A NEW boat, being delivered to Doolin Coast Guard on Friday, could cut rescue times by up to one-third.
The 9m Delta rib is specially designed for the sea conditions off the West Coast of Ireland and can travel up to 48 knots or the equivalent of 50mph compared to the unit’s current boat, which manages just 35mph.
“The new boat will get to casualties faster. It also has better capability in bigger seas, not that we would be going out in much bigger seas than we are but the capability is there if you want it to. This boat is almost one-third faster than what we have and it is also much more powerful, which means that if we had to hold another boat that might be in danger of going on the rocks or anything, the new boat would be better able to hold it while we wait for a bigger RNLI boat to tow it,” explained Mattie Shannon, officer in charge, Doolin Unit, Irish Coast Guard.
The new rib, worth in the region of €250,000, is being supplied by the Department of Transport and will replace one of the unit’s existing boats, which will be relocated to Costello Bay, Ros a Mhíl.
The new rib will not be stored at the Doolin Coast Guard headquarters until a new station with adequate facilities is completed and despite having planning permission, this seems unlikely before the end of 2012. Until then, the Doolin Coast Guard team will continue to transport and launch their boats using a tractor.
“We are still using the tractor unfortunately but thankfully the council has resurfaced or retarred the road in Doolin, which has made it a bit easier for us to transport the boat to the pier,” Mr Shannon commented.