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Lough Ree RNLI assist four people from 43-foot cruiser stranded in strong curren

Lifeboats News Release

Lough Ree RNLI were called to assist four men aboard a 43-foot cruiser last Tuesday morning (26 April) when their vessel became wedged against the protective barrier above Athlone Weir.

The four men had been heading for Athlone Lock, to travel down river, when they got carried onto the weir by the current. Weather conditions were dry but windy at the time, with a strong northerly breeze adding to the effect of the current.

Lough Ree RNLI were launched and upon arrival at the weir, the lifeboat crew boarded the vessel, reassured the men on board and set up a tow line. After pulling the large craft clear of the strongest current, the cruiser’s engine was started and one lifeboat crew member accompanied the men into Athlone Lock before departing the scene and returning to the station.

Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat Helm, Kieron Sloyan, said ‘The weather conditions at the time made boat handling especially difficult. Occasionally a boat will find itself against the safety barrier at the top of the weir, even in calm conditions – the current alone is quite strong close to the weir. With the wind from the north, it’s even trickier to maintain control of the boat.’


RNLI media contact
For more information please contact Sarah Groarke Lough Ree RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Tel: 086 8075253 email: or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Tel: 087 1254 124 / 01 8900 460 email or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 087 6483547 email:

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The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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