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Coast Guard tender to be amended to maintain current number of search and rescue bases

There are currently four search and rescue bases in Ireland at Dublin, Shannon, Sligo and Waterford.

File image of a Coast Guard helicopter.
File image of a Coast Guard helicopter.
Image: sam boal

THE DEPARTMENT OF Transport has said it will amend the details of a tender for a new Coast Guard Aviation Service contract following fears the number of bases could reduce.

There are currently four search and rescue bases in Ireland at Dublin, Shannon, Sligo and Waterford.

A government tender for the contract over the provision of the Irish Coast Guard Aviation Service was posted in December. It stated that there would be a minimum requirement to provide three helicopters and a fixed wing aircraft on standby. 

The issue was raised in the Oireachtas last week. Senator John Cummins said there had been “a considerable amount of speculation and an understandable concern” in the south east that the Waterford base would be lost. 

The R117 rescue helicopter is based in Waterford. 

The Department said today that its Pre-Qualification Questionnaire on the contract will be amended to specify the existing number and location of the current search and rescue bases.

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The department said this will ensure “the delivery of wider Government policies concerning balanced and even distribution of State services and investment, particularly the needs of island and rural communities”. 

It said it will also maintain other priorities including terms under the Climate Action Plan and the State’s response to emerging trade patterns post-Brexit. 

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