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Lough Ree Lifeboat Rescues Five On Cruiser Drifting Towards Rocks

10th September 2017
The Eric Rowse takes the stricken cruiser under tow to safe harbour at Coosan Point The Eric Rowse takes the stricken cruiser under tow to safe harbour at Coosan Point Photo: RNLI/Lough Ree

#RNLI - Lough Ree RNLI were called to assist five people aboard a 20ft motor cruiser which had lost power and was drifting towards Nun’s Island yesterday afternoon (Saturday 9 September).

The crew of inshore lifeboat The Eric Rowse were alerted at 1.27pm and were in the water within 10 minutes, quickly making their way to the scene — by which time the vessel had been blown very near the north shore of Nun’s Island and was at imminent risk of serious damage.

Weather conditions at the time were reported as mainly dry, with a fresh Force 5 north-westerly wind and waves over a metre high.

The lifeboat crew went alongside the casualty vessel and found that the occupants were uninjured but distressed, while one person on board was suffering from motion sickness due to the heavy swell.

Lifeboat volunteer Emmet Devereaux remained with the casualty vessel to reassure those on board and to assist with steering, while the others set up a tow line and pulled the cruiser out of immediate danger.

The lifeboat then proceeded to tow the cruiser to safe harbour at Coosan Point. Lifeboat helm Stan Bradbury opted for a relatively fast tow, both to maintain directional control of the towed vessel and to shorten as much as possible the distress of its crew.

Lough Ree lifeboat operations manager Tony McCarth said later: “Lough Ree is 29 km long and 12km wide, so a sizeable swell can develop quickly, especially in a northerly or southerly breeze.

“We recommend that all lake users check the weather forecast, and the wind direction, when planning their journeys – fresh to strong wind conditions are forecast to continue for the next several days.”

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