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Displaying items by tag: Lough Derg

Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and waterway users on the Shannon Navigation that jetty upgrade works at Coosan Point on Lough Ree are under way as of Tuesday 25 October.

Originally set to continue to next Wednesday 2 November, the works were completed ahead of schedule on Friday 28 October.

The jetty lights that were turned off to facilitate these works have now operating again, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways confirmed.

Elsewhere, re-decking of the floating jetties in Dromineer on Lough Derg will commence on Tuesday 1 November.

Security fencing will be erected around the front of the gangway to restrict access onto the floating jetties for the duration of the works, which are expected to take around six weeks to complete.

This story was updated on Friday 28 October to note the early completion of works at Coosan Point.

Published in Inland Waterways

The Lough Derg Freshwater One Design regatta last weekend was, for most, a two-day event reduced to one, and for the Northern Ireland sailors who made the long journey to Dromineer somewhat disappointing, especially for the Belfast Lough Flying Fifteen entries, Bryan Willis and Trevor D’Arcy.

But it would seem it was better not to argue with the gale force gusts on the Saturday of the eighteen Flying Fifteens entered, ten actually turned out. Of those, one of the Northern boats, Bryan Willis and David McFarland in Simply Gold had a frightening experience when Bryan was swept overboard while hoisting the spinnaker and got tangled with the spinnaker sheet as the spinnaker was still up. As it was trying to fill, it pulled the sheet tightly around him. The County Antrim Yacht Club helm Bryan said, “ If David moved from the weather side to try to pull me in, the boat threatened to capsize on top of me. It was a relief to be rescued by the Safety Boat”. He continued, “All the boats that went out on Saturday got into trouble at some point, and one was completely upside down”.

Bryan Willis in Simply Gold (4074) neck and neck with Trevor D'Arcy in Don't Look Back (3782) in the lighter winds on Sunday at Lough Derg Yacht Club's Freshwater One Design Regatta Photo Olly KierseBryan Willis in Simply Gold (4074) neck and neck with Trevor D'Arcy in Don't Look Back (3782) in the lighter winds on Sunday at Lough Derg Yacht Club's Freshwater One Design Regatta Photo Olly Kierse

Trevor D'Arcy and Alan McLernon from Carrickfergus, also on Belfast Lough, did finish, though, at second behind Niall and Ronan O’Brien. But they retired from the second race.

As Afloat reported earlier, Sunday’s conditions were the opposite, with light fluky winds, and on that day, D’Arcy scored another second, 6, 5 and 10 to finish fifth overall. Willis and McFarland redeemed themselves with a 2,3, 6 and 8 to finish ninth.

Some of the Northern Ireland Squib fleet, decided not to travel, leaving the Strangford Lough entry, Robert Marshall from Killyleagh, along with Peter Wallace Gordon Patterson, Terry Rowan and Stephen Stewart from Royal North of Ireland YC on Belfast Lough to compete in the 32 strong fleet.

With no racing on Saturday, all of day 2’s four races counted and coming out on top by one point was Royal North’s Toy for the Boys with Peter Wallace and crew Fiona Ward from Kinsale. Peter won the 2018 Squib Nationals at Royal Irish. Runner up was David Stewart in Granat from Royal Irish with the far travelled Dick Batt from Royal Victoria YC on the Isle of Wight in third slot.

The other Northern Ireland Squibs who travelled to Dromineer finished at eighth, 11th 12th and 13th, respectively: Terry Rowan in Dogwatch, Stephen Stewart in Second Chance, Gordon Patterson’s Fagin (last year’s winner), all from Royal North, and Slipstream with Robert Marshall from Killyleagh. Patterson’s crew Ross Nolan said, “ It was great to get back to Dromineer for the annual season closer and catch up with everyone. Challenging racing in light and shifty conditions, especially with shorter races due to the compressed schedule. This was typical close Squib racing and another great regatta”.

Result sheets are downloadable below

Lough Derg RNLI’s volunteers were called upon to assist a lone sailor on a 36ft yacht aground at Bonaveen Point on Tuesday afternoon (11 October).

At 4.45pm the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier was launched with helm Steve Smyth, Eleanor Hooker and Richard Nolan on board, headed for the reported location at the northwestern shore of Lough Derg above Cloondavaun Bay. Winds were southerly Force 4/5 and gusting, with good visibility.

The lifeboat arrived on scene 20 minutes later at Fowler Island, north of Bonaveen Point on the Co Clare shore.

Two local people, in their lake boat standing off in safe water, came alongside the lifeboat and informed the volunteers it was they who called for assistance after they were unable to assist the person on board the yacht.

They expressed their concern for the skipper on the yacht, who had been aground for the three hours and who they could not safely take off under the conditions due to the casualty’s limited mobility. They had attempted an approach but damaged their propeller on rocks that extend 30 metres from Fowler Island into the lake.

Valentia Coast Guard offered an airlift for the casualty but the RNLI volunteers felt that would prove difficult due to the location and the height of the mast on the yacht.

