The Coast Guards search and rescue service is carried out to meet Ireland’s obligations under the International Maritime Organisation’s Search and Rescue Convention by implementing the National SAR Plan
for all incidents occurring in the maritime domain, or as otherwise requested by SAR authorities in other domains (aviation or inland). In addition to Search and Rescue the Coast Guard has a role in responding to maritime casualty and pollution response, see the National Maritime Oil/HNS Spill Contingency Plan
. In relation to Maritime Pollution, there is a suite of legislation, the Sea Pollution Acts 1991-2006 under which the Minister appoints officers of the IRCG as authorised officers to enable them to carry out their duties in cases of maritime casualties to prevent or minimise damage from pollution where these casualties pose a threat of major harm to the Irish coastline and related interests. The Sea pollution Act also implements the framework for the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC) which establishes measures for dealing with marine oil pollution incidents from maritime casualties nationally and in co-operation with other countries. The Sea Pollution Act requires a National Oil Spill Contingency plan, along with County Council and Port Authority Contingency Plans as well as a regime to facilitate the Oil Preparedness, Response and Cooperation Convention, which the Coast Guard oversees.