The first of the Coast Guard’s new Sikorsky S92 helicopters held a fly-by today (Saturday) on its first day of operation at Goleen, Co. Cork, where Minister Varadkar formally opened the new Coast Guard Station.
Minister Varadkar said: ‘This is a doubly special weekend for the Coast Guard, as the first of its four new helicopters is now coming on stream, and the new Coast Guard Station in Goleen is being formally opened’.
“This Government is committed to the Coast Guard and we have protected its funding levels. As part of that commitment, the new Coast Guard helicopter will be based in Shannon and represents a stepped improvement in the search and rescue response. It can find vessels or persons in the water more efficiently, and return people to safety in the shortest possible time. I wish all of the crew and team in Shannon every success with the new aircraft.
“The new Coast Guard station in Goleen is equally important. The Coast Guard has had a presence in Goleen since the 1800s, and responded last year to 14 callouts. This is a fantastic commitment to the community and I am delighted to have this opportunity to thank the 21 volunteer members for their dedication and hard work.”
The Goleen Station is purpose-built and surrounded by some of Ireland’s best known coastal landmarks. It was designed by the OPW to blend with its surroundings, and will be a vital facility for the Coast Guard unit.
Minister Varadkar paid particular tribute to the volunteer Coast Guard service and singled out the community around Union Hall, for their efforts following the loss of the Fishing vessel 'Tit Bonhomme' off Union Hall last January. The operation resulted in the recovery of all five bodies.
Photographs of the fly-by will be provided by: Carlos Benlayo (086) 0651162 firstname.lastname@example.org).
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport: 01 604 1087 / 01 604 1090. Nick Miller 086 6992080. Gerard O’Flynn (Irish Coast Guard) (087) 1770593.
As well as a longer range and improved cruising speeds, the S-92 is equipped with enhanced rescue mission technology including infra-red and low light cameras, a Nightsun searchlight, a satellite communications system featuring a Flight Following tracking facility, and high speed dual hoists.
Goleen Coast Guard station house
The building consists of a boat house/garage which is cut into the excavated ground, thus minimising the impact on the surrounding two storey domestic buildings, an operations and communications room, changing room, store room and a recreation/rest room.