Boating bans to protect safety services

Published on April 10th, 2020

With Ireland on lockdown since March 27, now the Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) and RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) are asking the public not to take part in any water-based activity on or in the sea, while the current national emergency restrictions are in place. Here is their statement:


Both organizations are highlighting the importance of minimizing the risk to Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteer crews, Helicopter crew and other front line emergency services, through being unintentionally exposed to COVID-19.

RNLI and Coast Guard are confirming that their Search and Rescue services are fully operational, but given the current COVID-19 outbreak, both organizations are urging everyone to follow Government instructions, which are clear: stay home, protect frontline services and save lives.

While you are allowed out for daily exercise, we do not recommend that this exercise is on, or in the sea and all travel restrictions must be observed.

SAR services including RNLI lifeboat service, Coast Guard Helicopter services and Coast Guard units are still available but every callout has the potential to put additional pressure on SAR services and other front-line emergency services as well as potentially exposing them to COVID-19.

Gareth Morrison, Head of Water Safety at the RNLI, said: “We know people who live near the coast still want to exercise by the sea, but when you do this, please think of the potential impact of your actions on RNLI lifeboat volunteers and other emergency services.”

Gerard O’Flynn from the Coast Guard said: “We need our people to stay healthy during this emergency to enable us support the national action plan. Please, stay home and stay back to stay safe. Observe the 2×2 rule, which is 2m physical distance and 2km travel distance.”

MORE: The US Coast Guard were needed on April 10 to rescue a man from a 25-foot sailboat approximately 200 miles southeast of Cape May, New Jersey. Full report.

MORE MORE: While water activities like kayaking, canoeing and sailing are permitted in Michigan, using a motorboat, jet ski, or other similar watercraft is not. Additionally, persons not part of a single household may not boat together. Full report.

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