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Friday 20 September 2019

Ross vows to implement changes after coast guard's tragic death

Volunteer Caitríona Lucas died after her RIB capsized
Volunteer Caitríona Lucas died after her RIB capsized
Ryan Nugent

Ryan Nugent

Transport Minister Shane Ross says he will ensure that all recommendations on the Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) made by a report into the tragic death of Caitríona Lucas will be implemented.

Mother-of-two and volunteer Ms Lucas (41), from Liscannor, Co Clare, died on September 12, 2016, while out searching for a missing man.

The Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) she was travelling on capsized near Kilkee.

The report published by the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) found the capsized boat was launched in conditions that were outside its operational limits. It found that the capsizing of the RIB "occurred within a wider context of safety management in the Coast Guard as a whole".

It also stated that the IRCG does not have an effective safety management system "as demonstrated by recent incidents and the resulting recommendations which remain outstanding".

The report called on Mr Ross to ensure that the criteria for tasking and launching Coast Guard boats are reviewed.

It also said that the IRCG should implement a safety management system to address the issues in the report and to undertake regular audits and governance reviews of the management system.

Responding to the report, Mr Ross said that Ms Lucas "made the ultimate sacrifice".

"Caitríona Lucas was an extraordinary woman - brave, committed, supremely generous - and her death was an appalling tragedy.

"Her life will be remembered by the actions of all those involved in search and rescue activities," he said.

"I know the Irish Coast Guard including its 900 volunteers are committed to honouring her memory. We will ensure volunteer safety remains at the heart of Search and Rescue operations," he added.

Irish Independent

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