Lough Derg RNLI rescues three people after two yachts run aground

Lifeboats News Release

The lifeboat crew from Lough Derg RNLI responded to two call outs on Sunday last (4 June).

RNLI/Lough Derg

Lough Derg RNLI

At 11.22am, as the crew were returning to station following their morning exercise, they were requested by Valentia Coast Guard to assist two people after a report from a member of the public of a 22ft yacht aground, 1km above Killaloe on the Tipperary shore, at the southern end of Lough Derg.

The lifeboat responded immediately to the request. With helm Eleanor Hooker, Darragh Quinn and Barry Morkan on board, the lifeboat was alongside the casualty vessel at 11.48am. Winds was westerly, Force 3/4. Visibility was good.

The yacht was under sail when it was pushed on shore by a severe gust. Both passengers were found to be safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. The RNLI volunteers checked the boat and when satisfied that it was not holed, set up bridle and tow. One RNLI volunteer remained on board.

At 12.22pm the vessel was taken off the rocks and towed into safe water. Before removing the tow, the lifeboat crew made certain it was not taking any water and the rudder was not damaged. The yacht made way using its outboard motor to its berth at Killaloe.

The second call out occurred later that afternoon. At 3.50pm following a distress call for assistance on the emergency Channel 16 on VHF, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to assist a lone yachtsman, whose yacht was aground by Stick Rock, at the northern end of Lough Derg, on the Co. Clare shore.

At 4.04pm, the lifeboat launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, Ger Egan and Kevin Dooley on board. Winds were south-westerly, visibility was fair to poor with low clouds, rain and frequent squalls.

At 4.38pm, the lifeboat located the yacht at Stick Rock. The yachtsman was safe and unharmed and wearing his lifejacket. An RNLI crew member was transferred to the yacht to assess it for any damage. At 4.49pm, the lifeboat had the yacht off the rock and back in safe water.

The crew assisted the skipper, but were unable to get his inboard engine started.

At 4.57pm, under sail, and with the lifeboat alongside, the yachtsman made way to Cloondavaun Bay. In Cloondavaun Bay the lifeboat set up an alongside tow and took the yacht through the narrow channel to it berth, where it was safely tied up alongside at 6.50pm.

Brendan O’Brien, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat, reminded boat users: 'Check weather conditions on the lake before going afloat and to carry up to date charts of the lake’.


RNLI media contacts

For more information please contact Eleanor Hooker, Lough Derg RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer on 0877535207, email lnrhooker@gmail.com or contact Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Ireland on 0876483547 or email Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Ireland on 0871254124 or 018900460 or email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org.uk

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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