Saturday 2nd September 2017
Dunmore East was a hive of Search and Rescue activity this weekend, as the Irish Coast Guard co-ordinated a very successful day of Marine Search and Rescue demonstrations.
The exercise involved Ireland’s principal Search and Rescue (SAR) resources and assets and was a huge success as they tested themselves in a range of realistic scenarios with a particular focus on the interoperability of marine SAR resources.
Utilised Assets included the Waterford based Coast Guard Helicopter R117, Naval ship LÉ Eithne, the Air Corps Casa, Commission for Irish Light (CIL) Ship Granuaile and the Revenue Customs Cutter Faire.
Response teams were made up of:
The Dublin Fire Brigade Marine Emergency Response Team, Volunteer Coast Guard units, the RNLI, HSE’s Marine Ambulance Response Team, Irish Underwater Council (dive teams), Irish Water Safety, South East Mountain Rescue including rescue dogs and the Civil Defence.
Speaking after the event Gerard O’Flynn, the Coast Guard’s Search and Rescue Operations Manager said: “This exercise afforded the public a wonderful opportunity to see Ireland’s primary search and rescue resources conducting a series of realistic but challenging tasks, more importantly it enabled the Coast Guard to exercise interoperability between the different assets and agencies.”
The event included a series of water based safety demonstrations.
“Prevention and adherence to basic safety is the key element in minimising loss of life at sea and on our waterways,” explained SARs Manager Gerard O’Flynn.
Test scenarios included:
Off Shore Search and Top Cover Exercise – with the MRCC in Dublin co-ordinating a Search by R117, the RNLI, Le Eithne with the Air Corps Casa providing ‘Top Cover’
On board Fire Emergency – LÉ Eithne acted as a Merchant Vessel (M/V) in distress with an on board fire, Rescue 117 transported the Dublin Fire Brigade Marine Emergency Response team.
Later R117 also transported the HSE Marine Response team to the LÉ Eithne.
Shoreline searches were initiated between Hook Head and Brownstown Head with Coast Guard Units, Naval Service reserves, Civil Defence personnel, divers from the Irish Underwater Council and South East Mountain Rescue volunteers with SAR dogs tasked.
“The exercises and demonstrations were a success and I want to thank all the agencies and volunteer units who took part, and I want to particularly thank the Port of Waterford Harbour Master Capt. Darren Doyle and Dunmore East Harbour Master Capt. Harold McLoughlin for their assistance and co-operation in preparation for and the successful execution of the weekend activities, “ concluded Gerard O’Flynn.