Displaying items by tag: Irish Coast Guard
#Coastguard - The Irish Coast Guard received a call from a member of the public yesterday evening (Sunday 5 November) who advised that two stand-up paddle boarders appeared to be in difficultly at the North Bull Wall near Dublin Port.
Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard’s team was on patrol off Sandymount at the time and were tasked to investigate, first making contact with the concerned caller.
Assistance was also requested by incoming ferries to investigate on their passage into Dublin Port if the SUPs were indeed in difficultly.
It was quickly determined that the SUPs were riding the wake from the ferries, and eventually returned to shore once the ferries had passed.
The paddlers were part of a group that travels out daily to meet the ferries, taking off from the north side of the North Wall and staying outside of the shipping channel. All have undergone safety training and have been an asset to emergency responders at times, said Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard.
However, to some out walking in the evening, they might appear to be making no progress and this may prompt concern.
“Thankfully a safe ending to a cold evening,” said the coastguard unit.
#Coastguard - Irish Coast Guard management faced a protest march at the weekend over Kilkee’s lack of a full rescue service — and one restricted further since the death last year of coastguard volunteer Caitriona Lucas, as The Irish Times reports.
Locals were demonstrating for the second time this month over what former mayor Manuel di Lucia said was an issue that dated back to when the Irish Coast Guard took over the Co Clare’s town’s community lifeboat in 2013.
The paper’s sources allege inconsistent management and a lack of training and qualified crew compounded the situation that led to the death of Lucas, when the RIB she was travelling in capsized during a search operation. Her bravery at sea was recognised with a posthumous award of the State's highest honour earlier this month.
The Irish Times has much more on the protest, which came on the same weekend that Lucas and the lost crew of Rescue 116 were remembered at a memorial service for those who died in the Cleggan Bay Disaster in 1927.
That’s according to a report set to be broadcast on RTÉ One’s Prime Time at 9.35pm tonight (Thursday 26 October), which reveals that pilots had warned management at CHC Ireland that locator beacons on supplied lifejackets were fitted too close to the GPS antenna, contrary to manufacturer’s guidelines.
“Effectively this means that the beacon could produce absolutely zero receivable transmissions,” said a 2014 safety report filed by one crew member, while another warned that “pilots are wholly exposed in the event of a ditching”.
The Air Accident Investigation Unit’s preliminary report in April recommended a review of the use of locator beacons on Mk 44 lifejackets used by the crew of Rescue 116.
The crash on 14 March caused the deaths of Capt Dara Fitzpatrick and Capt Mark Duffy. The bodies of Paul Ormsby and winchman Ciaran Smith remain lost at sea.
While the installation issue only applies to the pilots’ lifejackets, which have since been withdrawn from service, the Prime Time report will also cover documents that identify similar issues with those worn by winch crew across the Irish Coast Guard fleet.
The new revelations come after a previous Prime Time report this summer said the issue of missing data from the helicopter’s onboard warning system was flagged four years ago with senior management at CHC Ireland, which won a 10-year contract to operate the Irish Coast Guard’s helicopter SAR services in 2012.
The Posthumous Gold Medal and Certificate of Bravery were presented to Lucas’ family at Farmleigh House yesterday (Friday 20 October) a year after she died during a search operation in Kilkee when her RIB capsized.
“Catriona’s courage and selfless action on that day says everything about her — her strength of character and spirit and willingness to help others,” said Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó’ Fearghaíl, who presented the awards to 15 recipients.
“It is also a reminder of how committed and brave members of our emergency services put their lives on the line on a daily basis to help and protect their communities.
“Caitriona’s family accepted a Gold Medal for Bravery in recognition of her courage, which is the highest award possible.”
Others recognised at the ceremony yesterday include Darren McMahon, who was awarded a Certificate of Bravery for his attempt to rescue his brother from a kayak trapped in a weir gate in Ennis.
Bronze Medals and Certificates of Bravery also went to scouts Sean Baitson, Kyle Corrigan, Cory Ridge Grenelle and Philip Byrne for their attempts to rescue 14-year-old Aoife Winterlich, who died after being swept into the sea during an outing at Hook Head Lighthouse in December 2015.
Byrne in particular was noted for his efforts to keep Winterlich afloat in the rough waters before help arrived.
#Medevac - Shannon’s Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 was involved in a medevac from the cruise liner Queen Mary 2 some 60 nautical miles off West Cork on Thursday morning (12 October), as BreakingNews.ie reports.
An elderly passenger understood to have a heart problem was treated by the ocean liner’s medical staff before transfer to the coastguard crew, who airlifted him to University Hospital Tralee.
