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Displaying items by tag: Lough Ree

Following the pre-Christmas warning over an off-station marker on the Shannon Navigation, Waterways Ireland advises that a temporary red marker has now been installed in the relevant area north of Athlone.

The temporary marker is in place of the port-hand lateral marker on the south side of Inchmore Island on Lough Ree.

Masters of Vessels should proceed with additional caution in the vicinity of the island, the cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways says.

Published in Inland Waterways

The year just ended was a significant one for Lough Ree RNLI, both on and off the water. 2022 witnessed the opening of the charity’s ‘state of the art’ lifeboat station while on the water the volunteer crew responded to 47 call-outs during the year.

Launching in all types of weather, daylight and darkness, the crew assisted 153 people in 2022 on board 45 boats. In two cases, assistance was given to members of the public who encountered difficulties in the waters of Lough Ree.

Lough Ree RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager, Kevin Ganly, said: ‘the good news is that all of the calls to assistance had a positive outcome with all members of the public and the volunteer crews coming home safely.’ He concluded that: ‘the charity is entirely dependant on the public to support the operation on Lough Ree.’

Lough Ree RNLI welcomed 16 new volunteers in the past year and now has almost 50 people giving their time and skills to the charity’s operation at Coosan Point.

With 19 volunteers on the boat crew, the cost of equipment and training is a significant annual expense. While the initial cost of the charity’s lifeboat ‘Tara Scougall’ was €339k, to keep the boat in service for its lifetime will incur a total cost of €797k. The cost of kitting out a crew member is €4,167, while annual training for each volunteer on the crew is €1,667.

Lough Ree RNLI Treasurer, Vincent Rafter, said: ‘the charity is most grateful to the members of the public who made donations and organised fund-raising events for Lough Ree RNLI in 2022, especially the €100k raised locally for the new lifeboat station.’ He added that: ‘the continued support of the community around the lake, visitors to the midlands and annual donors to the RNLI in 2023 remained critical to the provision of the lifesaving service.’

This coming Thursday (5 January), Lough Ree RNLI hosts a fund-raising table quiz in The Bounty at Buccaneers R.F.C., Athlone at 7.30pm. Tables of four cost €40 and the charity looks forward to welcoming back friends and supporters after the hiatus caused by the pandemic.This coming Thursday (5 January), Lough Ree RNLI hosts a fund-raising table quiz in The Bounty at Buccaneers R.F.C., Athlone at 7.30pm. Tables of four cost €40 and the charity looks forward to welcoming back friends and supporters after the hiatus caused by the pandemic.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Waterways Ireland advises masters of vessels and waterway users the Shannon Navigation at Lough Ree that a port hand lateral marker on the south side of Inchmore Island is currently off station.

Masters of vessels should proceed with additional caution in the vicinity of Inchmore Island north of Athlone until further notice.

Published in Inland Waterways

As the festive season draws near, the volunteers at Lough Ree RNLI are throwing open the doors of the lifeboat station at Coosan Point for a special Christmas sale next Saturday afternoon (26 November).

RNLI Christmas cards are central to the charity’s fundraising drive at this time of year. Always high on the shopping list of supporters, the Christmas cards and other RNLI merchandise will be on sale at the new lifeboat station on Saturday afternoon next from 1pm.

Lough Ree RNLI treasurer Vincent Rafter said: “The public support of the charity and its volunteers are crucial for the organisation. So far this year Lough Ree RNLI volunteer crew has responded to 47 call outs on the lake.

“Over the past two years RNLI fundraising in the Midlands has been focussed on the provision of the new lifeboat station which opened in June. The facility itself is fast becoming a major attraction in the area with volunteers hosting planned visits every month.”

Recently the volunteer crew were pleased to receive an encouraging note of thanks, following a visit from a young girl in Athlone.

Eliza Crosbie (9) from Retreat Heights was part of a group from St Ciaran’s NS, Baylin who visited the lifeboat station recently. In her letter she expressed an interest in helping the charity in any way and perhaps making use of her life saving skills. The letter was accompanied by a colourful drawing of the lifeboat on the water.

Station visits officer at Lough Ree RNLI, Paul Kelly said: “The visits are a new initiative for us and this is one of the first responses we have received. The future of the RNLI is assured with the enthusiasm Eliza and her friends have expressed for the organisation.“”

So impressed were the Lough Ree RNLI volunteer crew with the letter that they invited Eliza to the station this week for a personal tour. Paul and Lough Ree RNLI operations manager Kevin Ganly made a small presentation to Eliza to mark the occasion.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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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

Lough Ree RNLI marked a significant milestone on Monday (17 October) when a cheque for €100,000 was presented as the local community contribution to the overall €1.2m cost of the new lifeboat station on a site donated by the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland.

