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Corrib Mask Search and Rescue

Corrib Mask Search and Rescue (CMSAR) was established in 2004 and replaced an ad hoc grouping of anglers who provided a basic rescue service on the bigger lakes in the west of Ireland since1989. Insurance issues proved to be the breaking point for the original service so it was decided that CMSAR would join the Irish Red Cross who would in turn insure the activities and assets of the Unit whilst also providing first aid training, governance, GDPR compliance etc. This joining of forces has proven to be particularly successful and the Unit/Branch has been the recipient of many awards including the much prized Red Cross Medal of Merit in 2019 for the rescue of three fishermen from Lough Corrib in October 2018. The requirement for this service was identified following a number of fatalities involving recreational water users on Loughs Mask, Corrib, Carra, Lannagh etc. In the event of a ‘999’ call CMSAR as a Dedicated Resource (DR) of the Irish Coast Guard are first to be mobilised, and our response time from call to waterborne is normally under fifteen minutes. CMSAR has within the past 10 years rescued more than 50 people, recovered several bodies and made numerous positive interventions. We are an asset of the Irish Coast Guard and work closely with An Garda Siochana, Government Departments and Statuary bodies. We are the only Community Rescue Service to be issued with TETRA radios that allow us to communicate directly and securely with Irish Coast Guard shore based control and their helicopter service. We also provide free medical training to local Community First Response groups, as many of our members are PHECC Certified Instructors and/or Emergency Medical Technicians. All our members live locally and are volunteers who freely give many hours annually to the rescue incidents and medical duties.