Coast Guard

  •  

    In light of the status orange wind warning issued for the coastal counties of Galway, Mayo and Donegal, the Coast Guard is calling on the public and all mariners to heed the weather warnings and take appropriate action.

    Users of smaller vessels should pay particular attention to the weather warnings.

    The general public are urged to consider the risks in exposed areas on piers, walkways and cliffs.

    The message for recreational walkers is to "stay back, stay high and stay dry".

     

  • At a moving event in Eachléim community hall, in North Mayo on Thursday evening, members of the community were surprised and emotional when they were honoured by members of the Coast Guard for their outstanding contribution supporting the search and rescue efforts for the crew of Rescue Helicopter 116 in March 2017 in which 4 crew members lost their lives.

    Fifteen members of the Coast Guard attended at Eachléim Hall in full uniform where they presented 15 representatives from the greater Eachléim area with red and white roses, mirroring the colour of the rescue helicopter. They also presented a plaque to John Ó’Gallachóir who led the community at the time. Each were volunteers who gave their time endlessly over the 42 day search period.

    Gathered together to recall the events of March 2017 for the filming of a new TG4 documentary ‘Bailte’, presented by Síle Nic Chonaonigh, the community were not expecting to have the attendance of 15 Coast guard members from the Bally glass Coast Guard Unit. Michael Hurst, Officer in Charge of co-ordinating the ground search operations for over 42 days as well as his Deputy Frank Murphy and 13 other members of the unit gathered last night at the hall, much to the surprise of the local people. Nor were they expecting a fly over by SAR helicopter rescue 118 who were in attendance for over 15 minutes as a mark of respect to the community for their efforts in searching for their colleagues. Rescue 118 was Captained yesterday by Captain Brendan Jackman. 

    The contribution by the people was unquantifiable. Food came from all over the country and over 30 mouths were fed three times if not more a day. Not only did they provide sustenance but also comfort and consolation to all those who searched and to the families. 

    John Ó Gallchóir recalled the dedication of one woman in particular, Winnie, who was there from morning till night to ensure all was done to feed the hundreds each day, serving options of five meals to an array of national agencies including the coast guard, Navy, Gardai, Civil defence, army, RNLI.

    Most of the locals were moved to help because its what we do - and because they'd lost people sea themselves. How could you be at home when you needed to be here. You'd rush out of work just to make sure you got back here. 

    Many of the locals also took in people and gave them beds - divers, etc. 

    Despite winning a people of the year award the OIC Michael Hurst remarked that this is on film now - recognition for these people - and it can be viewed pulled out and remembered and viewed for years to come.

    The new documentary series ‘Bailte’ telling the stories of communities in townlands all around Ireland, including the community of Eachléim in Co Mayo, and presented by Síle Nic Chonaonaigh, will be screened on TG4 early in 2019.

     

  • A Mayo TD says the directive issued to Coast Guard members, no longer permitting them to use emergency lights and sirens on vehicles while driving, further demonstrates the need for the Coast Guard to be put on a statutory basis.

    The Fianna Fail Deputy leader Dara Calleary says the Irish Coast Guard is one of Ireland's four principal emergency services, yet it is the only blue light service not covered by Statutory Instrument legislation which ensures standalone status.

    Deputy Calleary says the directive issued to coast guard members no longer permitting them to use emergency lights and sirens has caused concern about potential delays when travelling to incidents.

    He believes the Coast Guard needs to be recognised as a statutory body to ensure investment in stations and to recognise the important service they provide

  • A man in his late 50’s has died after a fishing vessel capsized off the Mayo coast.

    Two other men onboard the vessel are currently in hospital where their injuries are thought to be non life-threatening.

    All three men are from the Erris area.

    The Sligo based Coast Guard helicopter (R118) located and recovered the three men from a life raft, approximately 16 miles off Eagle Island.

    The men were then subsequently airlifted to Sligo University Hospital, however it has now been confirmed that one man has died.

    The Coast Guard operation was co-ordinated by Malin Head Rescue Coordination centre who picked up a mayday broadcast shortly after 12.30pm.

    The Sligo based Coast Guard helicopter and Ballyglass RNLI were immediately tasked to search the area.

    The search was also supported by an Air Corps Casa maritime patrol aircraft which was airborne at the time.

    At approximately 1.20 pm the Coast Guard helicopter spotted flares which enabled them locate the casualties.

  • A year on from the Rescue 116 tragedy off Mayo - their Coast Guard colleagues are paying tribute.

    A group of more than 70 cyclists are due to arrive into Blacksod today after cycling the whole way from Dublin.

    The Miles in the Memory event will be updated on Midwest Radio throughout the day.

  • Today marks the second anniversary of the Rescue 116 helicopter crash in which 4 crew members were killed off the coast of Co Mayo.

    The helicopter crashed after hitting the small island of Blackrock just off Blacksod.

    The final air accident Investigation report into the crash is expected to be completed shortly.

    In the early hours of March 14th 2017,  Rescue 116 was en route to Blacksod for refuelling after providing top cover on a medivac for an injured fisherman 250 kilometres off the Mayo coast.

    The helicopter disappeared from radar screens at 12:45am prompting a massive search and rescue operation.

    Captain Dara Fitzpatrick, Co pilot Captain Mark Duffy, winch operator Paul Ormsby and winchman Ciaran Smith were all killed when the helicopter ditched into the sea.

    6 months after the crash a report into the operation of search and rescue found confusion among the different agencies involved.  12 recommendations were made.

    The final report of the the Air Accident Investigation Unit has yet to be completed.  The AAIU says it is at an advanced stage and will be circulated, in confidence, to interested parties as soon as possible before being published