Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

AfloatDigi 2018 CHMarine SafetySection

Search & Rescue, Water Safety - News from the Marine Safety Agencies
The recovered starboard life raft used by the crew of the Piedras to abandon ship during an incident off Mizen Head in June 2022
The Department of Transport has issued a safety notice to advise all users of Deutsche Schlauchboot GmbH (DSB) life rafts of important information regarding the equipment. In June 2022, the UK-registered stern trawler Piedras (FD 528) flooded while fishing 78…
The Marine Casualty Investigation Board report for 2022 - The MCIB Chairperson says that the MCIB has made extensive recommendations to the Minister, to Water Safety Ireland and to Canoeing Ireland and Sport Ireland
There are two very specific points in the annual report of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board for last year (2022), which, in pursuance of maritime safety, should be heeded by the sectors involved – watersports and the fishing industry. The…
Capt Dara Fitzpatrick as pictured in a 1994 issue of Afloat magazine
As previously reported on, stories from Ireland will feature in the RNLI’s new 200 Voices podcast series, which explores captivating tales from the history of the charity that saves lives at sea through to the modern day. The first…
Shortly after 1:30pm on Friday, Valentia Coast Guard Coast Guard was alerted by Marine VHF radio (emergency channel 16) to a man overboard incident in Galway Bay. The Sligo-based Coast Guard helicopter R118, Galway RNLI and Costelloe Bay Coast Guard…
An RNLI crew secures a towline to a 44ft yacht with five people on board on passage from the Scilly Isles to Dungarvan after it lost its rudder 10 miles south of Mine Head and was brought to safety by lifeboat crew from Ballycotton RNLI
Five people were rescued from a 44ft yacht that lost its rudder while on passage from the Scilly Isles to Dungarvan on Tuesday (August 22nd). The yacht was left powerless to steer its course and was located 10 miles south…
Brendan Wall (left) and Ivan Chittenden
Ireland’s national governing body for triathlons says it did not sanction the swim event at the weekend in which two men died in separate incidents. previously reported on the tragedies in Youghal on Sunday (20 August) during the Ironman…
Under the new Irish Coast Guard Aviation Services contract, Bristow Ireland Limited will operate six helicopters from four dedicated Sligo, Shannon, Waterford, and Dublin Weston Airport bases
The Department of Transport has announced the signing of a new contract with Bristow Ireland Limited for the next Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) Service and Rescue Aviation Service. The new contract will run for ten years and will provide a…
From left: lifeboat helm Eleanor Hooker, RNLI assessor/trainer Seán Ginnelly, crew Oisín Higgins and helm Dom Sharkey
It’s been a busy and productive year to date for volunteers at Lough Derg RNLI, with crew passing out on training assessments and new volunteers joining the team — as well as the hugely successful fundraising Lap the Lake charity…
File image of Bundoran RNLI’s inshore lifeboat William Henry Liddington
Bundoran RNLI came to the aid of two swimmers on Sunday evening (20 August) after they were dragged out to sea off the Main Beach in the Co Donegal town. The volunteer crew were requested to launch their inshore lifeboat…
The investigation by the Department of Rural and Community Development also found lifeguards in Clare have “concerns regarding the level of equipment and facilities provided”
An investigation into a claim under protected disclosure by a senior lifeguard that rescues off Co Clare’s coastline was under-recorded has found a discrepancy of 44 per cent in the figures. As The Sunday Independent reports, the investigation into the…
File image of Portaferry RNLI’s inshore lifeboat
The volunteer crew from Portaferry RNLI were requested to launch by Belfast Coastguard shortly before 5pm on Friday (18 August) to assist a sailing yacht in difficulty. The 28ft yacht with two adults and a child on board had run…
Dun Laoghaire’s inshore lifeboat returns to the harbour after rescuing swimmers at nearby Dalkey Island on Dublin Bay
A group of swimmers were rescued by Dun Laoghaire Harbour RNLI this morning near Dalkey Island on Dublin Bay. The crew was on a training exercise in the station’s inshore lifeboat when they were alerted to an incident unfolding at Dalkey…
File image of RNLI’s inshore and all-weather lifeboats
Larne RNLI were requested on Friday (18 August) to launch both of their lifeboats to reports of two people in the water some 200 metres from Portmuck in Islandmagee, on Northern Ireland’s East Antrim coast. Launching both lifeboats at 3.25pm…
File image of Portrush RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat in rough seas
Portrush RNLI volunteers were tasked by HM Coastguard at 12:50pm on Saturday afternoon (19 August) to respond to a Mayday call made by a pleasure boat with three on board which was taking on water between Portstewart and Barmouth. Launching…
A blurry photo of Castletownbere RNLI Lifeboat with the yacht off Dromquinna on the Kenmare Peninsula during Storm Betty
A yacht that got into difficulty during Storm Betty was rescued by the West Cork Castletownbere RNLI lifeboat on Saturday morning. The sailors had been anchored off Dromquinna on the Kenmare Peninsula, but as the storm worsened, the vessel dragged anchor…
200 Voices: An RNLI Podcast logo
The RNLI’s new 200 Voices podcast launched on Friday 18 August with the first of 200 episodes that will be released daily in the run-up to the charity’s bicentenary on 4 March 2024 200 Voices will explore captivating stories from…

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.