The Irish Coast Guard’s three rescue coordination centres managed a total of 2,487 incidents over 2019. 

The numbers for 2019 shows a slightly drop on the figures of 2,647 for 2018 and 2,503 for 2017. 

The centres at Malin Head, Co Donegal, Valentia, Co Kerry and Dublin aided in the saving of 378 lives were saved where their assistance prevented loss of life, severe risk to life or protracted hospitalisation. 

Around the country Irish Coast Guard units run by 940 volunteers were involved in 1075 call-outs ranging from shore rescue boat and cliff rescue to shoreline search services. Units were also deployed to provide support to communities during periods of bad weather. 

The four Irish Coast Guard Search & Rescue helicopters based at Dublin, Shannon, Waterford and Sligo flew over 770 missions last year, including both offshore and coastal missions and inland searches for missing people in support of the Garda Siochána and mountain rescue teams 

A total of 123 emergency missions from offshore islands to the mainland were flown, and helicopter emergency medical service support was provided to the national ambulance service.  

The busiest inter-hospital transfer route was from Letterkenny to University Hospital Galway. 

The Irish Coast Guard says that the RNLI was asked to launch lifeboats on over 815 occasions this past year. 

The Irish Coast Guard in it’s end-of-year statement has again emphasised that satellite beacons should be handled and regularly tested with expired equipment should be disposed of properly. 

The accidental activation of satellite beacons or expired equipment meant that the majority of almost 200 such alerts proved to be false alarms this past year, the Irish Coast Guard has announced. 

The COSPAS-SARSAT satellite beacon alerting system has a “huge role to play” in alerting search and rescue authorities of people in distress. 

The Isih Coast Guard has again warned that mobile phones should not be relied upon as the only means of emergency communication at sea due to limited and unreliable coverage at sea and susceptibility of such devices to water ingress. 

Demand remains high for Irish Coast Guard Services

by editor time to read: 25 min