I am delighted to place on record how highly I and my Department value the service provided by Coast Guard Volunteers and I am committed to fully supporting their work, management and training, coupled of course with an on-going focus on increasing efficiencies and effectiveness in providing a better service to those in peril on our coastline and inland waters.
The Volunteer Units are an integral part of the overall Coast Guard services delivery and consists of approximately 950 volunteer members, divided into 49 coastal units. Their primary roles include cliff rescue, boat operations and shoreline searching, together with a number of secondary roles relating to support for An Garda Síochána and the Health Service Executive.
I am also cognisant of the work provided by the volunteers involved in other community rescue services who have declared themselves as resources available to the Coast Guard on a 24/7 basis. Grant aid to assist with their work has been retained at the existing level in 2013.