The Kilkee unit of the Irish Coast Guard will be on standby over the Bank Holiday weekend contrary to local reports.
The local volunteer unit is expected to return to full operational status in the coming weeks following last September’s tragic accident which rocked the service nationwide.
On September 12th last, Doolin Coast Guard member and mother-of-two Caitríona Lucas died in the line of duty during the search for a missing man in Kilkee. Caitríona had been operating on board the Kilkee unit’s boat at the time. Two members of the Kilkee team were injured while their rescue boat was destroyed.
A replacement Delta boat was later provided for the Kilkee station and members have been undergoing regular boat training and assessments in recent months.
The unit’s second boat, a D-Class, will be available to launch if required over the holiday weekend.
The unit has also been involved in a number of land-based searches and medevac operations in recent months while a boat was on station and ready to respond to emergencies during the last Bank Holiday week.
It was reported in recent days that there will be no Coast Guard boat cover in Kilkee this Bank Holiday weekend. This has been denied by the service.
The Irish Coast Guard’s Voluntary Services & Training Manager Mr Declan Geoghegan confirmed: “Kilkee Coast Guard Unit is operational and the boat will be on service as and from 15.00 today June 2nd 2017.”
Meanwhile, the Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI have issued a joint call urging people to be vigilant and take care in and on the water or along the coastline this Bank Holiday weekend.
With the summer holidays approaching, the Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI want to remind everyone planning a trip to the coast or going out on the water to be mindful and to pay attention to their personal safety.
Both organisations have launched safety campaigns to highlight the potential dangers of the water. The Coast Guard is promoting a new message this summer asking people to Stay in Contact, which aims to underpin the concept that if you are wearing a lifejacket or floatation device and can raise the alarm then you stand an excellent chance of being rescued.