Waterford City River Rescue is a non-profit organisation that was established in 2005. We are a voluntary Search & Rescue service, and we depend on sponsorship and donations from the public to maintain our night-and-day service along the River Suir.
We are a full member of the Community Rescue Boats of Ireland (C.R.B.I.). This is a national umbrella group for independent voluntary rescue boats and is under the control of Irish Water Safety.
In addition, we are a Declared Facility of the Irish Coast Guard which designates voluntary units such as ourselves to provide cover in areas not covered by their professional stations. In our case, our main area of responsibility is the 15-mile stretch of the River Suir from Cheekpoint to Mount Congreve. We can of course be tasked beyond this area if the Coast Guard requires.
All our crews carry a pager which enables them to respond to any call from the Coast Guard within minutes. Most lifeboats have to launch from a trailer or down a slipway, but ours is kept afloat at all times so that it is always ready for immediate action.
New Lifeboat The “Lenny O’”
In 2019 we purchased our new Lifeboat with the help of the people of Waterford. Our new Lifeboat is an XS Rib, which is 7 meters with twin 100 hp engines. This new Lifeboat is called the Lenny O’. This new purpose-built Lifeboat is compliant with all Irish Coast Guard standards. It is fully equipped with new state of the art equipment that will help us to serve the needs of the people of Waterford.
Our secondary lifeboat is the purpose-built 6.5-metre Ribcraft RIB “Trisha Nell 2”. It has twin engines and is fully equipped to the exacting standards of the Coast Guard.
All our Personal Protective Equipment such as helmets, dry suits and life jackets is as specified by the Irish Coast Guard. This is maintained and certified on an ongoing basis. In 2019/20 we have had to purchase all our life jackets.
In 2016 we were able to purchase a training boat “KennethWayne” with the help of the Kenneth & Wayne Scannell Memorial Bike Run, supported by the generosity of the Scannell Family and the biking community.
TRAINING & INSPECTIONS:
Our members are trained to a very high standard and are tested regularly by outside agencies. Every year we are inspected by the Irish Coast Guard and independently by C.R.B.I. and our boats and crew-work have to pass their requirements to maintain our status with these organisations. A typical member will qualify for certificates in boat handling, night navigation, VHF radio, CPR, First Aid, sea survival etc.
Our Personal Protective Equipment must be kept to the highest standards, and needs to be replaced regularly. This helps to ensure the safety of all our crew members. Insurance, fuel and maintenance of our Lifeboat and floating base “Wellboy” are ongoing costs. We train on a continuous basis, helping to ensure that our crews are ready for whatever situation they may encounter, and courses must be undertaken on a regular basis to enhance all crew qualifications.
Fundraising for these expenses is an essential part of our activities and this Calendar is one such project. Another is our Annual Kayak Run which takes place in June or July paddling from Cheekpoint to Waterford City. Kayakers from all over the South East attend this very popular event. Our 2019 Kayak Run is kindly sponsored by kayaksforsale.ie. We produce our very successful Calendar, as well as Tidetables. All funds raised by Waterford City River Rescue go directly to the running of our essential services.
This year for the first time we have a land base. Our offices at 114 The Quay (above S Security) provide us with meeting-rooms, toilets and canteen area overlooking our Operations Centre.
Constant training and up-to-date equipment help us to fulfil our task of supporting The Irish Coast Guard and this, in turn, helps to make the River Suir a safer place for all of us.
None of this would be possible without the continued hard work of our crew and also of course the generosity of the public. We thank you for your continued support.
Frequently asked questions answered by The Secretary of Waterford City River Rescue C.R.B.I.
If I become aware of a person or vessel in danger, what should I do?
Call 999 or 112 IMMEDIATELY and ask for The Irish Coast Guard.
What happens then?
The IRCG is in charge of coordinating all incidents on Lakes, Rivers and Sea. They will mobilise whatever resources they think necessary including the Helicopter Service and of course Waterford City River Rescue.
Is WCRR a Coast Guard station?
We are a “Designated Resource” of the IRCG. In areas where there is no professional service, they will appoint a local voluntary service to act for them.
Is WCRR a voluntary organisation?
Yes we are a voluntary organisation.
Where are you based?
Our Operational Headquarters is the “Wellboy” – a retired Dublin Bay pilot boat that is permanently moored at the Millennium Plaza. It serves as our training centre, dressing rooms and command centre.
What does C.R.B.I. stand for?
The Community Rescue Boats of Ireland is an umbrella organisation for voluntary lifeboats. We have been a member for over 10 years. We are examined by the C.R.B.I. and separately by the Irish Coast Guard yearly in order to continue our service.