A Royal Air Force P-8 Poseidon aircraft was urgently deployed to aid in a maritime rescue operation off the coast of Cork yesterday, due to the unavailability of suitable Irish aircraft.

It has been claimed in a report by TheJournal.ie, that the Irish Coast Guard initially considered requesting the Irish Defence Forces to dispatch an Irish Air Corps aircraft for the winching operation.

However, the new Airbus C295 aircraft, recently added to the Irish fleet, was unavailable. In light of this, the Coast Guard turned to the UK military for assistance.

A spokesperson from the Irish Coast Guard confirmed the operation, stating, “Early on Thursday morning, the Marine Rescue Sub Centre (MRSC) Valentia received a call from a Danish flagged oil tanker approximately 345 miles west of Valentia, reporting a medical issue with a crew member onboard. Medical advice was provided by the Danish Maritime Telemedical Assistance Service with a recommendation that the crew member be evacuated once the vessel was within range of the Irish coast.”

They added, “MRSC Valentia [in Kerry] assumed coordination of the incident while working closely with UK & Danish Coastguard colleagues and continued to monitor the vessel and patient on approach. At around 4 AM this morning, the Irish Coast Guard Waterford based helicopter R117 arrived on scene accompanied by an RAF Poseidon aircraft for top cover, and successfully winched the casualty for onward transfer to Cork Airport and Cork University Hospital.”

The Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Centre in Valentia managed the response, initially deploying a helicopter to the scene, according to local reports.

Due to adverse weather conditions and the unavailability of Irish aircraft, the RAF P-8 Poseidon, with tail number ZP803, was dispatched, taking off at 2:30 AM and returning at 9:00 AM, crossing Irish airspace to reach the distressed vessel.

Commenting on the situation, a maritime and aviation security expert told the UK Defence Journal, “Their only MPA aircraft being unavailable and unable to support a search and rescue task speaks to how seriously they take their security. When it comes to recent suspected submarine activity, they are completely blind and unable to even monitor it.”

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Mark
Mark (@guest_825405)
4 days ago

Hmm, has the contract passed over to Bistrow yet? Cause the contract made it clear that they were to provide Top Cover with their own dedicated aircraft, but CHC is being an arse about the handover so who knows.

Last edited 4 days ago by Mark
AlexS
AlexS (@guest_825407)
4 days ago

Does even the Irish MPA have sonobuoys and MAD to detect submarines?

Mark
Mark (@guest_825415)
4 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

No, they are MSA configured, not MPA.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_825456)
4 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

I don’t think they expect or fear submarine attack. They are a neutral country.

Last edited 4 days ago by Graham Moore
Jacko
Jacko (@guest_825460)
4 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

oh yes everybody loves the Irish so they are safe🥃

Jonno
Jonno (@guest_825516)
3 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Good luck with that. I don’t think there is anything noble in neutrality. Never has been since WW2 made it obviously Russia was a rogue nation. S. Ireland should join NATO, pay their taxes and pull their weight.

Mark
Mark (@guest_825519)
3 days ago
Reply to  Jonno

Who is S Ireland?

Jonno
Jonno (@guest_825522)
3 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Eire part of the island.

Mark
Mark (@guest_825533)
3 days ago
Reply to  Jonno

Neither of which is the name of the country.

Jonno
Jonno (@guest_825540)
3 days ago
Reply to  Mark

The Irish Free State? Ireland sounds so Irish Sea to the Atlantic.

OldSchool
OldSchool (@guest_825602)
3 days ago
Reply to  Jonno

The Irish Freeloading State…..

Jonno
Jonno (@guest_825541)
3 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Biden probably thinks Canada is part of America.

Geneticengineer
Geneticengineer (@guest_825570)
3 days ago
Reply to  Jonno

it is. America is a continent.

Mickey
Mickey (@guest_825593)
3 days ago
Reply to  Jonno

He probably doesn’t.

HF
HF (@guest_825622)
2 days ago
Reply to  Jonno

I doubt it very much but even if he did, what relevance does that hae ?

Jim
Jim (@guest_825536)
3 days ago
Reply to  Jonno

Exactly, neutral countries are no more the profiteers, who could be neutral when faced by the nazi’s and claim some apparent moral high ground. The worst kind of neutrals where unarmed neutrals countries like Norway and the Netherlands got what they deserved as did the soviets.

Fortunately most learned their lesson and joined NATO but not the Irish “heroes” who bravely farmed sheep while Europe burned.

Mark
Mark (@guest_825559)
3 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Hope you have the same anger towards the ones that stayed neutral and supported Germany, rather than the Allies…

Jim
Jim (@guest_825569)
3 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Yes. They all suffered dreadful consequences as a result of supporting the Nazis.

Mark
Mark (@guest_825581)
3 days ago
Reply to  Jim

Really, never noticed anything negative to Switzerland, or Sweden?

OldSchool
OldSchool (@guest_825603)
3 days ago
Reply to  Mark

The IRA then…….???

Mark
Mark (@guest_825627)
2 days ago
Reply to  OldSchool

What about them?

OldSchool
OldSchool (@guest_825601)
3 days ago
Reply to  Jonno

‘S. Ireland should join NATO, pay their taxes and pull their weight.’

Which is exactly why ROI won’t join NATO.

And they claim Rockall as theirs LOL.

Jim
Jim (@guest_825535)
3 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

They are not neutral, they are tax dodgers that free ride on NATO the EU and the UK. Now half the data cables coming into Europe go through them, they have a responsibility to protect them.

PaulW
PaulW (@guest_825466)
3 days ago
Reply to  AlexS

RAF P-8s don’t have MAD either.

AlexS
AlexS (@guest_825495)
3 days ago
Reply to  PaulW

Just pointing one option to detect submarines.

Jim
Jim (@guest_825537)
3 days ago
Reply to  PaulW

Neither do the USN.

Rob N
Rob N (@guest_825408)
4 days ago

Do we need to do everything for Ireland? They are not a poor country but are saving money by getting the UK to do everything for them…

It is about time they took responsibility for their territory. I do not know of any other country that has its air defence done by another country… that is not a dependant territory.

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_825410)
4 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

In these sorts of situations you just have to help by providing whatever is required. The UK was able to provide this support at the appropriate time. Well done the RAF.

Mark
Mark (@guest_825416)
4 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

And the AC does firefighting airdrops over NI whenever its requested without comment, but I guess that doesn’t matter? Maybe the RAF/contractors should cover that?

The Coastguard contract is passing from CHC to Bistrow and the new one has Bistrow providing top cover like this, but so far they haven’t stood up their fixed wing support, and CHC is doing a Scorched Earth policy since they lost, so its a bit of a private company shit show.

Also, SAR isn’t a defence area, the complaint goes to Transport.

Chris
Chris (@guest_825447)
4 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

The US does air defense for Canada, even in Canadian airspace, the same occurs with Australia and NZ. There seems to be lots of ‘little brother’ freeloading in the anglosphere.

Exroyal.
Exroyal. (@guest_825449)
4 days ago
Reply to  Chris

You are wrong on both counts. In both cases they are collaborative efforts. Take the US Canada model. That comes under the Umbrella of NORAD a joint organisation staffed by US and Canada. NORAD can task assets from both countries as they see appropriate.

Mickey
Mickey (@guest_825508)
3 days ago
Reply to  Chris

You are incorrect on that statement about air cover for Canada and freeloading. The RCAF is a fully functional Air Force and very active partner in NORAD for continental air surveillance.

Canada routinely stations alert CF-18s in Alaska.

Benjamin Rule
Benjamin Rule (@guest_825561)
3 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg…

magwitch
magwitch (@guest_825650)
2 days ago
Reply to  Rob N

Iceland
Latvia
Lithuania
Estonia
Romania

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_825457)
4 days ago

Perhaps the Irish need more than one C295!

Mark
Mark (@guest_825463)
4 days ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

We have more than one, however they are both only going through IOC after arriving last year, and the 235s pretty much died after being flown so hard.

Mickey
Mickey (@guest_825509)
3 days ago
Reply to  Mark

The world has changed since these C-295s were ordered 4 years ago as well. Fishery protection and general surveillance that these planes provide is not going to cut it for Ireland considering the Nord Stream incident.

Mark
Mark (@guest_825518)
3 days ago
Reply to  Mickey

Don’t disagree with you a bit, but trying to get the departments and ministers to consider anything is the issue of course.

Mickey
Mickey (@guest_825550)
3 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Maybe the third plane ordered can be a a MPA. Modify the contract. I know… wishful thinking. 😉

Mark
Mark (@guest_825556)
3 days ago
Reply to  Mickey

Only if we ordered something for transport though…

Mickey
Mickey (@guest_825587)
3 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Purchasing 2 or 3 jet planes for ministerial and troop transport, which I know the gov and AC is looking into, could fill that void.

Mark
Mark (@guest_825594)
3 days ago
Reply to  Mickey

Nah, the Government request is for about 12 people, there’s little crossover into something that would be capable for transport, even the 295 transport would be better.

Simon
Simon (@guest_825462)
4 days ago

Surprised on first seeing saving lives at sea tv show the RNLI with English flag is operating out of Ireland, quite merrily. Ireland would need to swallow joint operations with UK or France???

Mark
Mark (@guest_825465)
4 days ago
Reply to  Simon

The RNLI is a legacy from pre independence which everyone was happy to leave continue to operate (though there are issues around fundraising and governance), but it’s basically a detached section with little interconnection with the U.K. version.

Jim
Jim (@guest_825538)
3 days ago
Reply to  Simon

The RNLI doesn’t fly an English flag.

geoff
geoff (@guest_825797)
2 days ago
Reply to  Simon

Morning Simon. The St. George’s type Flag(as it is referred to in Flag speak) is broadly used in different configurations in many parts of the world-not always necessarily specifically related to the English usuage. In Red and White it is seen in the Flag of Georgia, certain Italian City Flags and is still used in many Commonwealth Naval Ensigns. Here in South Africa our Navy uses a St George’s type flag but in Green on a white background with the National Flag in the 1st canton. Our equivalent to the RNLI, the NSRI has a similar flag to the RNLI… Read more »

Last edited 2 days ago by geoff
simon
simon (@guest_825803)
2 days ago
Reply to  geoff

nice post geoff

geoff
geoff (@guest_826136)
22 hours ago
Reply to  simon

Thanks Simon 😀

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_825469)
3 days ago

Glad we could help. Puzzled why the Irish helicopter needed “top cover”.

Mark
Mark (@guest_825476)
3 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

It’s standard for the coast guard, either other coastguard helicopters provide it (how R118 was lost), or whatever the AC has available (which is a bit of a usual cluster between Transport and Defence), as I said Bistrow in the new contract is supposed to be providing its own fixed wing asset for the job, but CHC are trying everything to stop it.

Fedaykin
Fedaykin (@guest_825512)
3 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

It is necessary when a Helicopter is making a long range rescue at sea, there is a risk that the Helicopter could suffer a technical failure and crash far away from help. The fixed wing patrol aircraft will stay on station coordinating rescue efforts of the helicopter crew, it can also drop a UNIPAC-III search and rescue kit carried in the bomb bay which contains a 20 man dinghy, water, food and communication equipment. Irish C-295 MPA have a similar capability but if they are unavailable the RAF can step in with the P-8a or the A400M which also has… Read more »

Mark
Mark (@guest_825517)
3 days ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

Normally the coastguard handle it with one of the other 92s, but for some reason didn’t this time.

Frank62
Frank62 (@guest_825530)
3 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Thanks guys for explaining. Makes sense now. I had strange visions of the Red Baron swooping down trying to splash the helo!

Last edited 3 days ago by Frank62
Philip
Philip (@guest_825539)
3 days ago

The anonymous expert should bear in mind that the UK was itself dependent on allies for maritime patrol/surveillance between 2011 and 2020…

Mark
Mark (@guest_825547)
3 days ago
Reply to  Philip

Or as I have pointed out the fact that NI calls on AC helicopters for firefighting in the summer, or more broadly is supported by Irish medical units when NHS NI is stuck.

geoff
geoff (@guest_825793)
2 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Morning Mark. Howrya doin? 😃

Mark
Mark (@guest_826039)
1 day ago
Reply to  geoff

Fairly good at the moment, watching SF have a bad election can cheer up anyone… 😀

geoff
geoff (@guest_826137)
22 hours ago
Reply to  Mark

😉

David gibson
David gibson (@guest_826339)
15 seconds ago
Reply to  Mark

Yes and ni helps the Republic when their health service stuck to.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker (@guest_825616)
3 days ago
Reply to  Philip

What’s really important is we all work together. Could Ireland do with more defence assets. Of course. The same is said about the U.K.
Really Ireland faces little to no threats. They could do with air policing aircraft, more surveillance aircraft and getting the navy in better shape.
Keeping an eye on the undersea infrastructure is also an area Ireland needs to take seriously.

geoff
geoff (@guest_825794)
2 days ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Morning MS!

Mickey
Mickey (@guest_825628)
2 days ago
Reply to  Philip

This expert also should know that Ireland has updated its partnership agreement with NATO on assistance with air/Naval/subsea assistance just recently. The details of this updated agreement are not fully known but is a step in the right direction.

Baz Melody
Baz Melody (@guest_825808)
2 days ago

Nothing new here, people requiring help then anyone who is available will help. The white elephant is the lack of MPA cover, which is nothing new to Ireland, 2 x 295’s is not enough for the area Ireland has to cover.

Daniel John Powell
Daniel John Powell (@guest_825809)
2 days ago

I think we should set up joints air force just for protection full of British isles operating as QRA and AShW & ASuW patrol if it can work?’ Raf fly for them and increase order P8 extra 2 and Sea guardian “RAF protector” Drone? 4 of them And Wedgetails extra 2, lend them old T1 12, 4 ;A400M as it multi-purpose drop asw weapon and refuel, recuse part etc just for small number air force to help each other? Operate at Ireland land and Ireland help pay half each other. Until they able get it and give them full back… Read more »

Mark
Mark (@guest_826038)
1 day ago

There’s pretty much no way that it would happen.