Lough Derg RNLI search for 3 people and their dog reported missing on Lough Derg

Lifeboats News Release

At 11.45pm on Sunday night, July 10, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat to launch to search for three people and their dog reported missing on Lough Derg. They were reported to be in a white speed boat.

Darkness all around, the only thing visible is the navigation and RADAR screens on the lifeboat

RNLI/Eleanor Hooker

Lough Derg RNLI July 11 2022

At midnight Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, Doireann Kennedy, Keith Brennan and Owen Cavanagh on board. Given the serious nature of the callout, the Irish Coast Guard Search and Rescue Helicopter team, Rescue 115, was tasked from their base at Shannon Airport. Galway based Gardaí also responded to the emergency and were at Portumna Harbour, having been informed that this was the intended destination for the missing people.

The wind was southerly Force 2/3 It was night but with a full moon and a starlit sky.

As the lifeboat was launching, Valentia Coast Guard requested it go directly to Portumna Castle Harbour at the very northern end of the lake, that the Gardaí had been told that there may be speedboat adrift west of the bay.

Using on-board electronic navigation, RADAR, searchlights and local knowledge the lifeboat made way directly to Portumna Castle Harbour. At 12.26am as the lifeboat approached Terryglass Bay, Valentia Coast Guard gave the RNLI volunteers a specific location to search.

Very quickly the lifeboat volunteers located three people and a dog on board a 12ft speedboat. All three people and their dog were safe and unharmed. They said that having become disorientated and lost, they found themselves in the reeds out of sight of the harbour and out of fuel. To ensure the lifeboat was attending the same people reported missing, Valentia Coast Guard requested the lifeboat let them know the name of the skipper at the scene.

The lifeboat took the speedboat on an alongside tow to Portumna Castle Harbour, where the casualties were met by Gardaí who checked that they were not in need of further assistance. Recue 115 was stood down earlier by Valentia Coast Guard.

At 00.50am the lifeboat departed the scene and was back at Station at 01.12am. At 01.29am the lifeboat was washed down and refuelled.


Peter Kennedy, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI, advises boat users ‘to plan your passage so that you reach safe harbour before nightfall. Carry a means of communication and let others know when you expect to arrive at your destination. Carry sufficient lifejackets and ensure all on board are wearing theirs.’

Ends

Notes to editors

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 [email protected]

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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.

Lights of harbour and police blue flashing lights on shore, seen from the lifeboat

RNLI/Eleanor Hooker

Lough Derg RNLI July 11 2022

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.

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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.

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