I published the National Search and Rescue (SAR) Plan on the 19 July of this year. The plan replaces the existing National Maritime SAR Framework dating from 2010. The Plan sets out the governance and oversight of SAR activities in Ireland and is intended to meet Ireland's international and national obligations in this area. It is an interdepartmental and interagency framework document which clarifies the roles, relationships and responsibilities of all the stakeholders in the SAR community in Ireland. It was developed as a direct result of recommendations arising from a recent independent review of SAR aviation oversight as well as a recent MCIB report. The key new elements of this plan relate to providing assurance in relation to mechanisms and procedures to ensure the safe conduct of SAR activities at all levels.
There are no estimates available in relation to the potential costs for each organisation in complying with these requirements or for the regulatory entities involved in ensuring compliance. It is possible that some organisations involved will incur additional costs. It is also clear that such costs are justified and necessary given the level of risk associated with SAR activities. There will also be some administrative costs associated with the creation of new structures such as the National SAR Committee and the National SAR Consultative Committee - which will be key to ensuring a coherent implementation of the plan. These costs will be met from within my Department's existing budget.