Lifeboat rescues 3 in separate incidents

Lifeboat rescues 3 in separate incidents

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Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat at Dromineer – File Photo: © Pat Flynn 2016

The RNLI rescued three people on Sunday after two yachts ran aground in separate incidents on Lough Derg.

When the first incident occurred, the Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat based at Dromineer in Co Tipperary, had been on a training exercise.

The crew was about to return to base when they were alerted to the incident at around 11.20am. A member of the public had reported a yacht on rocks about a kilometre north of Killaloe in Co Clare.

It’s understood the 22ft yacht, with two people on board, had been drifting off the Clare shore and was blown onto a rocky shelf.

On arrival at the scene, RNLI volunteers waded into the check the vessel to ensure hadn’t been holed or otherwise damaged.

The lifeboat towed the yacht into deeper water and when confident the vessel hadn’t been damaged, the couple made their way to Killaloe using their outboard engine.

Just a few hours later, the Lough Derg crew was called into action again when a lone yachtsman called for help on his radio.

Lough Derg – File Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

At around 4.00pm, the sailor radioed for assistance using the VHF marine distress channel. The call was picked on the radio network by watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard marine rescue sub centre in Valentia.

The man reported he had run aground at Stick Rock off the Galway shore. The lifeboat raced to the scene and quickly located the casualty vessel.

The lifeboat crew spent some time trying to get the casualty vessel into deeper water and once the yacht had been checked for damage, the sailor was able to make way again using sail.

The lifeboat remained with the vessel however and assisted the sailor berth at Cloondavaun Bay. It’s understood the sailor may have taken an incorrect turn and ran onto rocks.

Lough Derg RNLI spokeswoman Eleanor Hooker said: “We would remind sailors to familiarise themselves with the lake and to know their navigation charts. Lake users need to know exactly where to turn into harbour and they shouldn’t take shortcuts.”

“There are no shortcuts on the lake. The charts show exactly where you should turn for each harbour. If you don’t follow the charts you can end up in difficulty,” Ms Hooker added.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick.

Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station’s flagship current affairs programme.

He was also the station’s News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day.

As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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