Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard is the nation-wide marine emergency organisation and is a Division of the Department of Communications Marine and Natural Resources. Its current headquarters is at Leeson Lane, Dublin 2.

It has delegated responsibility for marine emergency management in the Irish Search and Rescue Region and the Irish Pollution Response Zone. This includes search and rescue, pollution control, salvage and wreck, safety awareness and provision of a marine safety information and communication service.

There are approximately 65 full-time staff at five locations (Dublin, Malin Head, Valentia, Blanchardstown and Cork) and 850 volunteer staff at fifty four coastal locations.

The fifty four Coastal Rescue Units, at strategic locations around the coast, are all operated by volunteers and have a capability and range of equipment depending on location which includes radio communications, line throwing equipment, cliff rescue gear, boats and 4wd vehicles. All are currently trained to First Aid level.

The Irish Coast Guard operates three helicopters on a contract basis out of Shannon, Dublin and Waterford Airports with crews trained to EMT standard.
  For co-ordination purposes, the Irish Coast Guard has in addition to its own resources, a number of declared resources which include the RNLI lifeboats , Community Inshore Rescue Service boats and one Air Corps SAR helicopter based at Sligo Airport.

When an Irish Coast Guard Centre is notified about an incident at sea or on the coast, the duty co-ordinators broadcast to shipping in the area and select and task the appropriate SAR units to go to the scene and carry out the rescue, depending on the situation, location, weather and sea condition.

Dave McMyler