Lough Derg RNLI requested to assist a lone skipper on a 30ft cruiser aground
At 7.46pm, Sunday April 17, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat to launch to assist a lone skipper on 30ft cruiser aground, inside Red Island on the south-western County Clare shore. The wind was south-southwest, Force 3/4. Visibility was good but dropped at 8.36pm with sunset.
At 8.03pm Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, Owen Cavanagh, Joe O’Donoghue and Ciara Moylan on board. At 8.18pm the lifeboat had the casualty vessel in sight; it was located inside Red Island, north of Holy Island. Aware of an extended shoal inside Red Island an RNLI volunteer took soundings off the bow and, using on board electronic navigation, crew plotted a safe course to the casualty vessel.
At 8.21pm RNLI crew noted that the skipper on the casualty vessel was signaling with a light, waving and calling to them. Unable to make out what he was saying, the lifeboat asked Valentia Coast Guard for the skipper’s mobile phone number and called him. An RNLI volunteer reassured the skipper that the lifeboat was coming to assist and though it appeared the lifeboat was taking a course away from him, the lifeboat was in fact following a safe route in order to turn to his location without risk of grounding.
At 8.30pm the lifeboat was alongside the casualty vessel. The skipper was safe and unharmed and wearing his lifejacket. As it was a cold night, lifeboat crew advised the skipper put on additional warm clothing. An RNLI volunteer checked that the vessel was not holed and also made a check for any visual hazards bow and stern of the boat. Given the drop in temperature with nightfall and the secluded location, the helm made the decision to take the vessel off the rocks and out into safe water.
At 8.50pm the lifeboat had the vessel off the shoal and out in safe water. With an RNLI volunteer remaining on the board, the skipper checked forward and astern drives and steering and once satisfied they were in good working order, the casualty made way under its own power to Mountshannon Harbour, with the lifeboat leading.
At 9.20pm, as the casualty vessel entered Mountshannon Bay, the RNLI volunteer on board hailed the lifeboat to inform crew that the engine on the casualty vessel was overheating. The lifeboat immediately came alongside to assess the situation. The skipper switched to a backup engine and turned off his main engine and continued to Mountshannon Harbour with the lifeboat leading the way. At 9.31pm the casualty vessel was safely tied alongside in Mountshannon Harbour.
The lifeboat departed the scene and was back at Station at 10pm and at 10.35pm the lifeboat was washed down and refuelled.
Christine O’Malley, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users ‘if you are alone on the water, tell someone your plans and what time you expect to arrive at your destination. Remember to carry up to date charts of the lake and do not venture off the main navigation channels'.
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 [email protected] or Nuala McAloon, Regional Media Officer on 0876483547
[email protected] 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.
Learn more about the RNLI
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