10,000 hour milestone for Coast Guard helicopters

10,000 hour milestone for Coast Guard helicopters

SHARE

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015
Rescue 115 (Sikorsky S92A) in action in Kilkee in August 2015 – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

The Irish Coast Guard has achieved the significant milestone of 10,000 flight hours in its Sikorsky S92 search and rescue (SAR) helicopters.

The five new technology Sikorsky S92 aircraft have completed more than 3100 missions, operating from the bases in Sligo, Waterford, Shannon and Dublin.

With the introduction of the S92, the service ushered in a stepped change in operational effectiveness and flight safety.

The fleet is equipped with state-of-the-art autopilot functions, auto hover and flight director upgrades. This has led to improved safety and higher levels of aircraft availability. 

Chris Reynolds director of the Coast Guard said: “IRCG Search and Rescue helicopters operating out of four bases located across Ireland ensure that we continue to assist mariners, hill walkers, those living in rural areas and our islands communities.”

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015
Irish Coast Guard Director Chris Reynolds in Doolin in 2105 – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

A significant percentage of SAR missions ensure critically ill people reach hospitals within the so called ‘golden hour’, giving them the best chance of a full recovery.

For heart attack victims in rural communities, ensuring fast access to a specialist cardiac unit is vital. The speed and reliability of response is critical because the heart muscle starts to die within 80-90 minutes after it stops getting blood, and within six hours, almost all the affected parts of the heart could be irreversibly damaged.

Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015
A Sikorsky S61N that was replaced by the newer S92A – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2015

SHARE
Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.