Displaying items by tag: Lough Derg
Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and water users on Lough Derg to proceed with caution moving in or out of Mountshannon as the green navigation marker for the western side of Cribby Island is currently off station.
Lough Derg has seen a rise in rescue callouts to cruisers in distress over recent weeks amid a boom in the Shannon cruiser hire industry driven by late summer ‘staycations’ on the waterways, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.
Two callouts for Lough Derg RNLI today – the first to two people on a 32ft cruiser aground by the Silver Islands on the Galway shore at the northern end of Lough Derg, and shortly after, a Mayday call to four people on board a 16ft motorboat taking on water in rough weather south of Parker’s Point on the southwestern end of the lake.
At 1.06 pm this afternoon, Sunday, September 13, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat Jean Spier to assist 2 people on a 32ft cruiser reported to be aground by the Silver Islands, inside the red marker ‘Juliet’.
At 1.20 pm the lifeboat launched with helm Eleanor Hooker and crew Steve Smyth, Doireann Kennedy and Chris Parker on board. Visibility was good, and the wind was southwesterly Force 4, gusting Force 5.
As the lifeboat approached Cloondavaun Bay, the volunteer crew could see three vessels on standby in safe water monitoring the casualty vessel.
The lifeboat boat rounded the red navigation mark ‘Juliet’ and, as the water level on the lake is currently lower than usual, navigated a slow, safe route to the casualty vessel.
The lifeboat was alongside the casualty vessel at 1.46 pm. Both people on board were safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. An RNLI volunteer transferred to the casualty vessel. Once he was satisfied that the vessel was not holed, he set up for a tow.
At 1.59 pm the lifeboat had the cruiser off the rocks and towed out into safe water where drives and rudder were checked and found to be in good working order.
The lifeboat took their crew member back onto the lifeboat and the cruiser made it’s way safely to Cloondavaun Bay Harbour
The lifeboat departed the scene and was back at station at 2.25 pm.
At 4.30 pm Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to assist 4 people on a 16ft motorboat taking on water in rough weather, and in danger of sinking. At 4.40 pm Lough Derg RNLI launched with helm Eleanor Hooker and crew Ger Egan, Doireann Kennedy and Tom Hayes on board. Winds were southwesterly, Force 5 with a moderate chop.
Given the critical nature of the launch, Rescue 115, the Irish Coast Guard Search and Rescue Helicopter took off from their base at Shannon Airport and Killaloe Coast Guard also launched from their base in Killaloe.
As the lifeboat approached Parker’s Point, Rescue 115 hailed the lifeboat to say they had located the casualty vessel and were going to hover close by. At 4.56 pm the lifeboat was alongside the casualty vessel. All four persons were unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. The had deployed their anchor which was holding them off the rocky shore.
Due to the swell swamping their deck, the casualty vessel had taken on a significant amount of water, which the crew were bailing from the bilge. At this time Killaloe Coast Guard arrived on scene and as the casualty vessel’s base was at Killaloe, it was agreed with Valentia Coast Guard that Killaloe Coast Guard would take the casualty vessel back to Killaloe.
Rescue 115 departed the scene to return to its base at Shannon. Lough Derg RNLI departed the scene was back at Station in Dromineer at 5.20 pm.
Peter Kennedy, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI praised all the RNLI volunteers for their ‘swift response to the callout. Four people were reported to be in grave and imminent danger, and the efficient shore crew assistance was particularly crucial to a speedy launch of the lifeboat under these circumstances.’
While some operators felt the brunt of coronavirus restrictions in the spring as they lost a lucrative international market, come summer the tide turned and now the industry as a whole says it is enjoying its most successful period in eight years.
Demand has been driven by a hungry domestic market grounded by lockdowns on foreign getaways — with RTÉ News highlighting Banagher in particular at its busiest this month.
And it’s hoped many of those who may be new to a cruising holiday, or other aquatic activities on Ireland’s inland waterways, will be hooked enough to return next season.
?️ It has been a bumper season for the cruiser market on the River Shannon, as people continue to holiday at home during the pandemic. Traffic on the river is up by over 30%, and Waterways Ireland says the new business will help secure jobs. | Read more: https://t.co/oSmOi9XSUV pic.twitter.com/bqV6DZhI4G— RTÉ News (@rtenews) September 6, 2020
Most recently the inshore lifeboat Jean Spicer was called to a 36ft cruiser with four on board which ran aground in Youghal Bay on Thursday evening (10 September).
This followed rescues for a 20ft vessel with engine failure at the lough’s northeastern end on Wednesday; a 35ft cruiser aground by the Silver Islands on Monday evening; and a vessel with engine failure near Mountshannon Harbour last Sunday.
Also on Sunday, four people were rescued from a Shannon cruiser that caught fire and sank after difficulties in the Jamestown Canal.
The RNLI has repeated its call for all boat users, many of whom may be new to cruising or boating, to study their charts and stay on the navigation route.
Boaters should also ensure their engines are fully serviced, and that they have sufficient fuel for any journey — while lifejackets must be worn by everyone on board.
The lifeboat Jean Spicer launched just before 9.20pm and used all onboard electronic navigation aids to locate cruiser, which was adrift by Bellevue Point.
On request, the three people on board the cruiser flashed a light for the lifeboat crew as they approached, and great care was taken to bring the lifeboat alongside the casualty vessel which had drifted into reeds close to the shore.
All on board were dafe and unharmed, and the motorboat was brought under tow to Dromineer Harbour.
Deputy launching authority Peter Kennedy advises boat users to “make sure your engines are fully serviced, and that you have sufficient fuel for your journey.
“Always carry enough lifejackets for everyone on board and that they are worn.”
The callout marked the third to a cruiser in difficulty in as many days for the Lough Derg crew — following a 35ft cruiser aground by the Silver Islands on Monday evening (7 September) and a vessel with engine failure near Mountshannon Harbour on Sunday (6 September).
At 8.25 pm this evening, Monday, September 7, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat Jean Spier to assist 4 people on a 35ft cruiser reported to be aground near Terryglass Bay.
At 8.47 pm the lifeboat launched with helm Eleanor Hooker and crew Owen Cavanagh, Keith Brennan and Chris Parker on board. It was nightfall, so the crew used their onboard electronic navigation, RADAR, searchlights, night vision binoculars and local knowledge as adjuncts to navigation. Winds were southwesterly, Force 4 gusting 5.
As the lifeboat approached Terryglass Bay, volunteer crew could see a flashing light signal ahead. Valentia Coast Guard provided the lifeboat crew with a contact telephone number for the casualty vessel.
The casualty vessel confirmed it was their boat emitting the light signal. To determine the aspect of the casualty vessel, the lifeboat crew asked from which direction the vessel had been travelling when it went aground, and whether they were looking at the lifeboat travelling in their direction from the bow or stern of their vessel.
The lifeboat made way to the red marker by Rinmaher Point on the Galway shore, and after rounding it, took soundings of the depth to the casualty vessel.
The lifeboat was alongside the casualty vessel at 9.06 pm. All four people on board were safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. An RNLI volunteer transferred to the casualty vessel. Once he was satisfied that the vessel was not holed, he set up for a tow.
The lifeboat took the cruiser off the rocks and out into safe water where drives and rudder were checked and found to be in good working order.
With an RNLI volunteer remaining on the casualty vessel with her four passengers, the cruiser followed the lifeboat across the bay into Terryglass Harbour, the safest closest harbour, where it was safely tied alongside at 10.08 pm.
The lifeboat departed the scene and was back at station at 10.50 pm.
Christine O’Malley, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to ‘study your charts and for your safety, plan your passage so that you arrive at your destination before nightfall’.
The inshore lifeboat Jean Spicer diverted from a training exercise just before 2pm and made way to the reported location.
With no vessel in sight, the lifeboat crew made radio contact with the stricken vessel, which it turned out had drifted close to rocks east of the Scilly Isles.
The two on board the 27ft cruiser were safe and unharmed, and wearing lifejackets.
A lifeboat crew member was put aboard and discerned that the cruiser has suffered a gearbox failure.
A tow was then set up to bring the broken down vessel back to Mountshannon Harbour, and within an hour the lifeboat had returned to Dromineer Bay to complete its exercise.
‘Even on the calmest days, inflatable toys are not fit for the conditions you will experience along our coastline’
Elsewhere on Sunday afternoon, Arklow RNLI’s all-weather lifeboat Ger Tigchlearr launched to reports of a person in difficulty in a small inflatable boat off Mizen Head.
Once the crew was on scene, the individual tried to make his way back to shore while the lifeboat stood by.
But the rocky coastline and prevailing tidal conditions made this difficult, so it was agreed the safest option was to take the person on board the lifeboat.
Following the incident, Arklow RNLI’s community safety officer Mark Corcoran said: “Thankfully this afternoon was relatively calm, had conditions been worse the situation might not have ended so well.
“In recent weeks there has been a lot of rescues all around our coastline of people from small inflatable boats and toys.
“We’d like to remind people of the real risk of drowning when you go to sea on vessels of this nature, even on the calmest days these types of boats and toys are not fit for the conditions you will experience along our coastline.”
One boater said the powered vessels caused “large wakes in very close proximity to moored cruisers on the concrete jetty, causing sustained and substantial discomfort for these boats and their crews throughout the weekend”.
No wake zones have been established elsewhere on Ireland’s inland waterways, most recently at Newferry on the Lower Bann were vessels must proceed at a slow speed when passing the jetties and slipways.
At 9.28 pm last night, Thursday, August 13, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to go to the assistance of 8 adults on a 45ft cruiser aground by Ryan’s Point, inside the Mountaineer Bouy at Barrack Bay.
At 9.42 pm the RNLI lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, and crew members Owen Cavanagh, Keith Brennan and Doireann Kennedy on board. The wind was northeasterly, Force 2. It was nightfall with poor visibility; the RNLI volunteers used on-board electronic navigation, RADAR, searchlights and local knowledge to steer their course to the casualty.
Once the lifeboat rounded the Mountaineer Buoy, the crew took soundings of the depths in a cautious approach to the casualty vessel. The lifeboat came alongside at 9.55 pm and found all eight people to be safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets.
An RNLI volunteer transferred to the cruiser. Once he was satisfied that the vessel was not holed, he set up for a tow. The lifeboat attempted to take the casualty vessel astern off the rocky shelf. However, it was stuck fast on the rocks.
As the cruiser had been travelling in company, and its companion vessel was moored in Garrykennedy Harbour, the lifeboat informed Valentia Coast Guard of its intention to take all passengers on to the lifeboat and to bring them to Garrykennedy Harbour for the night.
Valentia Coast Guard arranged for the casualty vessel to be attended to first thing the following morning.
At 11.04 pm the lifeboat delivered the eight people into to the care of their friends at Garrykennedy Harbour.
The lifeboat departed the scene and was back at Station at 11.30 pm
Peter Kennedy, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to ‘study your charts and plan your passage, paying close attention to the navigation buoys’.
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.”
Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI to go to the assistance of six people on a 42ft motor cruiser that ran aground at the southern end of the Corakeen Islands, in Dromineer Bay yesterday afternoon. The wind was westerly, Force 3. Visibility was good to fair, with frequent heavy rain squalls.
At 3.20 pm the RNLI lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, and crew members Ger Egan, Keith Brennan and Chris Parker on board.
Using navigation charts and taking depth soundings, the lifeboat made a careful approach to the cruiser and was alongside the casualty vessel at 3.30 pm.
The lifeboat volunteers found all on board the cruiser to be safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. An RNLI crew member was transferred to the casualty boat and once satisfied it was not holed, set up for a tow. At 3.40 pm the lifeboat had the casualty vessel off the rocks and towed out into safe water.
Once in safe water, and after it was established that the drives and the propeller were in good working order, the tow was released. With an RNLI volunteer remaining on board, and the lifeboat standing by, the cruiser made way to Dromineer Harbour. As both vessels approached Dromineer Harbour, the lifeboat went ahead to drop off two crew so that they could receive lines from the cruiser as she came alongside. At 4.35 pm the cruiser was safely tied alongside in the public harbour at Dromineer.
At 3.40 pm Lough Derg RNLI departed the scene to return to base.
Liam Maloney, Lifeboat Operations Manager Lough Derg RNLI advises boat users to ‘enjoy Lough Derg, plan your passage, keep a lookout for your next marker and remember to stay within the navigation channels’.