Sunday 26 May 2019

Civil Defence to get a new boat

Minister for Defence, Paul Kehoe says he will fund a new lifeboat for Sligo Civil Defence.

IN a reply to Councillor Dara Mulvey the minister stated: "I can assure you that the safety of Civil Defence volunteers is taken very seriously and that the reports into the tragic death of Coast Guard volunteer Caitríona Lucas are being carefully examined.

"It was in this context, that an instruction was issued by the Civil Defence Branch of my Department on 13 December 2018 to Civil Defence Officers, recommending the immediate cessation of all boating operations which exceed the boundary of smooth waters.

"My Department acknowledges the significant safety concerns for our volunteers operating in the maritime environment.

"In that context, my officials have drafted a new Civil Defence Specific Operating Guideline (SOG) for boating operations.

"Both boats used by Sligo Civil Defence were inspected in November 2018 and were found to be well maintained and fit for service.

"Notwithstanding that the boats were passed fit for service in November 2018, the Sligo Civil Defence Officer made an application for funding on 1 November 2018 to my Department.

"This was approved by the Civil Defence Branch of my Department as part of my Department's annual investment programme.

"The Sligo Civil Defence Officer is currently identifying a suitable vessel.

"Once identified, the vessel will be inspected by an independent marine surveyor to ensure it is suitable for Civil Defence activities," said the Minister.

Sligo Champion