FV Argeles, a French fishing vessel, had an injured crewman onboard and was expected in Castletownbere some hours later.
The coastguard crew and Castletownbere HSE ambulance were waiting for the trawler when it docked at 2.40am. The two crews worked together to assess and stabilise the casualty, who had sustained back injuries after a fall.
After the casualty had been transferred to the ambulance, they were taken to Cork University Hospital for further treatment. The coastguard team were stood down at 5.10am.
Elsewhere, the Marine Rescue Coordination Centre in Dublin received a request for assistance from a yacht off the coast of Malahide on Thursday afternoon (28 September).
A crew member aboard the yacht, which was en route to Dun Laoghaire Marina, was ill and required medical attention.
It was agreed that the yacht would continue to its destination. RNLI Dun Laoghaire was sent to provide an escort and also dropped crew aboard to assist.
On arrival to the marina, Dún Laoghaire Coast Guard members greeted the yacht alongside HSE paramedics and gardaí. The ill crew member was transported to hospital for further medical attention.
#Rescue116 - A lifejacket and helmet washed up on a beach near Blacksod in Co Mayo this weekend may belong to one of the two missing crew from the Rescue 116 tragedy earlier this year, as RTÉ News reports.
The items, which were attached together, were discovered on the shore near An Clochar yesterday morning (Saturday 30 September).
A detailed search of the area has been hampered by poor weather, with no other items found.
Winch operator Paul Ormsby and winchman Ciaran Smith have been missing since the Irish Coast Guard helicopter went down at the island of Black Rock, west of Blacksod, on 14 March.
Capt Dara Fitzpatrick was recovered at the scene but was pronounced dead in hospital shortly after. The body of Capt Mark Duffy was recovered some days later.
Elsewhere, the body of a middle-aged man was found washed up on Inis Meáin in Galway Bay last night.
RTÉ News says the discovery comes almost a fortnight to the day after a Russian national was swept into the water while sea angling near Doonbeg, some 36km south of the Aran Islands.
There was better news for the families of two fishermen feared missing in Galway Bay overnight, as the Irish Examiner reports.
But the search was called off around 10.30am when the small fishing boat, which has suffered technical issues in “challenging” conditions, returned to port under its own power.
Rescue 115 was earlier requested for a medevac from Inis Mór to University Hospital Galway.
Malin Rescue Coordination Centre received an early morning request from the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), who requested the Irish Coast Guard to assume coordination of the operation.
The rendezvous with the ship took place around 190 miles west of Erris Head shortly before 8.30am. Rescue 118 was expected to arrive with the casualty at University Hospital Galway before midday.
An Air Corps Casa maritime patrol aircraft was made available to provide communications and surveillance back up, known as ‘top cover’ but had to be redeployed to conduct two separate patient transfers to UK on foot of a request from the National Ambulance Service. This role was reassigned to the Dublin-based coastguard helicopter Rescue 116.
Weather conditions at the time were described as reasonable.
“Not being at home and with my team in the Coast Guard has been very, very difficult,” he added.
“My first intention on my return in October is to visit our volunteer teams, co-ordination centres and helicopter bases to listen and understand how we will move forward.”
Reynolds was seconded to Somalia in July 2016 as part of an EU maritime security mission in the Horn of Africa.
Two months after his departure, coastguard volunteer Caitriona Lucas died during a search operation in Kilkee when her RIB capsized.
Six months later, Rescue 116 crashed at Black Rock in Co Mayo, claiming the lives of its four crew. Capt Dara Fitzpatrick and Capt Mark Duffy were recovered, but the bodies of winch men Paul Ormsby and Ciaran Smith were not found.
#Missing - The search continued today (Tuesday 19 September) for a sea angler who was swept into the sea from a popular but treacherous fishing spot near Doonbeg in Co Clare at the weekend.
According to TheJournal.ie, the missing man and a friend, both Russian nationals, had been fishing at Pulleen Bay around 6.30am on Saturday morning (16 September) when he went into the water.
When his friend’s attempt at a rescue was unsuccessful, he is believed to have panicked and driven 60km way to Limerick to raise the alarm.
“This has happened in the past in Clare where non-Irish nationals fishing in very dangerous areas, who have little English or no English … panic and have driven miles upon miles, passed Garda stations and people on the road to raise the alarm,” said local journalist Pat Flynn.
Meanwhile, as the Clare Herald reports, coastguard search teams expressed their dismay over the weekend as several groups of anglers continued to climb out to the rocky head where the missing man was swept away.