The Irish Coastguard is currently introducing four new response crafts into its fleet of boats operated by its volunteer crews on the west and north west coast, as part of its RIB ( Rigid Inflatable Boat) replacement programme.
I can confirm that one of these new crafts will be located at Doolin in County Clare and this is very welcome news to the local Doolin Coastguard, the wider community and indeed visitors to the region.
It is vital that investments like this in our Coastguard services continue. These new vessels will add greatly to the safety of the volunteer crews, and assist in rescues in harsh and often difficult conditions.
The new Delta RIB will also be fitted with an Automatic Identification System (AIS) which allows the boats to be tracked from the Coast Guard Marine Rescue Operations Centres, as well as high tech radar, electronic chart plotters and self-righting systems.
The new crafts have an endurance of more than four hours and can reach speeds in excess of 40 knots in moderate conditions. Three of these vessels are 9 metres in length, one is 8 metres in length.The volunteer crews for these new boats are currently undergoing training, competency development and evaluation at their stations. These new boats will enhance the Coast Guards response capability as well as augmenting the capacity to conduct safety compliance monitoring patrols during the active boating and holiday season as well as supporting pollution response and environmental monitoring.
The investment in Doolin will cost in the region of €150,000. It is my understanding that old boats will be reconditioned and used as safety compliance patrol boats during the active boating and holidaying seasons or will replace unserviceable training craft.