Lough Derg RNLI launched to assist four people in difficulty on a 16ft motorboat
At 11.50pm, Tuesday July 20, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat to launch to assist four people on a 16ft motorboat which had lost propulsion after glancing off a rock, and which was now adrift in Scarriff Bay.
At 12.13am the lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, crew Joe O’Donoghue, Doireann Kennedy and Chris Parker on board. The lake was flat calm with night visibility enhanced by a full moon. Valentia Coast Guard provided the lifeboat with the coordinates for the last known position of the motorboat.
At 12.30am as the lifeboat approached Scarriff Bay, RNLI crew heard a Mayday transmission on Channel 16. Valentia Coast Guard quickly established that the Mayday alert was from the same vessel to which the lifeboat was launched to assist. The navigator on board the lifeboat called the casualty vessel on VHF radio to reassure them that the lifeboat was five minutes from their location.
Once in Scarriff Bay and approaching the coordinates for the casualty vessel, RNLI volunteers used their RADAR to pinpoint the vessel’s exact location. An RNLI crew member used a search light to indicate to the casualties that the lifeboat had located them and was close by.
At 12.35am the lifeboat came alongside the casualty vessel and found all on board to be safe and well and wearing their lifejackets. An RNLI volunteer was transferred across to the motorboat to assess the situation.
Given the hour and the isolated location, the RNLI helm decided that the safest course of action was to take the motorboat and her passengers, and with a RNLI crew member remaining on board, across the bay to Mountshannon Harbour, the safest close harbour. Crew set up for an alongside tow.
At 01.18am the casualty vessel was safely tied alongside in Mountshannon Harbour. At 01.25am the lifeboat departed the scene and was back at Station at 01.50am
Christine O’Malley, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Lough Derg RNLI, advises water users to ‘ensure your vessel is equipped for nighttime navigation and keep current navigation charts on board’.
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 over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, 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.