THE SEVENTH JOINT SEARCH AND RESCUE (JSAR) competition between the Irish Coast Guard and HM Coastguard Northern Ireland commenced this evening Friday 11th May 2012, in Youghal, Co. Cork and will run over the entire weekend. (11-13 May 2012). The competition is organised by the volunteer members of the Youghal Coast Guard unit under their volunteer leader Mike Lee. The unit has worked closely with the Youghal Town Council in profiling the event and the town itself on a national level.
The purpose of the games is to increase the level of professionalism of all Coast Guard members on the island and to enhance cooperation between the Divisions through friendly competition. The Games normally have a theme and this year’s theme is “Walter Raleigh”.
Twelve team members from each of the Divisions – Dublin, Malin, Valentia and HM Coastguard Northern Ireland will compete in JSAR12. Two four-man teams from each Division will be drawn and the remaining members will be entered as combined teams. A wide range of Coast Guard skills will be tested throughout the competition. Members will be tested on the following skills – leadership, search planning and coordination (afloat and ashore), rescue throw-bag, chart work, knots, communications, silva compass work and pacing, and salvage pump.
There has been a tradition of cooperation and joint training between many of this weekend’s participants going back to the 1980s. Indeed the modern Irish Coast Guard began to develop its cliff rescue capability from that time when personnel from Belfast Coastguard District provided training and external assessment to Coast Guard Units. The joint Search and Rescue games are another step in the initiative of developing joint training programmes between the Irish Coast Guard and the Northern Ireland Coast Guard.
The Games provide a forum for the national Maritime SAR Management to discuss policy in an informal and friendly environment and for volunteers from both jurisdictions to exchange their experiences.
The teams will compete for a number of awards with the winning team being presented with the Kirwan Cup.