The presentation was made by Michael Ganly, chairman of the Lough Ree RNLI Appeal Committee to Anna Classon, the RNLI’s regional head for Ireland.

On her first visit to the new lifeboat station, which was opened this past June, Classon said she was “really impressed by the partnership between the RNLI and the IWAI and to see two great organisations sharing resources for the benefit of the community”.

The community contribution was the result of a fundraising campaign which ran for more than 12 months and was supported by community groups, the corporate sector and a host of individuals for the lakeside community and beyond.

Presenting the cheque, Ganly said: “The work of people like committee secretary Pauline Irwin and all others involved was crucial to the success of the venture.”

The new lifeboat station has been very active this year and has been a particular asset to the 46 volunteer crew as the charity and its lifeboat Tara Scougall have responded to 46 callouts in the year to date.

Reflecting on the successful fundraising campaign, Lough Ree RNLI treasurer Vincent Rafter thanked “all the GoFundMe campaigns, tests of endurance and anonymous donors who contributed amounts large and small to this special community initiative”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and users on the Shannon Navigation that the Coosan Point jetties on Lough Ree will be closed from Monday 3 to Thursday 6 October for improvement works.

Published in Inland Waterways

The volunteer crew of Lough Ree RNLI were involved in the rescue of 133 people in 42 different incidents on the lake and River Shannon so far this year.

The charity’s volunteers embarked on their first callout of 2022 on the afternoon of St Patrick’s Day and have since gone to the assistance of 40 boats in difficulty on the inland waterways.

Fortunately, all 133 people who needed the charity’s assistance were rescued safely and no injuries were reported.

In the most significant incident, 10 people were escorted to safety when a small boat capsized near the N6 motorway bridge in August, while nine people were on board a cruiser which ran aground on the Hexagon Shoal in June.

Groundings of boats on the Hexagon Shoal accounted for a quarter of all callouts this year.

Speaking at the charity’s headquarters at Coosan Point this week, Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat operations manager Kevin Ganly said: “It appears that the provision of additional markers around the Hexagon Shoal in recently by Waterways Ireland has improved safety in that area of the lake. Nonetheless the charity and its volunteers remain always ‘on call’ to respond to any emergencies.”

The new lifeboat station, which was operational for the first time this summer, has proven to be a particular asset, Lough Ree RNLI says.

In recent weeks volunteer crew from across the Midlands and West have used the facility for casualty care training. The station’s designated slipway at Coosan Point has also contributed to more efficient launches of the charity’s lifeboat Tara Scougall.

The lifeboat station is base for more than 40 volunteers who along with their families generously give of their time and expertise to assist the local community.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

At 9.44 pm (Saturday 13 August) Lough Ree RNLI was tasked by the Irish Coast Guard to assist 10 people on board a speedboat in danger of sinking on the River Shannon near the M6 Bridge in Athlone, Co. Westmeath.

Launched at 9.58 pm under helm Kieran Sloyan the charity’s lifeboat with volunteer crew of Kieran Scullion, Patrick Walsh and Stewart McMickan reached the scene in six minutes.

On arrival at the scene the crew found that the ten people on board had been transferred to another vessel while the speedboat had capsized and sunk.

Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat escorted the vessel with the ten casualties to Athlone Marina, where all were found to be well.

This was the second ‘shout’ of the weekend for Lough Ree RNLI. On Friday last (12 August), the volunteer crew responded to a ‘Mayday’ call from a 50ft. cruiser with three people on board which was experiencing engine difficulties on the northern end of the lake. On arrival at the scene, the stricken vessel was inspected and taken under tow to Lanesboro, Co. Longford.

The rescues this weekend brings to 29 the number of people assisted by Lough Ree RNLI this month.

Lough Ree RNLILough Ree RNLI return to base

Last weekend (Sunday 7 August) the volunteer crew responded to three separate incidents in the afternoon. Cruisers stranded on the Hexagon Shoal and Kings Island, with a total of five people on board, were towed to safe water. In a separate incident a boat with three people on board was towed to Lecarrow, Co. Roscommon having had engine difficulty.

Earlier this month the charity's volunteer crews went to the assistance of boats in difficulty at the Hexagon Shoal, Bantry Bay and Inchmore Island which were escorted to safety.

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
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