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04/08/2021

Tipperary RNLI called out for midnight rescue on Lough Derg

Tipperary RNLI called out for midnight rescue on Lough Derg

Lough Derg RNLI: called out for midnight rescue on Lough Derg

Lough Derg RNLI was called out at midnight this Tuesday for a rescue on the Clare side of the lake.

It was the lifeboat's second call out in three days, having attended the scene of a cruiser fire on Sunday in which five people were evacuated from the blazing vessel.

Lough Derg RNLI launched to assist four people in difficulty on a 16ft motorboat adrift. 

At 11.50pm this Tuesday, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat to launch to assist four people on a 16ft motorboat which had lost propulsion after glancing off a rock, and which was now adrift in Scarriff Bay.  

At 12.13am the lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, crew Joe O’Donoghue, Doireann Kennedy and Chris Parker on board.

The lake was flat calm with night visibility enhanced by a full moon. Valentia Coast Guard provided the lifeboat with the coordinates for the last known position of the motorboat.  

At 12.30am as the lifeboat approached Scarriff Bay, RNLI crew heard a Mayday transmission on Channel 16.

Valentia Coast Guard quickly established that the Mayday alert was from the same vessel to which the lifeboat was launched to assist.

The navigator on board the lifeboat called the casualty vessel on VHF radio to reassure them that the lifeboat was five minutes from their location.

Once in Scarriff Bay and approaching the coordinates for the casualty vessel, RNLI volunteers used their RADAR to pinpoint the vessel’s exact location.

An RNLI crew member used a search light to indicate to the casualties that the lifeboat had located them and was close by. 

At 12.35am the lifeboat came alongside the casualty vessel and found all on board to be safe and well and wearing their lifejackets. An RNLI volunteer was transferred across to the motorboat to assess the situation. 

Given the hour and the isolated location, the RNLI helm decided that the safest course of action was to take the motorboat and her passengers, and with a RNLI crew member remaining on board, across the bay to Mountshannon Harbour, the safest close harbour. Crew set up for an alongside tow.  

At 01.18am the casualty vessel was safely tied alongside in Mountshannon Harbour. At 01.25am the lifeboat departed the scene.

Christine O’Malley, lifeboat operations manager at Lough Derg RNLI, advises water users to "ensure your vessel is equipped for nighttime navigation and keep current navigation charts on board". 

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