Sunday 15 September 2019

Coast Guard set to launch new safety regime

The Irish Coast Guard pictured during a training exercise (Stock photo)
The Irish Coast Guard pictured during a training exercise (Stock photo)
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

The Irish Coast Guard (ICG) has outlined how it intends to improve safety standards after recognising the high risk to staff could lead to accidental loss of life.

It said it wants to engage a specialist officer to implement a new safety management system.

Documents seen by the Sunday Independent show the ICG recognises the high risk attached to its work which could lead to "the accidental death or serious injury to a voluntary or full-time member of the coast guard on operational service, training or exercise or to a member of the public assisting in [the] Coast Guard".

It comes as a report into the 2016 death of Doolin Coast Guard volunteer Catriona Lucas found the organisation did not have an effective safety management system.

Ms Lucas died when a rigid inflatable boat capsized.

The ICG has contested the Marine Casualty Investigation Board's report, saying some elements were flawed. The report found the coast guard did not have an effective safety management system.

A separate internal document drawn up by the ICG Director and Department of Transport last June highlights risks and health and safety concerns.

It says a key goal is to "deliver the corrective actions arising from investigations of the recent tragic accidents at Kilkee and Blacksod and ensure adequate safety oversight systems are in place".

Sunday Independent

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