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Lough Derg Lifeboat Rescued Four On Cruiser Aground In Scariff Bay

7th August 2020
The 23ft cruiser towed to safety by Lough Derg RNLI The 23ft cruiser towed to safety by Lough Derg RNLI Photo: RNLI/Eleanor Hooker

Lough Derg RNLI launched last night (Thursday 6 August) to the aid of four people on a 23ft cruiser aground on rocks in Scarriff Bay.

The lifeboat Jean Spier launched at 9.20pm, in fading light with a low mist and heavy rain squalls, to the scene behind Holy Island at the south-western end of the lough.

Valentia Coast Guard also requested the Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 to assist.

As the lifeboat passed Holy Island, its crew spotted an SOS light signal from the shore, in an area known as the Black Rocks.

The lifeboat navigated with caution to the casualty vessel, which had dropped anchor nearby but the anchor dragged and saw the boat pushed into a dangerous and rocky area of shore.

The two adults and two teenagers on board were found safe and unharmed, and wearing their lifejackets.

An RNLI volunteer transferred to the casualty vessel and, after checking for damage, set up for a tow to bring the vessel off the rocks and back out to safe water.

The lifeboat then took the casualty vessel to Mountshannon Harbour, making slow progress in the poor weather with reduced visibility and eventually arriving just after 10.30pm.

With the harbour at capacity, the skipper of a moored vessel offered to have the casualty boat rafted next to theirs for the night.

Keith Brennan, trainee helm at Lough Derg RNLI, commended the quick actions of the skipper on the casualty vessel.

“He did everything correctly: deploying the anchor once his engine failed, calling for help and using light signals to indicate his position to the lifeboat.”

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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Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) in Ireland Information

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity to save lives at sea in the waters of UK and Ireland. Funded principally by legacies and donations, the RNLI operates a fleet of lifeboats, crewed by volunteers, based at a range of coastal and inland waters stations. Working closely with UK and Ireland Coastguards, RNLI crews are available to launch at short notice to assist people and vessels in difficulties.

RNLI was founded in 1824 and is based in Poole, Dorset. The organisation raised €210m in funds in 2019, spending €200m on lifesaving activities and water safety education. RNLI also provides a beach lifeguard service in the UK and has recently developed an International drowning prevention strategy, partnering with other organisations and governments to make drowning prevention a global priority.

Irish Lifeboat Stations

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland, with an operational base in Swords, Co Dublin. Irish RNLI crews are tasked through a paging system instigated by the Irish Coast Guard which can task a range of rescue resources depending on the nature of the emergency.

Famous Irish Lifeboat Rescues

Irish Lifeboats have participated in many rescues, perhaps the most famous of which was the rescue of the crew of the Daunt Rock lightship off Cork Harbour by the Ballycotton lifeboat in 1936. Spending almost 50 hours at sea, the lifeboat stood by the drifting lightship until the proximity to the Daunt Rock forced the coxswain to get alongside and successfully rescue the lightship's crew.

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895.

FAQs

While the number of callouts to lifeboat stations varies from year to year, Howth Lifeboat station has aggregated more 'shouts' in recent years than other stations, averaging just over 60 a year.

Stations with an offshore lifeboat have a full-time mechanic, while some have a full-time coxswain. However, most lifeboat crews are volunteers.

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895

In 2019, 8,941 lifeboat launches saved 342 lives across the RNLI fleet.

The Irish fleet is a mixture of inshore and all-weather (offshore) craft. The offshore lifeboats, which range from 17m to 12m in length are either moored afloat, launched down a slipway or are towed into the sea on a trailer and launched. The inshore boats are either rigid or non-rigid inflatables.

The Irish Coast Guard in the Republic of Ireland or the UK Coastguard in Northern Ireland task lifeboats when an emergency call is received, through any of the recognised systems. These include 999/112 phone calls, Mayday/PanPan calls on VHF, a signal from an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) or distress signals.

The Irish Coast Guard is the government agency responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue operations. To carry out their task the Coast Guard calls on their own resources – Coast Guard units manned by volunteers and contracted helicopters, as well as "declared resources" - RNLI lifeboats and crews. While lifeboats conduct the operation, the coordination is provided by the Coast Guard.

A lifeboat coxswain (pronounced cox'n) is the skipper or master of the lifeboat.

RNLI Lifeboat crews are required to follow a particular development plan that covers a pre-agreed range of skills necessary to complete particular tasks. These skills and tasks form part of the competence-based training that is delivered both locally and at the RNLI's Lifeboat College in Poole, Dorset

 

While the RNLI is dependent on donations and legacies for funding, they also need volunteer crew and fund-raisers.

© Afloat 2020

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