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Lough Derg Lifeboat Assists Five on Cruiser Aground at Bushy Island

30th August 2022
Lough Derg RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Jean Spier approaching the stricken cruiser
Lough Derg RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Jean Spier approaching the stricken cruiser Credit: RNLI/Eleanor Hooker

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
Afloat.ie Team

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Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) in Ireland Information

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity to save lives at sea in the waters of UK and Ireland. Funded principally by legacies and donations, the RNLI operates a fleet of lifeboats, crewed by volunteers, based at a range of coastal and inland waters stations. Working closely with UK and Ireland Coastguards, RNLI crews are available to launch at short notice to assist people and vessels in difficulties.

RNLI was founded in 1824 and is based in Poole, Dorset. The organisation raised €210m in funds in 2019, spending €200m on lifesaving activities and water safety education. RNLI also provides a beach lifeguard service in the UK and has recently developed an International drowning prevention strategy, partnering with other organisations and governments to make drowning prevention a global priority.

Irish Lifeboat Stations

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland, with an operational base in Swords, Co Dublin. Irish RNLI crews are tasked through a paging system instigated by the Irish Coast Guard which can task a range of rescue resources depending on the nature of the emergency.

Famous Irish Lifeboat Rescues

Irish Lifeboats have participated in many rescues, perhaps the most famous of which was the rescue of the crew of the Daunt Rock lightship off Cork Harbour by the Ballycotton lifeboat in 1936. Spending almost 50 hours at sea, the lifeboat stood by the drifting lightship until the proximity to the Daunt Rock forced the coxswain to get alongside and successfully rescue the lightship's crew.

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895.

FAQs

While the number of callouts to lifeboat stations varies from year to year, Howth Lifeboat station has aggregated more 'shouts' in recent years than other stations, averaging just over 60 a year.

Stations with an offshore lifeboat have a full-time mechanic, while some have a full-time coxswain. However, most lifeboat crews are volunteers.

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895

In 2019, 8,941 lifeboat launches saved 342 lives across the RNLI fleet.

The Irish fleet is a mixture of inshore and all-weather (offshore) craft. The offshore lifeboats, which range from 17m to 12m in length are either moored afloat, launched down a slipway or are towed into the sea on a trailer and launched. The inshore boats are either rigid or non-rigid inflatables.

The Irish Coast Guard in the Republic of Ireland or the UK Coastguard in Northern Ireland task lifeboats when an emergency call is received, through any of the recognised systems. These include 999/112 phone calls, Mayday/PanPan calls on VHF, a signal from an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) or distress signals.

The Irish Coast Guard is the government agency responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue operations. To carry out their task the Coast Guard calls on their own resources – Coast Guard units manned by volunteers and contracted helicopters, as well as "declared resources" - RNLI lifeboats and crews. While lifeboats conduct the operation, the coordination is provided by the Coast Guard.

A lifeboat coxswain (pronounced cox'n) is the skipper or master of the lifeboat.

RNLI Lifeboat crews are required to follow a particular development plan that covers a pre-agreed range of skills necessary to complete particular tasks. These skills and tasks form part of the competence-based training that is delivered both locally and at the RNLI's Lifeboat College in Poole, Dorset

 

While the RNLI is dependent on donations and legacies for funding, they also need volunteer crew and fund-raisers.

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