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Clifden and Aran Islands RNLI respond to Mayday after boat catches fire

Lifeboats News Release

Clifden RNLI launched their Shannon class all-weather lifeboat this afternoon following a Mayday that a boat had caught fire.

RNLI/Nuala McAloon

Clifden RNLI’s Shannon class lifeboat

Shortly before 3pm today (Monday 21 September) Clifden RNLI launched their Shannon in response to a Mayday call to the Irish Coast Guard from a rigid inflatable boat that had caught fire in Bertraghboy Bay near Roundstone.

The three people on board had inflated their liferaft, evacuated the RIB and were taken under tow by a local fishing vessel. They had been diving approximately three miles off shore when the incident happened.
The Shannon class lifeboat Brianne Aldington arrived at the scene approximately 55 minutes after launch.

Aran Islands RNLI crew who had also been requested to launch were stood down shortly afterwards as was Clifden’s Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat once it was clear the situation was under control.
The Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 was on scene while the Clifden RNLI lifeboat escorted the casualties into Inishnee pier, where they were met by members of Cleggan Coast Guard.

Clifden RNLI Coxswain James Mullen said: ‘While this was obviously a very upsetting thing to happen, the boat was very well equipped and the sailors had taken every safety precaution to deal with an emergency scenario like this. We wish them well and commend their quick actions and also of course the local vessel that went to their aid as quickly as possible, in what have could otherwise have been a disastrous incident today’.


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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 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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