Studying their lake charts and using their local knowledge, the lifeboat volunteers planned a route to the yacht with the intention to evacuate the casualty.

The helm requested the crew to take up positions in the bow, port and starboard, to take soundings and to report sightings of hazards in the water. Then the helm lifted one engine and skilfully navigated a course around rocks to the casualty vessel.



At 5.41pm the lifeboat reached the stern of the casualty vessel. An RNLI volunteer boarded the yacht to assist the skipper and, with an RNLI volunteer in the bow of the lifeboat, they helped the casualty transfer to the lifeboat.

Once everyone was recovered to the lifeboat, the helm, with one crew member at the stern on the lookout for hazards, immediately began a route back to safe water, after which they assessed the casualty for any injury. The sailor was feeling cold but otherwise well.

Just before 6pm the lifeboat arrived at Cloondevaun Harbour and left the casualty in the care of their friend. The two people in their lake boat also arrived safely to shore, ahead of the lifeboat.

Catherine Gleeson, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to “carry a means of communication and let someone know your destination and your planned time of arrival”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Derg RNLI’s volunteers were requested on Saturday afternoon (8 October) to assist two people on a 16ft yacht aground on a shoal near Terryglass Harbour.

The inshore lifeboat Jean Spier was launched at 5.05pm with helm Eleanor Hooker and crew Tom Hayes, Joe O’Donoghue and Richard Nolan on board. Winds were southeasterly Force 3-4 and visibility was good.

Twenty minutes later the lifeboat located the yacht on a shoal north of Terryglass Harbour. With a crew member taking soundings off the bow, the lifeboat made a cautious approach to the casualty vessel.

Both people on board the yacht were safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. A lifeboat volunteer boarded the vessel and established that it was not holed.

It emerged that the skipper had been hoisting the yacht’s sails when its outboard engine failed, and the wind pushed the yacht onto the shoal.

The lifeboat attempted to free the yacht from the shoal but it was evident that the bow keel plate was stuck fast.

Two RNLI crew rotated the bow and used the wind and wave to lift the yacht off the shoal before taking it out into safe water, where volunteers set up an alongside tow to Terryglass Harry, where it was tied safely alongside at 6.45pm.

Liam Maloney, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users: “If you find yourself in difficulty on Lough Derg, dial 999 or 112 and ask for marine rescue.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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On Sunday afternoon (25 September), Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to assist three people on a 30ft cruiser reported adrift in Scariff Bay, southeast of Mountshannon Harbour.

The inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched at 3.47pm with helm Eleanor Hooker, Owen Cavanagh, Steve Smyth and Tom Hayes on board.

Winds were westerly Force 4 gusting Force 5, with fair visibility, a low mist and frequent squalls.

Shortly after 4pm the lifeboat located the casualty vessel by the Scilly Islands in Scariff Bay. All three people on board were unharmed.

The lifeboat provided two survivor lifejackets and requested that the third person don their lifejacket on board.

An RNLI volunteer transferred across to the casualty vessel and established that that engine had failed.



Given the location and the deteriorating weather conditions and poor forecast, the helm requested the crew to set up for an astern tow to Mountshannon Harbour.

In the lee of Bushy Island at the entrance to Mountshannon Bay, the lifeboat volunteers changed to an alongside tow to facilitate navigating the channel into harbour.

The casualty vessel was safely tied alongside at Mountshannon Harbour at 4.45pm and the lifeboat returned to station.

Liam Maloney, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to “carry sufficient lifejackets for all passengers and wear them, and also carry a means of communication so that you can call for assistance if you find yourself in difficulty on the lake”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Three people had an unexpected night ashore when their 35ft cruiser ran aground at Illaunmor, requiring the assistance of Lough Derg RNLI’s volunteers on Sunday afternoon (11 September).

At 3.25pm, Lough Derg’s inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, Doireann Kennedy, Joe O’Donoghue and Tom Hayes on board. Conditions had southerly Force 3-4 winds with good visibility.

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 the coastguard, the lifeboat located the casualty vessel at the southern end of Illaunmor.

Using onboard 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.



It emerged that 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 crew also ascertained that 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.

Volunteers also 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 5pm, 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.

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”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Derg RNLI continued what’s been a busy few days on the lake on Monday afternoon (29 August) when its volunteers were called on to assist five people on a cruiser aground in Scariff Bay.

At 2.45pm the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, Doireann Kennedy, Chris Parker and Steve Smyth on board, headed for the reported location east of Bushy Island at the southwest of the lake. Winds were southeasterly Force 3 and visibility was good.

The lifeboat located the casualty vessel, a 38ft cruiser, at 3pm and made a cautious approach with an RNLI volunteer taking soundings off the bow.

All five people on board were safe and unharmed and were requested to don their lifejackets.

The cruiser was aground on a rocky shoal with large rocks visible at its stern and bow and with sand to the port side.

The lifeboat lay alongside the casualty vessel’s port side while a volunteer climbed on board to check whether the vessel was damaged or holed.

Accompanied by the skipper, the RNLI volunteer checked under the floorboards, in the bilge and engine housing where they found a hairline break in the hull below the water line that was permitting ingress of water.

It was decided that the safest course of action was to drop anchor, secure the vessel and take all five people off and to the safety of Mountshannon Harbour, where crew would help the casualties make contact with a marina and marine engineer with facilities to recover their boat.


At 3.30pm the lifeboat delivered all five people ashore at Mounstshannon. After assisting them to make contact with a marine engineer, the lifeboat was returned to station to be readied for its next service.

Peter Kennedy, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to “dial 999 or 112 and ask for marine rescue if in difficulty on the lake”.

Monday’s callout follows similar shouts on Friday and Thursday to boats run aground on the lake as summer draws to a close.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Following Thursday evening’s callout, Lough Derg RNLI’s lifeboat volunteers were back at the Goat Road on Friday afternoon (26 August) to assist two people on a 30ft cruiser aground at navigation marker E.

At 4.45pm Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat, Jean Spier, launched into Force 3 northwesterly winds, with helm Eleanor Hooker, Doireann Kennedy, Chris Parker and Richard Nolan on board.

The lifeboat arrived on scene 15 minutes later to find the casualty vessel bow-up on a shoal inside the Goat Road, a location midway up the northeastern shore of the lake.

Both people on board were safe and unharmed and were requested to don their lifejackets.

An RNLI crew member transferred across to the casualty vessel to check that it was not holed and, after being requested to do so by the helm, set up an astern tow.

At 5.15pm the lifeboat had the casualty vessel off the shoal and under tow to safe water, where the drives and propeller were checked and found to be in good working order.

While the RNLI volunteer was providing guidance on lake buoyage before the cruiser continued its passage south under its own power, the Lough Derg RNLI boathouse contacted the lifeboat to report that a 16ft motor boat with four people on board was in difficulty in Scariff Bay at the southwestern end of the lake.

Once the crew member transferred back, the lifeboat made way to Scariff Bay, calling in for an exact location while en route. It was reported that the people on board the casualty vessel could see Rabbit Island.

At 5.40pm the lifeboat located the casualty vessel deep inside Scarriff Bay near Castlebawn Castle on the southwestern shore opposite Rabbit Island. All four people on board were safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.

The lifeboat volunteers set up for an alongside tow and the RNLI helm asked the skipper of the casualty vessel to raise his outboard engine to reduce drag. The lifeboat took the vessel to the safety of Mountshannon Harbour, where volunteers assisted with the recovery of the vessel to a road trailer.


Commenting later, Christine O’Malley, lifeboat operations manager at Lough Derg RNLI gave advice for all boat users to “anticipate each navigation buoy on your route and keep a constant lookout, and especially for the Goat Road navigation mark which is closer to the centre line of the lake than might be expected”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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On Thursday evening (25 August), Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to assist a family of four on a 40ft cruiser aground at the Goat Road at navigation Marker E.

The inshore lifeboat Jean Spier was already afloat on exercise and returned to station for crew changeover, launching at 8.52pm with helm Steve Smyth, Tom Hayes, Chris Parker and Ciara Moylan on board.

Winds were southwesterly Force 3, visibility was reduced with nightfall.

At 9.03pm the lifeboat arrived on scene. All four people on board the cruiser were safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.

An engineer from the cruiser company was also on scene. The engineer and an RNLI volunteer transferred across to the casualty vessel to check that there was no damage to the hull.

Given the late hour and location, the helm decided to take the vessel off the shoal and out into safe water.

At 9.43pm the lifeboat had the vessel off the Goat Road and under tow to safe water where the drives and propeller were checked and found to be in good working order.

Under its own power and with an RNLI volunteer remaining on board, the cruiser followed the lifeboat to Rossmore Harbour where it was safely tied alongside at 10.10pm.

Christine O’Malley, lifeboat operations manager at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to “plan your passage so that you arrive at safe harbour before nightfall. Anticipate each navigation buoy on your route and keep a lookout visually and on your lake charts.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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On Thursday afternoon (August 18), Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to assist a family of four on a 43ft cruiser with engine failure, adrift in heavy weather.

At 5.02pm, the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Steve Smyth, Keith Brennan and Chris Parker on board.

Conditions on the lake were rough, with westerly winds of Force 4, gusting Force 5, but good visibility.

By 5.15pm the lifeboat arrived on scene, having located the casualty vessel midway between Garrykennedy and Ryan’s Point at Youghal Bay.

All four people on board were safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.

An RNLI volunteer transferred across to the cruiser and reported back to the helm that the engines were overheating.

Given the weather conditions and location, the helm decided to take the vessel under tow to the safety of Garrykennedy public harbour, where it was safely tied alongside by 6.10pm.

Jeremy Freeman, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to “ensure your engines are serviced and that you have a means of communication should you get into difficulty on the water”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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