Displaying items by tag: Search and Rescue
The US-based helicopter firm and CHC formalised the purchase on Wednesday (21 December) with Irish Coast Guard director Chris Reynolds during a hand-over ceremony at the S-92 commercial helicopter assembly facility in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.
Equipped for dedicated search and rescue (SAR) operations, the helicopter will provide coverage for deep Atlantic Ocean missions, service Ireland's offshore islands and provide rescue cover on the west coast from Cork to Galway.
The new aircraft will be based at Shannon and will replace the current coastguard SAR helicopter, a Sikorsky S-61, which has given 20 years of unbroken service.
According to Sikorsky, the S-92 is equipped with advanced systems and hardware, including an automated flight control system that enables the pilot to fly pre-programmed search patterns and perform delicate hover manoeuvres; a wireless intercom allowing a rescue swimmer to communicate with the crew; radio transceivers to communicate with ships and rescue services; a weather radar and infrared sensor; and a digital video system to record rescues.
Reynolds said the new helicopter - which joins four second-hand machines on a 10-year lease - represents a stepped improvement in Ireland's ability to care for and service its seagoing, coastal and island communities.
"I am very happy that the Coast Guard will operate what I consider to be the leading SAR helicopter in the world," he added.
As reported earlier this year on Afloat.ie, the new chopper is part of a deal that raised questions from a Fine Gael TD over allegations that a competing tender did not have a "good reputation".
Fergus O'Dowd questioning the contract with CHC Ireland after receiving documents in which Chris Reynolds said the Air Corps – whose helicopters are supplied by AgustaWestland - were uneqipped for the role and that no cost saving would be made if they took on the service.
Breaking News reports that the individual was seen experiencing difficulty in the sea north of Kilkee, close to Donegal Point.
The Irish Coast Guard and Kilkee Marine Rescue Service immediately mounted a rescue operation, and the man was removed from the water by rescue helicopter to Limerick's Mid Western Regional Hospital.
The man is believed to be in a serious condition.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, area man Mark McGowan, 37, was last seen kayaking in the lough at 7.30pm on Monday 10 October.
His blue kayak was spotted by the Irish Coast Guard on 11 October at Killowen Point, on the north side of the lough.
A cross-border search and rescue operation was immediately launched but progress was hampered due to bad weather.
The Belfast Telegraph reports that a body was discovered on Cranfield Beach near Newry by a member of the public yesterday morning. Formal identification of the body has not yet taken place.
At the time of his disappearance, McGowan was described as 5'7" tall, medium build, with a clean shaven, tanned complexion and short bleached blonde hair. He was last seen wearing a red jacket, blue jeans and white trainers.
The body of an off-duty garda who was swept away by floodwater in Co Wicklow during Monday's torrential rain has been recovered.
The Irish Times reports that 25-year-old Garda Ciaran Jones was pulled into the River Liffey at the Ballysmuttan Bridge around 7pm on Monday while warning motorists not to cross the bridge.
A search and rescue operation was immediately launched involving the Irish Coast Guard, the Garda helicopter and mountain and river rescue teams, according to the Irish Examiner.
His body was eventually found at 9am yesterday morning some 4km downstream of the incident.
Supt Eamon Keogh of Blessington Garda Station noted that Garda Jones had been crossing the bridge to warn an oncoming car when he was swept into the swollen river by a sudden surge of water.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny led tributes to the young garda as well as a woman who died at her home in Dublin during the flooding that caused chaos across the east of Ireland on Monday evening, with several inland waterways bursting their banks.
Scottish campaigners have made their final pleas to save the Clyde coastguard station from closure, the Greenock Telegraph reports.
Under the UK government's plans to streamline Britain's coastguard network, the control centre at Greenock is set to be scrapped with the loss of 31 jobs, while River Clyde rescues will in future be handled from Northern Ireland.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Northern Ireland's only dedicated search and rescue centre on Belfast Lough was saved from the chop following a review of plans to reform the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's nationwide network.
A consultation on the propose closure concluded yesterday, and locals join staff, union leaders and politicians in hoping they can persuade the government to give Clyde a reprieve.
"Local knowledge and understanding are vital when dealing with emergency situations." said local MSP Stuart McMillan.
"To remove a committed and fully functioning coastguard service with expert local knowledge would leave a void that could not be filled by an over stretched centre in Belfast."
The Greenock Telegraph has more on the story HERE (registration required).
A extensive rescue search in northeast England was called off on Monday when it was found that the planet Jupiter had been mistaken for a distress flare.
BBC News reports that Tymemouth RNLI lifeboat and an RAF rescue helicopter had been dispatched to search for a possible vessel in distress after a call from a member of the public on Monday evening.
But on establishing further details from the informant "it became apparent that the flares were in fact the planet Jupiter which is very low in the sky at this time of year", said Tynemouth RNLI's Adrian Don.
The RNLI stresses that the false alarm was made with the "best intentions" and urges anyone who thinks they have spotted a vessel in distress to contact emergency services.
FOUR Irish fishermen reported missing on Sunday have been found in good spirits off the coast of Minehead in Somerset.
This Is The West Country reports that the four men had left Helvick harbour in Co Waterford early on Sunday on a fishing trip but got lost shortly thereafter.
After contacting the coastguard with their concerns, the Helvick Head RNLI lifeboat was dispatched to Minehead, where the lost boat had been found by another fishing vessel, Faoilean Ban.
The lost fishermen subseqently followed the Faoilean Ban back to port at Helvick.
A tourist was rescued from some of Ireland's tallest sea cliffs in Co Donegal yesterday when a coastguard team spotted the light from her mobile phone.
The Irish Independent reports that the 24-year-old German woman had gone missing in an area known as the Pilgrim's Path, near Slieve League, on Saturday evening.
A full-scale search was mounted by the Donegal Mountain Rescue Service after she failed to return to Bunglass as scheduled.
The woman was eventually located by the Killybegs unit of the Irish Coast Guard in the early hours of yesterday morning. She was unharmed apart from a slight ankle injury, and was said to be "very wet, cold and disorientated".
Brian Murray of Donegal Mountain Rescue said: "There was no mobile phone signal in the area and she was lucky that the coastguard service managed to see the light from her phone."
The woman is the second tourist to go missing in the same part of Donegal in recent weeks.
Ships off Ireland's south and west coasts have been asked by the French coastguard to keep a lookout for a yachtsman who has gone missing on a transatlantic voyage.
In a report that has echoes of missing yacht The Golden Eagle - which sailed into Kerry after an Atlantic crossing from Bermuda many days after schedule - RTÉ News says that the 12-metre yacht La Galatee left French Guiana on 5 August sailing for St Malo in France, but the French coastguard has lost contact with the vessel.
No air and sea searches are being considered at this time, but Irish Coast Guard stations are broadcasting alerts and requests for sightings of the yacht.
The pair were lifted to safety by the Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter off the Co Clare coast, close to Blackhead.
They were subsequently treated at University Hospital Galway for possible hypothermia. No other injuries were reported.