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Lough Ree RNLI assists three people aboard grounded 56ft barge

Lifeboats News Release

Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat crew were alerted by the Irish Coast Guard this morning, (29 April), when a 56ft barge with three people on board ran hard aground on rocks close to Blackwood Point at the northern end of Lough Ree.

RNLI/Lough Ree

The alarm was raised shortly before 10am. Shore crew Tony Diskin, Matt Harte, Billy Henshaw and Dennis Buckley responded quickly and got the inshore lifeboat The Eric Rouse launched and underway in less than ten minutes, with first responders Kieron Sloyan, Kieran Scullion and Liam Sherringham onboard. A short time later, the lifeboat crew was alongside the casualty vessel, checking that all on board were safe and well.

The weather at the time was dry, with strong wind (Force 5, gusting Force 6) and a rising swell with waves up to a metre high. After checking that the vessel was not taking on water, a tow line was established and the vessel was safely towed to deeper navigable water. Crew member Kieran Scullion remained aboard the barge to check that all systems were operating normally and to assist with navigation on the journey north to Lanesborough quay, accompanied by the lifeboat. Upon arrival at Lanesborough, the crew ensured that the barge was securely berthed before departing the scene.

En route back to the lifeboat station, the crew observed a hire vessel straying outside the navigation channel between Clawinch Island and Quaker Island. The crew diverted course to the hire vessel and guided the occupants back to safe water. A lifeboat crew member was invited on board the vessel and spent some time assisting the hire vessel crew in identifying the navigable areas of the lake. The lifeboat crew also advised the occupants of the difficult conditions further south, whereupon the hire vessel decided to return north to Ballyleague Harbour until conditions for crossing the lake improved.

The lifeboat crew then proceeded to the lifeboat station, where the shore crew were on hand to recover the lifeboat.

Speaking following the call out, Tony McCarth, Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said: ‘It was a busy day for the lifeboat on Lough Ree and we were delighted to be able to assist. As we continue to enjoy this Bank Holiday weekend and as we look forward to the main boating season starting, we would like to remind everyone planning a trip on the lake to respect the water. Always wear a lifejacket and ensure it is regularly checked. Always have a means for calling and signalling for help and ensure everyone onboard knows how to use it. Always check the weather forecast and tide times. Make sure someone ashore knows where you are going and who to call if you don’t return on time. It is also important to learn how to start, run and maintain your engine.’

Ends

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Sarah Groarke Lough Ree RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Tel: 086 8075253 email: sarahgroarke@gmail.com or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Tel: 087 1254 124 / 01 8900 460 email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 087 6483547 email: Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

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