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Gallantry award for coast guard member

A KILLALOE Coast Guard member has netted a national gallantry award for the bravery he showed in saving the lives of three people off Inisheer Pier last June. Transport Minister, Shane Ross presented the Michael Heffernan Bronze Medal for Marine Gallantry to Charlie Hennigar at the Marine Gallantry and Meritorious Service Awards ceremony in Farmleigh House in the Phoenix Park on Friday evening. On Monday, June 6, 2016, Mr Hennigar, who was off duty, was responsible for rescuing three people, when the gangway between the pier on Inisheer and an island ferry ditched into the water, as the stern drifted back out from the quay wall. Realising the gangway was about to fall, as the ferry drifted out, Mr Hennigar managed to pull a woman off the gangway. Subsequently, another woman and a man fell into the water, between the ferry and quay wall. Mr Hennigar climbed down the ladder and managed to pull the woman to safety and then entered …

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Exercise caution at seaside

A prolonged period of strong winds and high seas over the next few days has led to the Coast Guard issuing an appeal to members of the public to exercise caution. Chris Reynolds director of the Coast Guard said that the storm has the potential to lead to a loss of life. “We have had a number of deaths this year when members of the public who would not have been used to being on exposed rocks or piers are suddenly overwhelmed by a wave and pulled into the sea. There are no rogue waves, only unpredictable ones. So please exercise extreme caution over the next 36 hours particularly if you are with young children. Our message is ’Stay back, stay high and stay dry’.” The Coast Guard have issued a storm warning to all vessels off the West and South coast advising them to seek shelter. The National Maritime Operations Centre has also contacted the Spanish Coast Guard to ensure …

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Doolin Coast Guard unable to launch

By Nicola Corless THE Doolin Unit of the Irish Coast Guard has been left unable to launch after a high spring tide and stormy conditions washed boulders onto the slipway and into the channel used to get out to sea. Although the Doolin crew cannot launch, the Coast Guard helicopter and the unit on nearby Aran Islands are responding to calls. Mattie Shannon, station officer with the Doolin Unit of the Irish Coast Guard, stated, “The boulders have washed up again and all the gravel the council had put in, that has been washed away. That will all have to be redone because there is no access to the slipway currently and there are a couple of big boulders on the channel, so we couldn’t launch. “At the moment, conditions are rough but even if the sea calmed down, we still couldn’t launch because of the boulders in our path.” The coast guard is currently building a new station at …

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Coast Guard warns away from ‘exposed coasts’

THE Irish Coast Guard has warned people to stay away from exposed coasts as Met Éireann forecasts a coastal flood risk, due to the combination of very high spring tides, extremely high waves (greater than 10 m). The Coast Guard strongly advises the public not to go out on exposed coasts, cliffs, piers, harbour walls, beaches, promenades or any other coastal areas during the inclement weather. “Huge waves can be whipped up by high seas. These waves can pose hazards to anyone close to the shoreline,” said  manager of the Irish Coast Guard, Declan Geoghegan. “Extreme care should be taken in exposed areas especially cliffs, promenades, slipways and all beach areas also photography in these weather conditions has become popular and people should not put themselves at risk for such activities or indeed any water related leisure activities.” Anyone travelling should monitor weather broadcasts  and heed the advice of the RSA on road use during severe weather and high winds. If …

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