Regional Authority Opposes Downgrading of Coast Guard Search & Rescue Helicopter Services in the South-East

“The South-East Regional Authority strenuously opposes the plans by the Department of Transport to downgrade the Coast Guard search and rescue helicopter service provided at Waterford Regional Airport for the South-East and farther afield”, so stated Cllr. Thomas Kinsella, Cathaoirleach of the Regional Authority in response to media reports that the service is to be reduced by the Department of Transport in 2012 to a 12-hour, daylight only service.

“The Coast Guard helicopter based at Waterford provides a 24/7/365 maritime and coastal rescue service, locating persons in distress or imminent risk, providing immediate medical treatment where required and evacuating them to an appropriate place of safety”, stated Cllr. Kinsella. He continued, “the Department’s decision will mean that there will be no night-time search and rescue helicopter available along the eastern, south-eastern, southern and south-western coasts between Dublin and Shannon”.

“The South-East has witnessed a number of maritime tragedies in recent years and the importance of the search and rescue service cannot be overstated. This is very much a retrograde step on behalf of the Department of Transport and makes very little economic sense if, as reported, this downgrading will result in a mere €1m saving per annum for the Exchequer”, said Cllr. Kinsella.

“I, on behalf of my Authority and the residents of the South-East region, will immediately be seeking a meeting with the Minister for Transport to outline the Authority’s opposition to this plan and to seek its complete reversal”, stated Cllr. Kinsella.


Tue, 16 Mar 2010 17:00:30 GMT