Lough Derg RNLI assists seven people on two vessels in back-to-back call outs

Lifeboats News Release

Lough Derg RNLI assisted seven people on two vessels in back-to-back call outs to three people on a 25ft cruiser with loss of steering and four people on a 25ft speedboat taking on water.

Crew of Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat setting up an alongside tow with casualty vessel

RNLI/Lough Derg

Lough Derg RNLI

Yesterday afternoon (Sunday 3 July), Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat to launch to assist three people on a 25ft motor cruiser adrift with steering failure near Williamstown on the country Clare shoreline.

At 2.30pm, Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Owen Cavanagh, Joe O’Donoghue, Chris Parker and Ciara Moylan on board. The wind was westerly Force 4. Visibility was good.

At 2.35pm the lifeboat arrived on scene. The lifeboat transferred a volunteer across to the casualty vessel who established that all onboard were safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. The cruiser had power but its steering had failed. The skipper had dropped anchor to prevent drift across the navigation channel.

Given the location and weather, the RNLI lifeboat helm made the decision to take the vessel under tow, and as there was a fleet of dinghies racing in a regatta in Dromineer Bay, he decided to take the vessel in an alongside tow across the bay to the public harbour at Dromineer.

At 2.50pm whilst the RNLI volunteers were securing the casualty vessel alongside in Dromineer Harbour, Valentia Coast Guard requested the lifeboat to assist four people on a 25ft speedboat in the harbour that was taking on water. The speedboat came alongside the lifeboat. The skipper had a pump in the stern and an RNLI volunteer brought the lifeboat’s salvage pump from the lifeboat station to pump water from the bow of casualty vessel.

Once the casualty vessel was pumped free of water, the lifeboat helm advised the skipper to have his vessel checked at the nearby marina. However, the skipper decided to return his vessel to his home harbour. Two of his passengers alighted at Dromineer, and the skipper and another of his crew set out. The lifeboat gave a situation report to Valentia Coast Guard, who requested the lifeboat monitor the casualty vessel’s progress. At 3.50pm, at the Corakeen Islands, the lifeboat reported that the speedboat was making way at speed and now out of sight ahead of the lifeboat. Valentia Coast Guard stood the lifeboat down.

The lifeboat departed the scene at 3.50pm and was back at Station at 4.00pm.

Jeremy Freeman, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI, advises boat users to: ‘ensure your vessel is serviced and in safe working order and if you find yourself in difficulty on the lake dial 999 or 112 and ask for marine rescue’.


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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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