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26/10/2021

Lough Derg RNLI launched to assist two people on an 18ft motor cruiser with engine failure

Incident occurred 2km north of Portumna Bridge on the River Shannon

Lough Derg RNLI launched to assist two people on an 18ft motor cruiser with engine failure

Lough Derg RNLI launched to assist 2 people on an 18ft motor cruiser with engine failure, 2km north of Portumna Bridge.  

On Sunday evening, 22 August, Valentia Coast Guard requested Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat to launch to assist 2 people on an 18ft motor cruiser with engine failure, 2km north of Portumna Bridge above Lough Derg on the River Shannon.  

At 6.40pm the lifeboat Jean Spier launched with helm Eleanor Hooker, crew Owen Cavanagh, Joe O’Donoghue and Doireann Kennedy on board. The lake was flat calm. Visibility was good.   

RNLI volunteer crew Tom Hayes contacted his colleague Tom McGarry, the Lock Keeper at Portumna Bridge to inform him that the lifeboat would be at the bridge in twenty minutes, and requested he open the bridge please.  

At 7pm the lifeboat arrived at Portumna Bridge where the Lock Keeper was waiting and opening the swing bridge. Once on the river, the lifeboat saw a vessel under tow by a personal watercraft.

After establishing that this was the vessel which had called for help, and that both people on board were safe, unharmed and wearing their lifejackets, the lifeboat determined the cause of the engine failure. The lifeboat took the tow from the personal watercraft, who returned north to his home harbour, and brought the motorboat to the Lough Derg side of Portumna Bridge.  

After the casualty vessel was safely tied alongside, the skipper of the vessel told the crew his van and kit to fix his boat were across the bay at Terryglass Harbour.

Given the late hour with sunset timed for 8.44pm, the lifeboat helm decided to take the skipper to Terryglass Harbour where he could collect his van and drive back to his boat. The second person remained at Portumna Harbour.

The lifeboat departed Terryglass Harbour at 7.30pm and was back at Station at 7.50pm.    

Jeremy Freeman, Deputy Launching Authority at Lough Derg RNLI, advises water users to ‘plan your passage, ensure you have sufficient fuel for your journey and plan to arrive at safe harbour before nightfall.’    

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