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Lough Derg Lifeboat Assists 12 In Two Weekend Callouts

7th August 2017
Lough Derg RNLI approaching a grounded cruiser at the Goat Road on Friday evening Lough Derg RNLI approaching a grounded cruiser at the Goat Road on Friday evening Photo: RNLI/Lough Derg

#RNLI - At 11.36am yesrerday (Sunday August 6), Lough Derg RNLI were diverted from exercise after a motorboat fouled its propellers on a line and suffered engine failure.

The 25ft boat with six people on board was reported to be near Coolbawn, at the northeastern shore of Lough Derg.

Lifeboat helm Peter Clarke launched the inshore lifeboat with Owen Cavanagh and Kevin Dooley on board amid southwesterly winds blowing Force 5, with fair visibility but frequent heavy squalls. 

The lifeboat located the stricken vessel at 11.50am. All six passengers were found to be safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. 

It emerged that the motorboat had fouled its propellers while towing a wakeboarder, and then suffered engine failure. The skipper had also dropped anchor to prevent being pushed onto rocks.

One of the lifeboat crew was transferred to the casualty vessel, where he cut away the lines caught around the propellers of both engines. 

He set up a bridle in preparation for a tow, and after he weighed anchor, the lifeboat took the boat and her passengers under tow to Coolbawn Quay.

Liam Maloney, lifeboat operations manager at Lough Derg RNLI, advises boat users to “enjoy the lake, but make sure all your ropes are clear of your engine and carefully stowed when not in use.”

Earlier in the weekend, Valentia Coast Guard requested the lifeboat to assist six people after their 38ft cruiser ran aground at the Goat Road on the eastern shore of Lough Derg on Friday evening (4 August).

At 7.40pm, the lifeboat launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, Dean O’Sullivan and Kevin Dooley on board. Winds were westerly Force 3 and visibility was good.

The lifeboat located the cruiser inside the Goat Road and navigation buoy E. All six passengers were found to be safe and unharmed and were requested to don their lifejackets.

After checking the casualty vessel was not holed, a lifeboat crew member set up a tow line and told the passengers what to expect as the boat was taken off the rocky shelf.

The lifeboat made numerous attempts to take the cruiser off the rocks, but it was stuck fast. In the meantime, the owner of the cruiser had arranged for two marine engineers to attend the cruiser on a motorboat. 

It was then decided to offload the boat’s passengers with the lifeboat to enable the engineers to attempt a refloat of the cruiser with a lighter load.

The cruiser was afloat before 9.30pm. But as night was falling, the lifeboat took the passengers across the lake to the closest harbour at Rossmore while one of the engineers helmed the cruiser.

Commenting on Friday’s callout, Maloney advises all boat users on the lake, to “bring up to date charts of the lake and plan your passage before leaving harbour, and do not to stray off the navigation route.”

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