Eight people were rescued in three separate incidents on Lough Derg in Co Clare over the weekend.
The first incident, on Friday night. involved two men who got into difficulty in strong winds and rough water close to Two Mile Gate shore. They had been in a small lake boat and unable to make it back to their cruiser which was anchored nearby.
A friend of the men raised the alarm by calling the Coast Guard via the 999/112 emergency call centre.
The Killaloe unit of the Irish Coast Guard was alerted and launched their rescue boat while a land crew travelled to the area by road. A short time later the men were taken on board the rescue boat and brought safely back to their cruiser.
At around 7.50pm, after returning to their base in Killaloe, the crew heard a call for help on the marine emergency VHF radio channel. The call was also picked up by staff at the Irish Coast Guard’s marine rescue coordination centre on Valentia Island in Kerry.
A call was broadcast over marine radio channels requesting any boats in the area of Mountshannon to respond and assist the crew of a 23ft cruise that had run aground.
It was reported that there were two people on board the vessel and that they feared their boat had been damaged by the rocks.
The Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat based at Dromineer on the opposite side of the lake was also requested to respond.
The Coast Guard rescue boat located the casualty vessel and established that it’s two person crew was safe and wearing their lifejackets. However, they were unable to tow the stricken boat from the rocks.
Killaloe Coast Guard then requested their second rescue boat crew to launch assist. The smaller boat was able to get into the shallower area and tow the cruise safely off the rocks.
After being assessed for damage and having found none, the cruiser was towed into Mountshannon.
Less than 24 hours later, on Saturday evening, the Killaloe Coast Guard was called out again to another cruise boat in difficulty. The 38 foot cruiser with 4 people on board ran aground in Tinerana Bay also on Lough Derg.
The rescue boat reached the scene within minutes an assessed the situation. A volunteer crew member boarded the casualty vessel and established there was an issue with the cruisers engines so it was take on tow to Ballina.
The RNLI warned: “Boat users should be aware that water levels on the lake are particularly low at the moment and they should bear this in mind when passage planning’.
The Irish Coast Guard added: “It’s also important that boat users are aware of the weather forecast before going onto the water anywhere. Ask locally before setting off if you’re unsure.”