determination display, the Irish Water Safety team made a big splash at this year’s European Junior Lifesaving Championships. Ireland won five gold medals, ten silver medals and nine bronze medals at the championships.  The European…
Coast Guard Helicopter Crews are seeking guarantees that their jobs will be protected when the service transfers to a new operator
The Irish Airline Pilots’ Association (Ialpa) is seeking guarantees from Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan that pilots and winch operators flying for the Irish Coast Guard will remain in employment once the contract transfers from CHC Ireland to Bristow. As…
CHC Ireland runs four helicopter bases for the Irish Coast Guard at Dublin (pictured above) Shannon, Sligo and Waterford
CHC Ireland is continuing to pursue its High Court challenge to the validity of the tender procedure for the Irish Coast Guard’s Irish Coast Guard’s new helicopter search and rescue contract. The new contract with Bristow Ireland had been automatically…
Ballycotton RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat bringing the pleasure boat to the safety of Ballycotton Pier with an alongside tow
A boat with one person on board fishing off Ballycotton Island got into difficulty on Saturday (26 August) when the vessel suffered engine failure and was in danger of running aground on the rocks. At approximately 2.20pm the skipper of…
The Helvick Head RNLI inshore lifeboat
Four sailors were rescued by the Helvick Head RNLI on Friday afternoon after they experienced difficulties near Ballinacourty Lighthouse, southeast of Dungarvan. A member of the public reported the incident to the Irish Coast Guard, who then requested the volunteer…
The late Toni (Patricia) Ryan, an experienced scuba diver and founding member of the Howth Harbour Coast Guard unit
Tributes have been paid to Toni (Patricia) Ryan, an experienced scuba diver and founding member of the Howth Harbour Coast Guard unit who has died at the age of 71. Ryan participated in hundreds of Coast Guard call-outs in the…
File image of Lough Neagh Rescue’s inshore lifeboat Bungy
Lough Neagh Rescue says interference with access to the water due to silting issues “will cost lives”, as BelfastLive reports. The Northern Ireland community lifeboat group said two call-outs in recent days were delayed due to silt blockages at Maghery…
Clifden RNLI’s inshore and all-weather lifeboat crews attend to the yacht with two sailors that got into difficulty off Inishark on Friday morning 25 August
The volunteer crew of Clifden RNLI were called out on Friday morning (25 August) at 7.30am to assist a stranded yacht off Connemara. The vessel with two sailors on board had come into difficulty to the south-west of Inishark, which…
Newcastle RNLI’s inshore lifeboat, Eliza, and all-weather lifeboat, Leonard Kent
Newcastle RNLI’s inshore lifeboat, Eliza, and all-weather lifeboat, Leonard Kent, launched on Thursday, (24 August 2023) to assist a man who took ill on Murlough beach. At approximately 1.40 pm, Belfast Coastguard requested assistance from Newcastle RNLI. The RNLI’s lifeguards…

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.