The Telescope

The newsletter of the S.C.G.S.C.

Volume 7, Issue 1 2010 Joint S.A.R. Demonstration June, 2010

The 2010 Irish Coast Guard Search and Rescue demonstration took place at 2pm on Saturday 19th June 2010. The location for this event was Cobh Co. Cork. Members of the SCGSC were involved in a number of roles for this event. The purpose of the event was to raise awarness of water safety and demonstrate the roles of the different organisations involved in Maritime Search and Rescue. This was a multi agency demonstration consisting of The Irish Coastguard, The RNLI, The Civil Defence, The Maritime Ambulance Response Team, An Garda Siochana, The Cork County Firebrigade, Port of Cork, The Irish Naval Service and the Irish Air Corps. During the event a number of rescue scenarios were demonstrated for the public. The rest of this news letter will outline the days activities.


The day kicked off with a briefing held inside the incident command unit. This vechicle was situated on the promanade on the waterfront in cobh. At the briefing the schedule of events as well as operating procedures were discussed. There was quiet a lot of detail to go through. The command center was given the call sign "Exercise Control" for the event and co-ordinated all the activity during the demonstration.




After the fly past was finished the Waterford based helicopter retuned to it base, the Shannon based helicopter remained on and the casa returned to patrol duties off the south shore.

The first exercise of the afternoon was then performed. This was a Man Overboard (MOB) recovery from David Powers yacht MISTRAL. SCGSC Members David Power, Paul Hogan and Eoghan Allen were onboard MISTRAL. Also onboard were Pauls Wife Kelly, son Richard. David's father Willie and brother Brian. SCGSC Members Victor Shine and Michael Collins were on Irish Coastguard duty for the days event. For the MOB exercise a victim (Ian from Crosshaven RNLI) was to fall in the water from MISTRAL. Mistral was unable to recover the victim and issued a request for assistance over VHF to exercise control. Ballycotton RNLI Lifeboat was tasked with recovering the victim and assessing his condition. The victim was then transferred to the Coastguard Helicopter for transfer to hospital. The following sequence of images illustrate this exercise.

Crew of MISTRAL having a chat and ask Ian (right)
to go forward to unsnag jib sheet

Ooops, Ian accidently falls overboard...

Quick, issue a MAYDAY....
(Picture courtesy of Brian Clayton)

Meanwhile, victm fires off a distress flare as well

Ballycotton Lifeboat Austin Lidbury arrives on scene
to rescue the victim

Victim successfully recovered to lifeboat and awaiting
transfer to the helicopter.

SAR Helicopter and lifeboat line up to transfer
the victim

High line established between the lifeboat and
helicopter. For the purposes of the exercise this was
the conclusion of the demonstration.

SAR Helicopter and Ballycotton Lifeboat line up
to transfer MOB casualty


The second exercise involved rescuing canoesists in difficulty. Two canoeists were happly paddling around the waterfront in Cobh when they accidently capsized.


Canoeists paddling in Cobh

When they accidently capsize. The alarm is raised and

The Crosshaven Inshore Lifeboat "Miss Betty" is
tasked to effect a rescue by Exercise Control.

Crosshaven ILB rescuing the canoeists.


The third exercise of the day involved the return of the Air Corps Casa aircraft. This time it was scheduled to do a low pass and drop a lifefaft into the sea. Before this exercise, Exercise Control had to first clear a large area just off the promanade. After all vessels involved in the exercise had cleared the area the Casa approached from the West and dropped the liferaft just off the waterfront in Cobh.

Air Corps Casa lines up for a liferaft drop from the

Tail door open ready to drop the liferaft.

Liferaft away!
Liferaft in free fall
Liferaft splashdown
Casa contunues on her way.
Liferaft inflated.



The next demonstration consisted of the MAR (Maritime Ambulance Response) Team. Here there were a number of casualties on board the LE Eithne. The Eithne requested assistance and deployed a RIB to the pier to collect members of the MAR team. They boarded the Eithne to tend to the casualties.


Naval Service RIB deployed to collect members of
the MAR Team.

MAR Team members boarding the Naval Service RIB

MAR Team members boarding the LE Eithne.
MAR Team members being returned to shore after treating the casualties onboard the LE Eithne.


Simultaneously with the MAR Team exercise, another scenario was played out closer to shore. This involved rescuing a person from a Jet Ski. The pilot became seperated from his JetSki and had to call for help. He attracted attention by frantically waving his hands. Exercise Control then tasked the Crosshaven ILB to recover the casualty.


JetSki pilot prior to start of exercise.
Victim quickly became seperated from the JetSki. He begin waving his hands to attract attention.

Crosshaven ILB are tasked to recover the casualty.
Preparing to rescue the casualty

Victim successfully recovered to the ILB now the set off to recover the JetSki.  


The second last on-the-water demonstration of the day involved a simulated trawler fire. For this exercise a trawler was set on fire (simulated of course by using a smoke machine). The lifeboat rescued the fishermen and the fire fighting capabilities of the Gerry O Sullivan and LE Eithne were demonstrated which would fight the fire in a live situation.

A bunch of "Trawler Men" going about their fishing duties. (SCGSC Member Michael Collins, on coasdguard duty for the day is moonligting as a trawler man).

When all of a sudden the trawler catches fire.
After issuing a MADAY VHF Call the order to abandon ship is given by the skipper. The lifefaft is deployed.

Some people just can't wait for the liferaft to inflate
Gerry O Sullivan shows off its fire fighting capabilities

As does the LE Eithne
Ballycotton lifeboat recovers the trawler victims from the sea and liferaft.  

The final display of the day was a pyrotechnic display from the LE Eithne. Members of the Naval Service set demonstated a number of smoke signal an flares.

At completion of the exercise all participants formed up upriver and travelled past the promanade in formation. This can all be seen in the following video:

Finally, the whole event was recorded by RTE for a programme to be aired in the autumn. Details on the programme will be made available closer to the time. A great day was had by all and it was a privilege and experience for the SCGSC to be involved in this joint SAR demonstration. As this event rotates around the country it may be a few years before this demonstration comes back to Cork. Full version of all images shown in this report as well as some others are available through the photo gallery.

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