Coastguard save fives lives with help of PLBs
The use of Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) and Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) were responsible for directly saving the lives of five mariners last year including one in Wexford.
In its end of year report the Coast Guard outlined how one of these incidents related to a Coast Guard helicopter rescue of a lone yachtsman, whose yacht had overturned, 20 miles south of Wexford.
The incident occurred at 8pm on July 26 last when the man triggered his Personal Locator Beacon which alerted the Marine Rescue Centre (MRCC) in Dublin of his position.
The Coast Guard Rescue coordination centre in Dublin coordinated his successful rescue of the lone yachtsman.
A second related to the location and recovery of three fishermen whose vessel had sunk. The third incident concerned the location of a single crewed yacht which had become dis-masted off the SW Coast and was subsequently towed to Castletownbere, Co Cork.
Overall last year the Coast Guard coordinated some 2,500 incidents through its three Marine Rescue Coordination Centres based in Valentia, Malin and its Dublin Head Quarters. A total of 405 people who were rescued or assisted were categorised as 'lives saved' on the basis that the intervention precluded loss of life or severe risk of loss of life. RNLI lifeboats were requested to launch on 837 occasions marginally higher that the figure for 2015.