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Displaying items by tag: Lough Derg

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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Two people sleeping on a boat on Lough Derg had a rude awakening this morning (Friday 12 August) when the local lifeboat alerted that their vessel was adrift in Youghal Bay.

Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to launch to investigate a report from a member of the public that a 25ft vessel was adrift in Youghal Bay at the southern end of the lake.

At 8.23am the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Steve Smyth, Joe O’Donoghue and Chris Parker on board. The lake was calm with a Force 2 northeasterly breeze and excellent visibility.

Nine minutes later the lifeboat arrived on scene, having located the vessel midway between Garrykennedy Harbour and Ryan’s Point at Youghal Bay.

The two people on board the vessel had been sleeping and unaware that their anchor had dragged their boat from its original location. The skipper weighed anchor and made way for harbour.

Aoife Kennedy, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to “ensure you have sufficient anchor warp and chain for the area in which you anchor. Remember to carry up-to-date charts of the lake and do not anchor in the main navigation channels.”

Lough Derg RNLI is currently recruiting new volunteers to join the lifesaving team for shore duty in roles as deputy launching authority, additional lifeboat mechanic and tractor driver.

Shore crew have a central role in securing the safety of the lifeboat and the men and women launching their craft to rescue those in peril on the water. They ensure the successful and smooth operations of the RNLI’s lifesaving work within the station. For more details visit the above links.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels on the Shannon Navigation that diving operations will be conducted on the floating breakwaters in four locations between Lough Ree and Limerick from Thursday 11 August until next Friday 19 August.

Masters of vessels are requested to proceed with additional caution in the vicinity of the diving operations taking place at Ballyleague on Lough Ree, Castle Harbour in Portumna and Garrykennedy on Lough Derg, and Limerick city.

Published in Inland Waterways

Seven people were rescued from their 60ft vessel after it took on water and began sinking in Lough Derg yesterday afternoon, Monday 11 July.

Lough Derg RNLI, Killaloe Coast Guard and the Irish Coast Guard’s Shannon-based helicopter Rescue 115 were all tasked to the location south of Mountshannon Harbour on the Co Clare shore around 2.30pm.

While the rescue teams were en route, a passing vessel came alongside the casualty boat to safely evacuate all seven of its occupants and bring them to Mountshannon.

Shortly afterwards Lough Derg RNLI’s inshore lifeboat arrived and found that strong southwesterly gusts had pushed the casualty vessel deep into an area known locally as the Nook of Pages on the County Clare shoreline.

The lifeboat crew assessed the situation and came alongside the vessel using an anchoring and veering technique. A crew member transferred across and confirmed there was significant water ingress and that the electrics are still on but he was unable to access them. There was no evidence of a fuel leak.

The casualty vessel’s anchor was subsequently deployed to prevent it drifting ashore or into the navigation channel and the lifeboat returned to station.

Peter Kennedy, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users: “If in danger on the lake please call 999 or 112 and ask for marine rescue or using your VHF radio request assistance on Channel 16.”

The callout came just hours Lough Derg RNLI’s late-night launch to search for three people and their dog on a white speedboat reported missing on the lake, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Rescue
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Lough Derg RNLI’s volunteers had a late-night callout on Sunday (10 July) to search for three people and their dog on a white speedboat reported missing on the lake.

At midnight, the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched 15 minutes after pagers sounded with helm Eleanor Hooker, Doireann Kennedy, Keith Brennan and Owen Cavanagh on board. Conditions had a southerly Force 2/3 wind with a full moon and clear starlit sky.

Given the serious nature of the callout, the Irish Coast Guard’s Shannon-based helicopter Rescue 115 was also tasked. Meanwhile, Galway-based gardaí responded to the emergency at Portumna Harbour, having been informed that this was the intended destination for the missing people.



Valentia Coast Guard, coordinating the multi-agency response, requested for the lifeboat to go directly to Portumna Castle Harbour at the very northern end of the lake, adding that gardaí had been told that there may be speedboat adrift west of the bay.



Using on-board electronic navigation, radar, searchlights and local knowledge, the lifeboat made way directly to Portumna Castle Harbour.

At 12.26am, as the lifeboat approached Terryglass Bay, Valentia Coast Guard gave the RNLI volunteers a specific location to search.


Very quickly the lifeboat volunteers located three people and a dog on board their 12ft speedboat, all safe and unharmed, and confirmed this was the missing party. It emerged that, having become disorientated and lost, the party found themselves in the reeds out of sight of the harbour and out of fuel.


The lifeboat took the speedboat on an alongside tow to Portumna Castle Harbour, where the casualties were met by gardaí who checked they were not in need of further assistance.

Peter Kennedy, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI, advises boat users “to plan your passage so that you reach safe harbour before nightfall. Carry a means of communication and let others know when you expect to arrive at your destination. Carry sufficient lifejackets and ensure all on board are wearing theirs.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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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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