Lough Derg RNLI launched to assist 2 people on an 18ft boat with engine failure
On Sunday evening, 22 August, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat to launch to assist 2 people on an 18ft motor cruiser with engine failure, 2km north of Portumna Bridge above Lough Derg on the River Shannon.
At 6.40pm the lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, crew Owen Cavanagh, Joe O’Donoghue and Doireann Kennedy on board. The lake was flat calm. Visibility was good.
RNLI volunteer crew Tom Hayes contacted his colleague Tom McGarry, the Lock Keeper at Portumna Bridge to inform him that the lifeboat would be at the bridge in twenty minutes, and requested he open the bridge please.
At 7:00pm the lifeboat arrived at Portumna Bridge where the Lock Keeper was waiting and opening the swing bridge. Once on the river, the lifeboat saw a vessel under tow by a personal watercraft. After establishing that this was the vessel which had called for help, and that both people on board were safe, unharmed and wearing their lifejackets, the lifeboat determined the cause of the engine failure. The lifeboat took the tow from the personal watercraft, who returned north to his home harbour, and brought the motorboat to the Lough Derg side of Portumna Bridge.
After the casualty vessel was safely tied alongside, the skipper of the vessel told the crew his van and kit to fix his boat were across the bay at Terryglass Harbour. Given the late hour with sunset timed for 8.44pm, the lifeboat helm decided to take the skipper to Terryglass Harbour where he could collect his van and drive back to his boat. The second person remained at Portumna Harbour.
The lifeboat departed Terryglass Harbour at 7.30pm and was back at Station at 7.50pm.
Jeremy Freeman, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI, advises water users to ‘plan your passage, ensure you have sufficient fuel for your journey and plan to arrive at safe harbour before nightfall.’
Notes to editors
- Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat station has been operating since 2004. To learn more about the lifeboat station go to: https://rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeboat-stations/lough-derg-lifeboat-station
- A photo of Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat can be viewed at: https://www.facebook.com/RNLILoughDerg/
RNLI media contacts
For more information please telephone Eleanor Hooker, Lough Derg RNLI volunteer helm and Lifeboat Press Officer on 0877535207 or Eleanor_Hooker@RNLI.org.uk or Nuala McAloon, Regional Media Officer on 0876483547
Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org.uk or Niamh Stephenson, Regional Media Manager on 0871254124 or
For more information on the RNLI please visit rnli.org. News releases and other media
resources, including RSS feeds, downloadable photos and video, are available at the
RNLI News Centre rnli.org/news-and-media.
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around Ireland and the UK. The RNLI operates 46 lifeboat stations in Ireland. The RNLI is independent of government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, the charity has saved over 142,700 lives.
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 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.