Lough Derg RNLI assists three people on a 35ft cruiser aground at Illaunmor
On Sunday afternoon September 11, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat to assist three people on a 35ft cruiser aground at Illaunmor.
At 3.25pm Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat, Jean Spier, launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, Doireann Kennedy, Joe O’Donoghue and Tom Hayes on board. Winds were southerly Force 3/4, visibility was good.
Initial reports from the casualty vessel indicated that it was aground by the entrance to Dromineer Bay. With no evidence of a vessel in difficulty in the bay, the lifeboat asked Valentia Coast Guard if they could make contact with the casualties to determine their exact location or identify nearby landmarks.
At 3.33pm, with additional information from Valentia Coast Guard, the lifeboat located the casualty vessel at the southern end of Illaunmor. Using on-board electronic navigation equipment and taking soundings off the bow, the lifeboat made a cautious approach to the casualty vessel.
As the lifeboat neared the cruiser, it was evident from the diving platform that someone on the casualty vessel had suffered an injury. The helm asked two crew members to put on gloves and to ready the First Aid kit. The lifeboat was alongside at 3.41pm.
One person on board had been in the water in bare feet to assess their situation and had suffered lacerations to their foot. The other two people were safe and unharmed, all were asked to don their lifejackets. Two RNLI volunteers transferred to the casualty vessel and attended to the injured person. Once the RNLI volunteers were satisfied that the person had no other injuries, he was instructed to remain seated with his foot elevated. The lifeboat reported their findings to Valentia Coast Guard who offered further medical assistance, but this was not required.
The casualty vessel had grounded, bow up on a rocky shoal. An RNLI volunteer checked under the floorboards and in the engine housing to make certain that the vessel was not holed, then set up an astern tow after being requested to do so by the helm. The second RNLI volunteer on board the casualty vessel returned to the lifeboat to assist with tow lines.
At 4.10pm the lifeboat attempted to take the casualty vessel off the shoal but it was stuck fast. The helm made the decision to take all people off the boat and to the safety of Dromineer and informed Valentia Coast Guard of this. Volunteers made contact with RNLI shore crew back at Station and asked that they book accommodation for the three people at Lough Derg House in Dromineer. An RNLI volunteer secured the vessel and deployed the anchor. All three people were assisted on to the lifeboat and taken to Dromineer where, at 5.00pm, they were met by the proprietor of Lough Derg House. Shore crew also made contact with the cruiser company to arrange for the recovery of the casualty vessel.
The lifeboat departed the scene and was back at Station at 5.15pm
Peter Kennedy, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to ‘keep to the navigation route on your charts and keep a constant lookout’.
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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