Lough Ree RNLI assist 133 people in the last six months

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew of Lough Ree RNLI was involved in the rescue of 133 people in 42 different incidents on the lake and River Shannon so far this year.

Lough Ree RNLI crew in training exercise at Athlone Town Bridge

RNLI/Tom McGuire

Lough Ree RNLI crew in training exercise at Athlone Town Bridge

The charity’s volunteers received the first callout of 2022 on the afternoon of St. Patrick’s Day (17 March) and has since gone to the assistance of 40 boats in difficulty on inland waterways.

Fortunately, all 133 people who needed the charity’s assistance were rescued safely and no injuries were reported. In the most significant incident ten people were escorted to safety when a small boat capsized near the N6 motorway bridge in August, while nine people were on board a cruiser which ran aground on the Hexagon Shoal in June.

Groundings of boats on the Hexagon Shoal accounted for a quarter of all call outs this year. Speaking at the charity’s headquarters at Coosan Point this week Lough Ree RNLI Operations Manager Kevin Ganly said: ‘it appears that the provision of additional markers around the Hexagon Shoal in recently by Waterways Ireland has improved safety in that area of the lake. Nonetheless the charity and its volunteers remain always ‘on call’ to respond to any emergencies.’

The new lifeboat station, which was operational for the first time this summer, has proven to be a particular asset. In recent weeks volunteer crew from across the midlands and west have used the facility for casualty care training. The station’s designated slipway at Coosan Point has also contributed to more efficient launches of the charity’s lifeboat ‘Tara Scougall’

The lifeboat station is an excellent base for more than forty volunteers who along with their families generously give of their time and expertise to assist the local community.

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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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