Doolin Coast Guard unit drone team goes live

Doolin Coast Guard unit drone team goes live


The UAS can be deployed for day and night operations

A Coast Guard unit in Co Clare has become the first in Ireland to launch a drone for an operational search, on the same day that three teams nationally were formally activated.

The Irish Coast Guard confirmed today that three newly established UAS (unmanned aerial system) teams have entered service in Doolin Co Clare, Cleggan Co Galway and Ballyglass in Mayo.

The move follows months of training which will now allow specially-trained UAS pilots deploy drone technology to enhance search operations. The drones can also be used in an observational role for by the volunteer service.

The drones can be deployed for day and night search operations and provide a live feed to the Coast Guard’s marine rescue coordination centres in Valentia, Co Kerry, Malin Head in Donegal or Dublin.

Teams have been training with a new flight-planning software which allows drones to scan large areas from above, reduce risk to search and rescue personnel, shorten search times, and ultimately save lives. The award-winning platform has been developed by Donegal-based DroneSAR.

Check out this video which will give you a great insight into how the Irish Coast Guard and DroneSAR – Search & Rescue are working together to enhance Search and Rescue operations with the activation of three Coast Guard drone (UAS) teams.

Check out this video which will give you a great insight into how the Irish Coast Guard and DroneSAR – Search & Rescue are working together to enhance Search and Rescue operations.The Irish Coast Guard activated three Coast Guard drone (UAS) teams today – 20/09/19 – Doolin Coast Guard Cleggan Coast Guard Ballyglass Coast Guard Unit

Posted by Search & Rescue County Clare – Ireland on Friday, 20 December 2019

Acting operations manager with the Irish Coast Guard, Derek Flanagan said: “The drones have a number of functions which will greatly enhance search operations as well as the safely of search team members. The DroneSAR technology we are using is the final piece of the search and rescue drone jigsaw. It allows put structure into the drone searching capability.”

The Irish Coast Guard also role in relation to the protection of the ocean and the coasts against pollution. Mr Flanagan said the drones will be very useful in this role also.

Meanwhile, the Doolin UAS team became the first to deploy their drone operationally within hours of the new teams being activated. The team used the drone to search the area around the Cliffs of Moher for a person feared missing in the area.

Gardaí have issued an appeal for the public’s assistance locating Zuhair Chowdhury (29) who was last seen in the North Clare area. He is described as being 5’8 in height, of slight build with dark hair and brown eyes. It is not known what Zuhair was last wearing.

Anyone who may have seen Zuhair or has information on her whereabouts are asked to contact Ennistymon Garda Station at 065-707 2180, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

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.