RNLI responds to report of boat fire on Lough Derg

RNLI responds to report of boat fire on Lough Derg

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Photo: Lough Derg RNLI

The Lough Derg RNLI lifeboat was called into action today following a report that a boat was on fire on the lake.

The volunteer crew was alerted at 2.34pm by watch officers at the Irish Coast Guard marine rescue sub centre on Valentia Island in Kerry.

The Coast Guard received a report that a vessel with two people and a dog on board, was on fire. The 31-foot cruiser had been making its way from Killaloe to Dromineer at the time.

The lifeboat launched and located the cruiser at anchor off Hare Island off the Co Clare shore. The passengers and their dog were safe and unharmed.

The skipper had cut his engine and dropped anchor when he noticed black smoke billowing from the engine. When the lifeboat arrived on scene, the engine was no longer issuing smoke and the situation had settled.

With an RNLI crew member on board, the cruiser with her passengers was taken under tow for the public harbour at Dromineer.

As the lifeboat was towing the cruiser, volunteer crew were informed that the dog had jumped overboard. The lifeboat immediately stopped its engine and made to recover the dog from the water. However, with encouragement from his owners, the dog swam back to the casualty vessel where he was brought back on board.

After the cruiser was safely tied up alongside in Dromineer Harbour, the lifeboat returned to station and was ready for service at 5pm.

On Sunday, Lough Derg RNLI was requested to assist five people on board a 40-foot cruiser that had runaground behind Illaunmore on the north eastern shore of Lough Derg.

The lifeboat located the vessel at 12.47pm and found all passengers to be safe and unharmed and wearing their lifejackets. The lifeboat transferred an RNLI volunteer across to the cruiser, where he inspected the boat, and once satisfied that it was not holed he prepared the boat to be taken off the rocks.

However when the casualty vessel was found to be stuck fast on the rocks, the lifeboat crew decided to take the five passengers and their belongings to Dromineer. Meanwhile RNLI volunteer shore crew made arrangements to have the boat lifted off the rocks.

Lough Derg RNLI Deputy Launching Authority Pat Garland said: “We would advise boat users to enjoy the lake, but make sure you stay on the navigation route, well clear of the shoreline.”

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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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