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Lough Ree RNLI assist seven people aboard grounded 37ft cruiser

Lifeboats News Release

Lough Ree RNLI was alerted by the Irish Coast Guard this morning (Sunday 30 April), when a 37ft motor cruiser with seven people on board was blown onto a mud bank in the Shannon river channel north of Athlone motorway bridge.

RNLI/Lough Ree

Lough Ree’s inshore lifeboat The Eric Rowse, crewed by Rachel McHugh, Stan Bradbury and Robert West, launched quickly and was alongside the casualty vessel within 20 minutes of receiving the 8.26 am alert.

The weather at the time was dry, with a strong south-easterly Force 6 breeze. Waves on the lake were up to a metre high; however there was less wave along the river channel. The lifeboat crew checked that all on board were uninjured and wearing lifejackets, and that the vessel was not taking on water. They then established a tow line and pulled the vessel off the mud bank.

During the operation, communications support was provided between the lifeboat, the station and the Coast Guard by Lifeboat Operations Manager Tony McCarth and Liam Sherringham on shore at Lough Ree Lifeboat Station.

After re-floating the cruiser, the lifeboat crew checked that the vessel’s equipment was functioning normally before departing the scene. The casualty vessel proceeded under its own power towards Athlone, while the lifeboat crew returned to the station.

Shore crew members Bernard Larkin, Billy Henshaw, Kieran Scullion and Dennis Buckley recovered the lifeboat from the water at 9.20am.

Speaking after the call out, Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat crew member, Rachel McHugh, said: ‘We advise anyone enjoying the waterways to always check the weather forecast before departing on any journey, long or short. And, of course, always wear a lifejacket.’


RNLI media contacts

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:

Key facts about the RNLI

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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The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland