Lessons to be learned

Irish Daily Mail - - News -

THE death of coast­guard vol­un­teer Caitríona Lu­cas dur­ing a res­cue mis­sion in 2016 shook not just a com­mu­nity but the en­tire coun­try. The mother of two chil­dren was search­ing for a miss­ing man with two other vol­un­teers when their rigid-in­flat­able boat over­turned near cliffs at Kil­kee in Co. Clare, and Ms Lu­cas died shortly af­ter she was air­lifted from the wa­ter by the Shan­non res­cue he­li­copter.

The im­pact of tragedy, how­ever dis­tress­ing, can be mit­i­gated when lessons are learned and new pro­ce­dures are im­ple­mented. The fi­nal re­port on the in­ci­dent by the Ma­rine Ca­su­alty In­ves­ti­ga­tions Board is crit­i­cal of the Ir­ish Coast Guard, but it would be bet­ter to dwell on how it be­lieves stan­dards can be im­proved.

It rec­om­mends that the Minister for Trans­port should re­view the Ir­ish Na­tional Search and Res­cue Frame­work in re­la­tion to re­cov­ery op­er­a­tions and the cri­te­ria for task­ing and launch­ing Coast Guard boats. It also says the Ir­ish Coast Guard must im­ple­ment a com­pre­hen­sive safety-man­age­ment sys­tem and ad­dress all as­pects of the man­age­ment of the ser­vice, in­clud­ing the man­age­ment of vol­un­teers, their ap­point­ment and train­ing.

Trans­port Minister Shane Ross says he will en­sure all the rec­om­men­da­tions are im­ple­mented. If Caitríona Lu­cas’s death is to have any mean­ing, he must hold good to that prom­ise.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.