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Clifden RNLI rescue three anglers from the rocky shoreline near Killary Harbour

Lifeboats News Release

The volunteer crew were called out on Tuesday to assist a vessel suffering mechanical failure at the mouth of Killary Harbour. Weather conditions at the time were very poor with heavy rain and limited visibility.

Clifden Atlantic 85 lifeboat moving at speed in Clifden Bay with waves breaking in the foreground


Whilst preparing to launch on a training exercise on their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Clifden crew were tasked to assist a small angling vessel with mechanical failure at the mouth of Killary Harbour, 22 nautical miles away. The boat had three people on board and was drifting towards the rocks.

The Atlantic 85 was immediately away under the helm of Alan Pryce, with crew of Chris Nee, Shane Conneely and Connor O Malley. While en route updated information was received, the casualty vessel had drifted onto the rocks and immediate assistance was required.

Clifden’s Shannon class ALB was also tasked to provide additional cover with John Mullen as Coxswain and crew members Joe Acton, Dan Whelan, James Mullen and Brian Ward. They were assisted by John Heffernan and Neil Gallery on the shore. Shannon based helicopter Rescue 115 also made their way to the scene.

The Atlantic 85 crew arrived at the location to find the fishing boat on the rocks and the three fishermen had climbed onto the rocky shoreline. The situation was precarious and the weather conditions were poor, however the volunteer crew managed to extract the three casualties and put the stricken vessel under tow.

The casualties were cold and wet but in otherwise good form, they were brought, along with boat, to Rossroe pier to safety.

Speaking about the shout Clifden RNLI Helm Alan Pryce said, “I’d like to commend the crew on a well-executed rescue in very tricky conditions. The crew and the lifeboat performed incredibly well and the top cover of R115 and Clifden ALB ensured a swift response and successful outcome. The volunteer crew at our station are on call 24/7. If you get into difficulty, or see someone else in trouble, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.”

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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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.