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Lough Ree Lifeboat Rescues Cruiser With Seven On Board From Shannon Mud Bank

1st May 2017
Lough Ree RNLI’s inshore lifeboat The Eric Rowse Lough Ree RNLI’s inshore lifeboat The Eric Rowse Photo: RNLI/Lough Ree

#RNLI - Just hours after attending a grounded barge at the northern end of the lough, the volunteer crew of Lough Ree RNLI were back on the water yesterday morning (Sunday 30 April) to assist a motor cruiser with seven on board.

The Irish Coast Guard altered the lifeboat station to reports that the 37ft cruiser had been blown onto a mud bank in the Shannon channel north of the Athlone motorway bridge.

Lough Ree’s inshore lifeboat The Eric Rowse — crewed by Rachel McHugh, Stan Bradbury and Robert West — launched quickly and was alongside the casualty vessel within 20 minutes of receiving the 8.26am alert.

Weather conditions at the time were dry but with a strong south-easterly Force 6 breeze. Waves on the lake were up to a metre high, but were lower along the river channel where the cruiser was stuck.

The lifeboat crew checked that all on board were uninjured and wearing lifejackets, and that the vessel was not taking on water. They then established a tow line and pulled the vessel off the mud bank.

During the operation, communications support was provided between the lifeboat, the station and the Irish Coast Guard by lifeboat operations manager Tony McCarth and Liam Sherringham on shore at the station.

After refloating the cruiser, the lifeboat crew checked that the vessel’s equipment was functioning normally before departing the scene. The casualty vessel proceeded under its own power towards Athlone, while the lifeboat crew returned to station.

Shore crew members Bernard Larkin, Billy Henshaw, Kieran Scullion and Dennis Buckley recovered the lifeboat from the water at 9.20am.

Speaking after the callout, Rachel McHugh, said: “We advise anyone enjoying the waterways to always check the weather forecast before departing on any journey, long or short. And, of course, always wear a lifejacket.”

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