Major International Maritime Rescue Exercise.

The Defence Forces participated in a major international maritime rescue exercise off the coast of Roscoff during the week.

The scenario was based around a passenger ferry experiencing a major fire while transiting from Rosslare to Roscoff.

The purpose of the exercise was to test response procedures and interoperability between European maritime countries for a mass rescue operation at sea.

Lieutenant Commander Paddy Harkin, Captain of the Naval Service Vessel, LE Niamh, was the on-scene co-ordinator, responsible for coordinating the activities of 19 vessels from four countries, including a French Naval Destroyer, Belgian Naval Ship and Norwegian coast guard vessel.

An Air Corps CASA maritime patrol aircraft, along with nine other aircraft from the UK, Spain and France, conducted aerial search and life raft drops during the exercise.

The exercise was conducted under the auspices of the North Atlantic Coastguard Forum.

Read more about the Air Corps Casa          Read More about LÉ Niamh