Locally the Irish Coast Guard unit based in Howth has responded to 53 calls, an average of just over one aweek, over 4000 man hours were clocked up by the 25 volunteers . While the safety boat “Grainne” has responded to fewer calls on the water there have been increased calls to Beach and Cliff incidents. The Coast Guard has also seen an increase of 70% in calls to Clontarf / Dollymount area compared to 2011.
Sadly there has been an increase in the number of fatalities during the year with the resulting tragic loss to the families concerned.
This year saw a significant investment by the Coast Guard HQ with the placement of an underwater sonar at the station, this will respond to searches of rivers and seas on the east coast of the country.
Minister Varadkar visited recently and the Community Liaison Team put school and scout groups through the Water Safety program throughout the year. We were delighted to have an RTE team following the training and rescues of the station.
Members of the public concerned over something on or near the water making a call to the Coast Guard can and is saving time and hopefully lives. It may be a concern over pollution in the water or witnessing someone who could be putting themselves into danger. There is no charge for the Coast Guard services and it’s certainly always better to be safe than sorry.
During 2013 a major national maritime safety program is being developed to be rolled out by the Government. To implement this locally we are aiming to develop stronger relationships with Community Groups, Businesses, Schools and Water User Groups in our coastal area from Malahide to Clontarf. The community are the eyes and ears for the Coast Guard and we greatly appreciate their assistance in alerting us quickly.
Remember if you see someone that maybe in trouble on the water / beach / cliffs DON’T DELAY CALL 999 RIGHT AWAY and ASK FOR COAST GUARD.