Lough Derg RNLI launched to assist two people after their 37ft yacht ran aground
On Saturday afternoon, 5 March, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat to launch to assist two people on a 37ft yacht that ran aground in Church Bay on the south-western Co. Clare shore of Lough Derg.
At 3.36pm the lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Owen Cavanagh, crew Doireann Kennedy, Chris Parker and Tom Hayes on board. Winds were light, north-easterly, Force 1. Visibility was very good.
After launching the RNLI lifeboat headed towards Church Bay, approximately two miles west of the station. After rounding Hare Island close to the Clare shore, the casualty vessel came into sight. The skipper of the yacht had kept his jib hoisted to help identify himself to the lifeboat crew.
Church Bay is known for its rocky shoals, and in a cautious approach to the vessel, lifeboat crew took depth soundings off the bow. Once alongside the lifeboat established that all on board were safe, unharmed and were wearing their lifejackets. An RNLI volunteer was transferred to the casualty vessel to check that it was not holed and to help lower the jib. The lifeboat made further soundings around the vessel and, given the isolated location, the helm made the decision to take the casualty off the rocks and into safe water, having first emptied the yacht’s ballast and water tanks to reduce the draft of the vessel.
When the lifeboat volunteers were satisfied there was no damage to the propellers or drives on the casualty vessel, it made way by motor to its home harbour in Dromineer.
The lifeboat departed the scene and was back at station at 4.31pm.
Liam Maloney, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to ‘study your charts when planning your passage and keep to the navigation routes’.
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
Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries