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Displaying items by tag: Lough Derg

Five people were rescued from a burning boat on Lough Derg this afternoon (Sunday 18 July), as BreakingNews.ie reports.

A multi-agency response was launched just after midday to reports of the vessel blaze off Castle Harbour, south of Portumna at the northern end of the lough.

On arrival at the scene, the search and rescue teams found that all five occupants of the casualty vessel had been safety evaluated to a number private boats in the area, with another attempting to fight the blaze with a hose.

Craft were advised to keep a safe distance from the burning boat as gas cylinders on board posed a serious explosion risk.

BreakingNews.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Rescue
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The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland has alerted members over reports of the invasive quagga mussel in the River Shannon.

The bivalve is said to be “abundant in Lough Ree over a wide range of depths” and has also been found in Lough Derg and the stretch of the Shannon between the loughs.

Similar in appearance to another invasive species, the zebra mussel, the quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) has spread over a number of decades from its native waters in Ukraine as far as Mexico. It was first recorded in the UK in 2014.

According to Dr Jan-Robert Baars of UCD’s Invasive Ecology (InEco) laboratory and Dr Dan Minchin of the Lough Derg Science Group, the quagga mussel “behaves in a similar way [to the zebra mussel] and is also a filter feeder removing planktonic organisms from the water column. It has a high filtration rate likely to result in further changes to water quality and nutrient dynamics of, in particular, lakes.

“The quagga mussel is likely to compete with the zebra mussel and native species. Having a wide ecological tolerance and suited to Irish climatic conditions, it is expected to become widely distributed in time.

“It appears to have a preference for cooler water and can settle on finer sediments than the zebra mussel explaining its greater abundance at depth in some colonised lakes elsewhere.”

The scientists warn that the species “is likely to be spread by boats to the upper Shannon, and through the Shannon-Erne Waterway to the Erne. It is also likely to be spread overland by trailered craft. Owners of boats should be made aware they could spread this species from the Shannon.”

In addition, the presence of the quagga mussel “is likely to lead to a further surge in fouling and may have additional impacts on water quality and the ecological integrity of Irish aquatic ecosystems.”

The species is currently under a rapid assessment field study by the InEco lab.

Published in Inland Waterways

Insurance woes could mean a popular Lough Derg water park may not reopen, as The Irish Times reports.

Aqua Splash owner Stephen Fitzgerald says the withdrawal of his UK-based insurer post-Brexit has forced the closure of the Co Tipperary facility at “peak season”.

It’s the latest in a series of issues Fitzgerald has experienced getting the park insured since it opened in 2016 including the loss of his original Irish insurer after a claim, and skyrocketing premiums.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways
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A family of four were aided by Lough Derg RNLI after their cruiser ran aground on a shoal south of the Corragheen Islands.

The inshore lifeboat Jean Spicer launched shortly after 6pm yesterday (Wednesday 16 July) and was on scene within minutes to assess the situation of the 36ft cruiser.

One of the RNLI volunteers took soundings as the lifeboat made a "cautious approach" to the cruiser, the Lough Derg station reports. Once the RIB was alongside, all on board were confirmed to be safe, unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.

Once the vessel was checked for damage, it was decided the safest course of action would be to take the cruiser off the shoal into clear water.

Following a final check of the vessel’s steering and drives, the cruiser made its way under its own power to the nearest safe harbour at Dromineer.

Speaking later, Lough Derg RNLI deputy launching authority Catherine Gleeson advised water users to “enjoy Lough Derg and remember to stay within the navigation routes as there are sudden shallows and shoals close to islands and unmarked shores”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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On Wednesday afternoon, June 30, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat to launch to assist a young person reported to be semi-conscious on a floating pontoon, by Dromineer Harbour.

At 3.43 pm the lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, crew Steve Smyth, Doireann Kennedy and Chris Parker on board. The winds were northerly, light airs. Visibility was good.

At 3.45 pm, when the lifeboat arrived on scene, two Advanced Paramedics from the Ambulance Service, transferred from shore, were also in attendance and had the person in the recovery position. The casualty’s level on consciousness had improved and he was speaking. The RNLI volunteers took a history from the ambulance crew and decided to transfer the casualty to shore immediately, where Dr. Peter Hooker, Lifeboat Medical Advisor, another Ambulance Crew member, and Claire Toohey, Lifeboat Training Co-ordinator, were waiting to receive the casualty.

Once the casualty was handed over to the care of the medical, ambulance and shore crew, the lifeboat returned to Station.

Peter Hooker, Lifeboat Medical Advisor at Lough Derg RNLI, advises water users to ‘ensure you keep sufficiently hydrated and wearing sunblock when out enjoying the water’.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Derg RNLI launched yesterday afternoon (Thursday 24 June) to assist a family of five on a 30ft cruiser in difficulty by navigation mark G on the eastern shore of the lough.

At 2.20pm the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, Steve Smyth and Chris Parker on board. Weather conditions had a westerly Force 4/5 wind and poor visibility with rain, mist and frequent squalls.

The lifeboat arrived on scene 11 minutes later and found the family on board — two adults, two teenagers and a child — were safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.

An RNLI volunteer was transferred across to the casualty vessel to reassure everyone on board. They also established that the boat’s anchor was holding and evidently stuck fast.

With the weather continuing to deteriorate, the RNLI helm made the decision to take the family onto the lifeboat and transfer them to the safety of the nearest safe harbour at Terryglass.

Christine O’Malley, lifeboat operations manager at Lough Derg RNLI, advises boat users to “ensure your boats and engines are checked and fuelled ahead of your journey”.

The incident was the latest in a busy week for Lough Derg RNLI, with three separate callouts since last Wednesday 16 June for cruisers run aground on the lough.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Derg RNLI launched to assist 12 people on a 52ft cruiser aground inside the Goat Road at navigation mark E on the eastern shore of Lough Derg.

At 6.15pm on Tuesday evening (22 June), Valentia Coast Guard called on Lough Derg’s lifeboat volunteers and the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier launched 15 minutes later with helm Keith Brennan, Eleanor Hooker, Dom Sharkey and Owen Cavanagh on board.

As the lifeboat arrived on scene, at a raised shoal for migrating birds, the crew found the cruise hire company were already present and setting up to refloat the cruiser and stood by.

When the tug had the cruiser off the shoal and in safe water where it was able to make way safety, the lifeboat crew informed the coastguard and were stood down.

The callout was just the latest in a number of incidents involving grounded cruisers on Lough Derg within the last seven days.

Christine O’Malley, lifeboat operations manager at Lough Derg RNLI, advises boat users to “plan your passage, study your charts and don’t stray off the charted navigation routes”.

Skerries RNLI searching the shoreline from Loughshinny to Rush | Credit: RNLI/Gerry CanningSkerries RNLI searching the shoreline from Loughshinny to Rush | Credit: RNLI/Gerry Canning

Elsewhere, Skerries RNLI in north Co Dublin launched on Monday evening (21 June) following reported sightings of red distress flares near Loughshinny.

With nothing found in a search of the shoreline from Rush to Loughshinny, the inshore lifeboat was proceeding towards Lambay Island to search further out to sea when they received an update that Skerries Coast Guard were speaking to a person who was flying a drone in the area.

The drone operator confirmed that he was operating in the area where the flares were reported, and the lifeboat was stood down satisfied that the incident was a false alarm with good intent.

Lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning added: “The crew did get to enjoy a magnificent summer solstice sunset on the way home.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners of vessels on the Shannon Navigation that a water quality monitoring buoy will be deployed on the western side of Lough Derg close to the entrance to Dromaan Harbour in Co Clare this week.

The monitoring buoy will be yellow in colour and be approximately three metres in height. The buoy will remain in position for up to four years.

Masters of vessels are requested to navigation with additional caution in the vicinity of the buoy.

Published in Inland Waterways

Lough Derg RNLI launched on Thursday afternoon (17 June) to assist two people on a 28ft cruiser aground inside the G navigation mark, north of Drominagh Point on Lough Derg.

The inshore lifeboat Jean Spicer arrived on scene at 12.50pm, 15 minutes after launch, and waited on standby as the cruise hire company were also on scene and attempting to refloat the cruiser.

When it was evident the cruiser was fast on rocks, and the cruise hire company had arranged for a more powerful tow vessel to assist, the RNLI volunteers — helm Eleanor Hooker, Ger Egan, Steve Smyth and Chris Parker — requested to take the two casualties off the stricken vessel to Terryglass Harbour, where their boat would be taken once it was reflected.

The callout came less than 24 hours after Lough Derg’s lifeboat volunteers attended a 32ft cruiser that ran aground by the entrance to Terryglass Harbour, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Brendan O’Brien, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI, advises boat users to “plan your passage, study your charts and don’t stray off the charted navigation routes”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Lough Derg RNLI launched on Wednesday evening (16 June) to assist two people on a 32ft cruiser aground by the entrance to Terryglass Harbour, at the northern end of Lough Derg.

At 6.48pm the inshore lifeboat Jean Spier set off with helm Eleanor Hooker and crew Steve Smyth, Joe O’Donoghue and Tom Hayes on board. Weather conditions had a westerly Force 3/4 wind with good visibility.

The lifeboat arrived on scene 20 minutes later and could see the cruiser aground inside the navigation marker by Terryglass Harbour.

After assessing the location and depths, the lifeboat made a careful approach to the casualty vessel, all the time taking soundings of the depths. Once alongside, the RNLI volunteers found both passengers on board to safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.

A lifeboat crew member transferred across to the cruiser and, after making a thorough check of the boat to ensure it was not holed, set up for a tow.

The lifeboat found the casualty vessel to be stuck fast on the rocky shelf. Two marine engineers from the cruise hire company arrived on scene with a tow vessel but were also unable to get the vessel off the rocks.

The lifeboat took both passengers and their RNLI crew member onto the lifeboat and into Terryglass Harbour, where arrangements were made for both casualties to stay on shore overnight and their boat to be refloated this morning.

Brendan O’Brien, deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI ,advises boat users to “plan your passage, study your charts and identify the navigation marks for the harbour to which you are travelling”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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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.

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