The Irish Coast Guard is a nationwide emergency organisation.  It is a division of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sports.  Its function is to establish, promote and enforce safety and security standards and prevent loss of life at sea, and inland waterways, mountains and caves. It provides an emergency response service.  It also seeks to safeguard the quality of the marine environment.

The Irish Coast Guard is responsible for the national system of marine emergency management in Ireland’s exclusive economic zone and inland waterways.  It is responsible for the coordination of response to maritime accidents which require search and rescue and counter pollution and salvage operation.  It is responsible for monitoring the vessel traffic.

Operations in respect to maritime security, illegal drug trafficking, migration, fisheries enforcement are coordinated by other bodies within the state.

In 1809, the Water Guard was formed.  It was the maritime arm of Revenue enforcement which patrolled the shore.  It was initially based in watch houses around the coast.  Boat crews patrolled the coastal waters. It was  amalgamated with Customs in 1822.

The Coast Guard was established by the Board of Customs in 1822 and was later absorbed into the Customs and Excise department in 1909.  Control of the Coast Guard passed to the Royal Navy in 1856.

In the  UK, the Coast Guard was places under the control of the Board of Trade specifically dedicated to marine safety and lifesaving in 1923.  The Coast Guard Act, 1925 defined its powers and responsibility.  The legislation applied to dominions.

After 1922 Ireland the service continued as the Coast Life Saving Service.  It was renamed as the Coast and Cliff Rescue Service.  In 1991, it became the Irish Marine Emergency Service known as IMES.  In 2000, it became the Irish Coast Guard.

It is required to  Coast Guard and effective search and rescue service.  The increase  in international obligations including the United Nations Convention and the Law of the Sea, International Convention and Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 Salvage and Wreck Act has broadened its responsibilities.

The main function of the Irish Coast Guard is to rescue persons at sea and nearby land.  It organises immediate medical transport.  Access ports and ships in the jurisdiction.

It responds annually to thousands of incidents sea and cliffs, beaches in Ireland through its marine rescue centres based in Dublin, Malin Head and Valentia Island.  Each is responsible for search and rescue operations.

The Dublin Centre provides research and rescue response services and coordinates response to marine casualties under pollution legislation. Search and rescue operations are supported by decisions support systems which provide incident management and recording.


Important Notice! This website is provided for informational purposes only! It is a fundamental condition of the use of this website that no liability is accepted for any loss or damage caused by reason of any error, omission, or misstatement in its contents. 

Draft Articles; The articles on this website are in draft form and are subject to further review for typographical errors and, in some cases, updating and correction. It is intended to include references to the sources of materials and acknowledgements in the final version. The content of articles with [EU] in the title and some of the articles in the section on Agriculture are a reproduction of or are based on European or Irish public sector information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *