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Lough Ree Lifeboat Attends Grounded Barge & Stray Hire Vessel In Busy Saturday

30th April 2017
Lough Ree RNLI assisting the 56ft barge near Blackwood Point Lough Ree RNLI assisting the 56ft barge near Blackwood Point Photo: RNLI/Lough Ree

#RNLI - Lough Ree RNLI’s lifeboat crew were alerted by the Irish Coast Guard yesterday morning (Saturday 29 April) when a 56ft barge with three people on board ran hard aground on rocks close to Blackwood Point, at the northern end of Lough Ree.

Shore crew Tony Diskin, Matt Harte, Billy Henshaw and Dennis Buckley responded quickly when the alarm was raised shortly before 10 am and got the inshore lifeboat The Eric Rouse launched and underway in less than ten minutes, with first responders Kieron Sloyan, Kieran Scullion and Liam Sherringham on board.

A short time later, the lifeboat crew was alongside the casualty vessel, checking that all on board were safe and well. Weather conditions at the time were dry, with strong Force 5-6 wind and a rising swell with waves up to a metre high.

After checking that the vessel was not taking on water, a tow line was established and the vessel was safely towed to deeper navigable water.

Crew member Kieran Scullion remained aboard the barge to check that all systems were operating normally and to assist with navigation on the journey north to Lanesborough Quay, accompanied by the lifeboat. Upon arrival at Lanesborough, the crew ensured that the barge was securely berthed before departing the scene.

On return to the lifeboat station, the crew observed a hire vessel straying outside the navigation channel between Clawinch Island and Quaker Island.

The crew diverted course to the hire vessel and guided the occupants back to safe water. A lifeboat crew member was invited on board the vessel and spent some time assisting the hire vessel crew in identifying the navigable areas of the lake.

The lifeboat crew also advised the occupants of the difficult conditions further south, whereupon the hire vessel decided to return north to Ballyleague Harbour until conditions for crossing the lake improved.

Speaking following the callout, Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat operations manager Tony McCarth said: “It was a busy day for the lifeboat on Lough Ree and we were delighted to be able to assist.

“As we continue to enjoy this Bank Holiday weekend and as we look forward to the main boating season starting, we would like to remind everyone planning a trip on the lake to respect the water.”

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