Irish Coast Guard Responds To 2,788 Incidents In 2023

December 28, 2023

The Irish Coast Guard responded to 2,788 incidents in all of 2023.

Ground, cliff and boat teams were mobilised 1,278 times while the four helicopters were sent to 796 calls.

The RNLI were tasked 850 times and the CRBI were called out 76 times.

Meanwhile August was the busiest month with 391 incidents responded to.

Critical assistance was provided to 665 people.

CG helicopters conducted 174 air ambulance flights in support of the offshore island communities

Following Government approval, a contract for provision of a new Coast Guard aviation contract was signed in August 2023. The contract provides for retention of day and night SAR helicopter services, located at Sligo, Shannon, Waterford, and Dublin. The contract also provides for the provision of a day and night Fixed Wing service located at Shannon.

The Fixed Wing service will enhance the Coast Guard’s Search and Rescue and environmental monitoring capability. The helicopter service will be delivered by a fleet of six AW189 helicopters. The first such helicopter is scheduled to enter service in Shannon in late 2024, to be followed by Sligo, Waterford and Dublin in the first six months of 2025.

Minister of State with special responsibility for the Irish Coast Guard, Jack Chambers, TD, said: “As we reach the end of another busy year for the Coast Guard, I want to thank all the IRCG volunteers and staff for their professionalism and commitment. I want to particularly recognise the work of the Watch Officers at Rescue Coordination Centres in Malin, Valentia and MRCC Dublin.

“During the year I had the opportunity to visit several Volunteer Coast Guard Units around the country that enabled me to recognise the services they provide to their communities and view firsthand the various challenges that they encounter.

“The opening of the volunteer Coast Guard station in Bonmahon, Co. Waterford was a particular highlight and I am committed to delivering a series of other similar developments commencing with Westport and Greystones.”

The capacity to Raise the Alarm and Stay Afloat, are central to the prevention of drownings at sea, along the coast and on inland waterways. The Coast Guard’s core safety message Stay Afloat – Stay in Touc highlights the importance of never engaging in any commercial or recreational boating activity without wearing a life jacket or Personal Flotation Device (PFD), coupled with a capacity to raise the alarm via means such as a VHF radio, Personal Locator Beacon or EPIRB.

A recent incident in Donegal where four fishers were rescued highlighted the value of wearing a PLB, because it proved to be the only means of raising the alarm, thus enabling the Coast Guard to mount a successful search and rescue mission.

Any maritime or coastal activity should be supported by informing shore-based colleagues of intended activity and anticipated return time. Mobile phones should not be considered as a suitable substitute or be relied upon as the only means of emergency communication at sea.

The Coast Guard will launch a Safety on the Water App in 2024 as an element of the government’s ‘Safety on the Water’ to provide members of the public with immediate access to water safety information for planning coastal and water-based activities.

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