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24 Sept 2022

South-East search and rescue base that regularly serves Kilkenny to be retained

South-East base for search and rescue helicopter to be retained

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It has been confirmed this morning that search and rescue services operating out of Waterford are to be retained.

Fine Gael TD Paul Kehoe confirmed that the Waterford helicopter base will be retained alongside the country's three other bases in Dublin, Shannon and Sligo. 

Recent fears that the base was in jeopardy stemmed from the publication of a tender by the Department of Transport calling for a new Air Sea Rescue Service.

The terms and conditions of this tender gave scope to reduce the number of national bases to 3 compared to the 4 operating across the country at present.

The government’s latest decision to change the specifications for the next phase of the tender to include retention of the existing four bases has safeguarded the service’s future.

Rescue Helicopter 117 is stationed at the base in Waterford and regularly responds to emergency incidents in Kilkenny.

Assurances over the future of the South-East search and rescue base have been welcomed across the region.

Kilkenny councillor Pat Dunphy previously stated that the service is 'far too vital to the region to lose'.

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