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Lough Ree RNLI rescue two sailors from sinking Fireball dinghy

Lifeboats News Release

Lough Ree RNLI was called to assist two sailors when their 17ft Fireball dinghy was holed and began to sink on Lough Ree yesterday (Saturday 15 July).

The crew of Lough Ree lifeboat The Eric Rowse was alerted by the Coast Guard at 7pm when the sailors called for assistance over their portable VHF radio. The dinghy was sinking after the rudder bracket broke away from the hull, causing the buoyancy tanks to fill with water.

The weather at the time was wet and windy, with a force 4-5 breeze, frequent showers and moderate visibility.

The lifeboat crew were on scene within minutes and took the two sailors, who had capsized the boat in order to slow the filling of the buoyancy tanks, from the water. After establishing that both men were uninjured, the lifeboat crew and the sailors proceeded to turn the dinghy upright and lower the sails, and then towed it to the nearest island.

On reaching Beam Island, the five baled the water out of the dinghy and examined the damage to the hull, before towing the vessel to Lough Ree Yacht Club where it was recovered from the water.

Speaking afterwards, Lough Ree RNLI helm Stan Bradbury said: ‘We were very happy to assist these experienced sailors when they ran into difficulty on the lake. Equipment failure can, and does, happen at unexpected times; these two had taken the necessary precautions before leaving shore, and followed the correct procedures to achieve a good outcome if anything went wrong. Calling for assistance early, before you become excessively cold or tired, is the best course of action if you find yourself in difficulty on the water.’

Ends

RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Sarah Groarke Lough Ree RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Tel: 086 8075253 email: LoughReeLPO@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

RNLI/Nuala McAloon

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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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