Pictured were staff and volunteers of the Irish Coast Guard alongside Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton at an event to celebrate 200 years of the Irish Coast Guard at Greenore Coast Guard Station, County Louth.
Commemorative Service Token to be issued to volunteers nationwide in recognition of their valued service
The Irish Coast Guard, which can trace its roots to 1822, is celebrating 200 years of lifesaving service.
The milestone was marked at an event yesterday attended by Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan TD and Minister of State with specific responsibility for the Irish Coast Guard, Hildegarde Naughton TD, at Greenore Coast Guard Station, County Louth. A special Commemorative Proof of Service Wreck Token will be awarded to 950 volunteers nationwide in recognition of their valued service.
Staff and volunteers from 44 Coast Guard units across Ireland provide a national maritime search and rescue service and a maritime casualty and pollution response service. Together, they respond to almost 3,000 call outs and save on average 400 lives a year. Of the call outs, approximately half are maritime incidents, a quarter are inland search and rescue and another quarter involve assisting the National Ambulance Service.
Today the Irish Coast Guard uses state of the art technology to support its work. However, over the decades, its volunteers have had to rely on horse drawn carriages to carry equipment, climbing cliffs on ladders and line-firing rockets to reach grounded vessels, for example, in their rescue efforts. The 200th anniversary is an opportunity to reflect on the legacy and rich history of this crucial rescue service.