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Your definitive guide to the lifeboat services around the Irish Coastline

Dedicated to the brave lifeboat crews who navigate the seas around our coastline and lakes to rescue those in need.

Irish Coast Guard

The Irish Coast Guard is part of the Department of Transport of Ireland. The primary roles of the Coast Guard include maritime safety and search and rescue. The Irish Marine Search and Rescue Region is the area over which the Coast Guard has responsibility. This area is bordered by the UK Search and Rescue Region.

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Royal National Lifeboat Institution

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) was founded in 1824. The first RNLI lifeboat station in Ireland was established in Arklow, Co Wicklow, in 1826. The RNLI currently operate 46 stations around the coastlines of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland as well as major inland waterways.

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Community Rescue Boats Ireland

Community Rescue Boats Ireland (CRBI) are a nationwide group of independent voluntary rescue boats which are trained and administrated by Water Safety Ireland. They are declared resource and available to the Coast Guard, who respond to emergencies in their area of responsibility on a 24/7/365 basis.

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Independent Lifeboats in Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland there are a number of voluntary organisations independent of the RNLI providing Search and Rescue services at sea and on inland waterways.They are declared resources and are available to respond to emergencies in their area of responsibility on a 24/7/365 basis.

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Latest Lifeboat News

The latest news and from the lifeboat services of Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland

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Porthcawl Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Rose of the Shires B-832 at sea during a training exercise in rough weather. Photo: RNLI/Stephen Duncombe

Summer saw highest number of lives saved in watersport incidents for 19 years

New data released by the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has revealed summer 2021 saw the highest number of lives saved during watersport incidents since 2002. The 55 lives saved this summer by volunteer crews was the largest number since 72 lives were saved in 2002. Based on provisional incident reports from RNLI lifeboat stations around the UK and Ireland, the period from 1 June to 31 August, also saw the highest number of lives saved overall since 2016, with RNLI volunteers saving 176 lives in total.

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Sunday 25 July was the first UN World Drowning Prevention Day, continue to mark the day by following water safety advice from the organisations listed below. 

Anyone can drown, no one should.

RNLI and GAA partnership 

The two organisations have been working together in communities throughout Ireland to share water safety advice with GAA players and to deliver water safety talks to GAA clubs around the country. 

Working with the GAA, the RNLI have been able to share life-saving advice with the people who need to hear it the most. Sharing this advice and information during a busy summer could save a life.

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Water Safety Ireland

Water Safety Ireland's main focus is on public awareness and education. Tragically, an average of 120 people drown each year in Ireland. WSI feel that this is simply unacceptable considering that most fatalities are avoidable. 

 They strive to reduce these fatalities by increasing water safety awareness and by changing attitudes and behaviours so that our aquatic environments can be enjoyed with confidence and safety.

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Safety on the Water

The Safety on the water initiative was set up by the Marine Safety Working Group. The aim of the group is to promote water safety. This is a collaboration between the Coast Guard, RNLI, Water Safety Ireland, Irish Sailing, BIM, Commissioners of Irish Lights and Met Éireann. 

These organisations advise caution to those engaged in recreational activities in or near water.

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