Lough Derg RNLI responds to a Mayday from a sinking vessel with 7 people onboard
On Monday afternoon, 11 July, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat to launch to assist seven people on a 60ft vessel which was taking on water and sinking.
Valentia Coast Guard gave lifeboat volunteers coordinates for the vessel, which was at a location south of Mountshannon Harbour on the County Clare shore.
At 2.42pm Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, Owen Cavanagh, Joe O’Donoghue and Ciara Lynch on board. The lifeboat was also carrying its salvage pump. The Irish Coast Guard Search and Rescue Helicopter team, Rescue 115, had taken off from their base at Shannon Airport and the Killaloe Coast Guard Rescue Boat was also launched.
The wind was south-westerly Force 4, gusting Force 6. Visibility was good.
En route to the casualty vessel, Valentia Coast Guard informed the lifeboat that a passing vessel was in the process of taking all seven people off the casualty vessel.
As the lifeboat approached the Hare Island, Rescue 115, the Irish Coast Guard Search and Rescue helicopter, indicated to the RNLI volunteers to follow them as they flew high and ahead of the lifeboat. The passing vessel, having evacuated all casualties to their vessel, reported to Valentia Coast Guard that they were bringing the people to Mountshannon Harbour.
At 2.52pm the lifeboat was on scene. Strong southwesterly gusts had pushed the casualty vessel deep into an area known locally as the Nook of Pages on the County Clare shoreline, northeast of Mountshannon. Valentia Coast Guard asked the lifeboat to make an assessment of the casualty vessel and determine if it posed any environmental risks. With an RNLI volunteer taking soundings off the bow, the lifeboat approached the casualty vessel in safe water and, using an anchoring and veering technique, came alongside the vessel.
An RNLI volunteer transferred across to the casualty vessel and noted that it had significant water on board, that the electrics were still on but that he was unable to access them, but that there was no evidence of a fuel leak. The lifeboat helm requested he deploy the casualty vessel’s anchor and return to the lifeboat.
The lifeboat told Valentia Coast Guard of their findings and was stood down.
At 3.56pm the lifeboat departed the scene and was back at Station at 4.11pm. At 4.31pm the lifeboat was washed down, refueled and ready for service.
Peter Kennedy, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI, advises boat users ‘if in danger on the lake please call 999 or 112 and ask for marine rescue or using your VHF radio request assistance on channel 16’.
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
For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.
Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries
Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.