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Lough Derg Lifeboat Rescues Three After Two Yachts Run Aground

8th June 2017
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Lough Derg RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Lough Derg RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Photo: RNLI/Nuala McAloon

#RNLI - Lough Derg RNLI rescued three people from two grounded yachts in two separate callouts on Sunday (4 June).

At 11.22am, as the lifeboat crew were returning to station following morning exercise, they were requested by Valentia Coast Guard to assist two people on a 22ft yacht aground 1km above Killaloe on the Tipperary shore, at the southern end of Lough Derg.

The lifeboat responded immediately with helm Eleanor Hooker, Darragh Quinn and Barry Morkan on board, and was alongside the casualty vessel at 11.48am. Visibility was good with winds at a westerly Force 3-4.

The yacht was under sail when it was pushed ashore by a severe gust. Both passengers were found to be safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.

The RNLI volunteers checked the boat and when satisfied that it was not holed, set up bridle and tow to take it safely off the rocks.

Before removing the tow, the lifeboat crew made certain that the boat was not taking any water and the rudder was not damaged. The yacht then made way using its outboard motor to its berth at Killaloe.

The second callout came later that afternoon at 3.50pm, following a distress call for assistance on the emergency VHF Channel 16.

Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to assist a lone yachtsman whose yacht was aground by Stick Rock, at the northern end of Lough Derg on the Co Clare shore.

At 4.04pm, the lifeboat launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, Ger Egan and Kevin Dooley on board. Winds were south-westerly, visibility was fair to poor with low clouds, rain and frequent squalls.

At 4.38pm, the lifeboat located the yacht at Stick Rock. The yachtsman was safe and unharmed and wearing his lifejacket. An RNLI crew member was transferred to the yacht to assess it for any damage before it was lifted off the rock and back in safe water 11 minutes later.

With the skipper unable to get his inboard engine started, the lifeboat escorted the boat under sail to Cloondavaun Bay, where the RNLI crew took the yacht under tow through the narrow channel to its berth.

Brendan O’Brien, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI, reminded boat users: “Check weather conditions on the lake before going afloat and to carry up to date charts of the lake.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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