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Lough Derg RNLI assist man stranded on boat overnight reluctant to call for help

Lifeboats News Release

At 8.50am this morning (Friday 28 July) Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to investigate a report from a passing cruiser of a vessel, thought to have slipped its moorings, aground behind Hare Island.

Callout to man stranded in crusier overnight

RNLI/Lough Derg

Callout to man stranded in crusier overnight

A man was subsequently found onboard by lifeboat crew, who discovered he had spent the night alone and stranded on the lake, as he was reluctant to call for help.

At 9.15am the lifeboat crew located the 16ft cruiser in Church Bay, behind Hare Island on the Clare shore. Church Bay is known for particular hazards - sudden shallows and rocks. The lifeboat proceeded with caution and when sufficiently close the cruiser, an RNLI volunteer waded in to the vessel to determine whether there was anyone on board, and to secure the vessel.

On inspection the RNLI volunteer found one person on board below, asleep in the cabin. The person was safe and unharmed and wearing his lifejacket. He had been stranded on his boat since 8pm the previous evening, but had been reluctant to call the rescue services, anxious not to put anyone out. The winds overnight on Lough Derg were westerly, Force 5, gusting 7.

At 9.45am the lifeboat had the vessel off and the rocks and taken under tow, with the skipper and an RNLI crew member on board to Garrykennedy harbour. The vessel was safely tied up alongside at 10.5am.

Eleanor Hooker, helm at Lough Derg RNLI says ‘no callout is routine, our training and experience tells us to expect the unexpected. We approached what we thought was an empty vessel which had slipped its moorings and found a person onboard who had spent the night alone, stranded in stormy conditions, and without help coming for them. The RNLI are there to answer any call for help. No lifeboat launch is ever a waste of our time or resources.’

Pat Garland, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat Station added, ‘I would urge all boat users, when is difficulty to call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard. RNLI lifeboats are launched at the request of the Irish Coast Guard, who then make the correct call on which search and rescue assets to deploy to the scene. We would urge the public not to delay calling for help. This could have had a very different outcome.’


RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Eleanor Hooker Lough Derg RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer Tel: 00353877535207 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